This Time Last Winter

Watch the film trailer:

Unable to remember a violent incident, Iona returns to her boyfriend’s funky warehouse apartment to look for answers. Through interracial relationships and the healing potential of a talking circle, This Time Last Winter looks at violence in young relationships and the moment of choice when violence surfaces.

Drama, Red Camera/HD release, 25 min, Canada, 2010


Best Actress (Danna Henderson), 2010 Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival


Producer Sarah Abbott
Director Ann Verrall
Writers Sarah Abbott & Ann Verrall
Cinematographer Mark Dobrescu, CSC
Editor Jackie Dzuba
Music Ramses Calderon, Marshall Burns, Rah Rah
CAST Danna Henderson, Ian Brodland, Cheryl Jack, Erroll Kinistino, Bob Smoker, Kent Wolkowski, Karen van Staden


This Time Last Winter was made through a senior undergraduate class dedicated to production of a half-hour dramatic film at the University of Regina.  Sarah Abbott created and led this class to produce the film, selecting Halifax-based Ann Verrall through a juried application process to be Director-in-Residence in the Department of Film.  Ann taught a narrative filmmaking class and directed This Time Last Winter.  She and Sarah co-wrote the script, inspired by the short story “Location of the Imagination” by Alice Kuipers, and the want to write Indigenous people and content into the screenplay to reflect aspects of life in Saskatchewan and support local First Nations talent.  The students worked as crew, alongside local emerging filmmakers and film industry professionals who generously offered their time and expertise to mentor the students for creation of a professional film.

This Time Last Winter was supported with funding and in-kind assistance form The University of Regina, SaskFilm, Java Post Production, Talking Dog Studios, William F. White, ACTRA, Mind’s Eye Productions, the Saskatchewan Motion Picture Association (SMPIA), the Saskatchewan Community Network (SCN), and The National Film Board of Canada.


The production story, This Time Last Winter: The Making Of, includes commentary from the director, producer, actors, students, and professional crew  along with behind-the-scenes footage taken during the filming.


The Saskatchewan premiere screening for This Time Last Winter, held November 2011 at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum in Regina, was followed by a panel discussion on violence in young and intimate relationships.  The panelists were Danna Henderson, lead actor in This Time Last Winter and survivor of intimate partner violence; Dory Oochoo, a man who sought help after assaulting his partner; and Dr. Carrie Bourassa, professor in the Department of Indigenous Health, Education and Social Work at First Nations University of Canada. The moderator was Lois Isnana, director of Qu’Appelle Beardy’s Okemasis and Wahpeton Child and Family Services.


The cast and crew were honoured to have Saulteaux Elder Bob Smoker participate in This Time Last Winter.  Bob provided guidance on Indigenous elements in the script, led the class in a talking circle to teach the students about this cultural approach to sharing and justice, and played the role of himself in the film to lead the talking circle in the story.  In the fall of 2017, Bob Smoker left for the spirit world.  He and his traditional and life teachings had a great impact on many people.  He is dearly missed.


Shortcuts, Aboriginal Peoples’ Television Network (APTN)


  • Atlantic Film Festival, Halifax, 2010 (World Premiere)
  • Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival, 2010
  • American Indian Film Festival, San Francisco, 2010 (US Premiere)
  • Royal Saskatchewan Museum, Regina, 2011 (Saskatchewan Premiere)
  • Issues Relating to Abuse and Violence Social Work class, University of Regina, 2012
  • Regina Correctional Centre, March 2012
  • Cowichan Aboriginal Film Festival, Duncan, BC, 2012
  • Dreamspeakers Film Festival, Edmonton, 2012
  • Eugene International Film Festival, Oregon, 2012
  • RESOLVE Research Day conference on domestic violence, Regina, 2012
  • Red Fork Native American Film Festival, Tulsa Community College, Oklahoma, 2012
  • Ministry of Justice, Corrections and Policing, Regina-Qu’Appelle Adult Probation Services, 2012
  • National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women event hosted by the Qu’Appelle Haven Safe Shelter, Treaty Four Governance Tipi, Fort Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan, 2012
  • Issues Relating to Abuse and Violence Social Work class, University of Regina, 2013
  • Rainbow Youth Centre, Regina, 2013
  • Canadian Film Studies Association annual conference, Congress 2013 of the Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Victoria, 2013
  • Canadian Peace Research Association annual conference, Congress 2013 of the Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Victoria, 2013
  • University Film and Video Association, Chapman University, Orange, California, 2013
  • Casa Gaia, Havana, Cuba, 2013
  • National Day of No Violence, Africana de Masculinidades (RIAM) and the “Tod@s Contracorriente” project (Ibero-American Masculinity Network and African (RIAM) and the “Tod@s Undertow” project), Pebellon Cuba, Vedado, Cuba, 2013
  • National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, Performing Arts Theatre, Moose Jaw Public Library, hosted by Moose Jaw Transition House, 2013
  • Man Up Against Violence weeklong campaign, University of Regina, 2015
  • Café Ex, Canadian Film Institute (CFI), Ottawa, 2016

Media and Writing

Available upon request

Social Media

This Time Last Winter on Facebook


Moving Images Distribution, Vancouver
Vtape, Toronto

Closed Captioned
Spanish subtitles available

Production Stills

Publicity Materials

2020-05-12T21:09:40+00:00July 2010|Community, Drama, Films, Teaching|