In 1999 I started DIVORCE, a record label for experimental and underground music that would go on to garner international attention for its LP and short format releases by artists My Cat Is An Alien, Jerry Granelli, Noveller/Aidan Baker, Shearing Pinx, You’ll Never Get to Heaven, Gown, and many more. In 2007 I used the label to launch a related festival event—OBEY Convention. Now heading into its twelfth year, OBEY Convention has grown into one of Canada’s most popular niche music and arts happenings.
At the end of the ninth season, I handed OBEY Convention over to my longtime partners Andrew Patterson and Kat Shubaly, who, along with the board of directors, continue to build the organization into a pillar of the Halifax arts community. I occasionally offer my guidance to the crew, but I prefer to watch from a distance as the event I love so dearly evolves.
In recent years I have shifted much of my focus to filmmaking—primarily screenwriting—in partnership with Seth Smith and our company CUT/OFF/TAIL. I began working with CUT/OFF/TAIL when in 2010 I co-wrote (with Seth) and co-produced (with Seth and his wife and our business partner, Nancy Urich) the micro-budget cult hit Lowlife. Lowlife was also my acting debut. The film would go on to premiere at Fantasia in 2012 and win the Audience Choice Award at Atlantic Film Festival in the same year. VICE called it “the feel bad hit of the summer.”
Following Lowlife, Seth and I wrote the feature-length screenplay SINGER, which placed first in Telefilm’s 2014 Atlantic Film Festival Script Development program. During that time I also story edited a number of Seth’s shorts, many of which have played festivals around the world, including Cannes and Fantastic Fest.
In 2016 I wrote the screenplay for The Crescent, Seth’s second feature. The film premiered in September of 2017 at TIFF. A few days later, it screened at FIN in Halifax, where I won The Michael Weir Award for Best Atlantic Screenwriting. The Globe and Mail listed The Crescent as one of the top ten Canadian films of 2018.
From 2017 to 2019, Seth and I wrote the bio-sci-fi feature Tin Can. Production on the film wrapped in April 2019. I acted in the movie — playing three different characters. Other cast include Michael Ironside, Anna Hopkins, and Simon Mutabazi. Tin Can premiered at Sitges Film Festival in October 2020 and went on to play festivals around the world. Tin Can won the Nova Scotia Screen Award for Best Feature in 2021 and has been reviewed favourably by countless outlets, including The New York Times. The film is now available on-demand in the USA and Canada.
Seth and I have a number of scripts currently in development and hope to have a new feature in production by spring 2023.
To get in touch, email chikwhite[at]gmail[dot]com.
Check out the chik white page for information on my music and acting work.