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Director Ian Kane Uses Native American Heritage to Create Horror Franchise

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Back in 2015, Ian Kane released his debut short The Visitor, which received positive marks from us as well as on the festival circuit. This ten-minute little flick revolves around a young woman whose dreams are haunted by a mysterious entity. Having recently completed production on the sequel Night of the Kanuak, director Kane has revealed his plans to expand the mythology of this short into a full-fledged universe. Referred to as the Fathoms of Yiqomec, the franchise is due to comprise of three shorts, features, comic books, video + role-playing games.

Kanuak actress Kelly Lynn Reiter, who will later be seen opposite Tyler Mane in Bring Me a Dream, bears a resemblance to a young Keri Russell; she delivers a strong performance as she comes face to face with another terrorizing entity: a Kanuak, whose skills include illusions and time manipulations. Although the structure of the second short might bear little resemblance to the first, Kane assures that all events are connected and will be revealed with future releases.

“With Night of the Kanuak, I wanted to elaborate a little further on the scant clues left behind in The Visitor … One of the main common threads within both The Visitor and Night of the Kanuak is that they’re tied to a group of friends. Their mentor, a brilliant archaeologist by the name of Professor Hagel, went missing while he was off researching a mysterious tribe of Native Americans who used to reside in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Because I wrote all of the films and developed the entire mythos and lore to The Fathoms of Yiqomec concurrently, I was able to drop little clues here and there within each of them that relate the feature films and the franchise as a whole. For instance, you’ll notice that while Wilson (one of the main characters of the feature films and comic books), is never seen in the short films, he is mentioned in them. Everything is interrelated in some form or fashion. It’s an entire expanded universe.”

Actress Kelly Lynn Reiter in “Night of the Kanuak.”

Matt Taff, who is the editor on both shorts as well as Associate Producer on The Visitor, has worked with Kane to maintain a cohesive editing style for all the Fathoms shorts.  “Ian had an idea of a creeping horror style pace to the short films, so I worked with him in order to create this.”

While Night of the Kanuak has yet to be shared with the public, Kane is hard at work prepping the final short, which will begin shooting within the coming months. “What I can say is that it has to do with three friends who go camping at a location close to the mysterious town of Ebonwood. The whole area is set in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and is absolutely shunned by the locals because of its horrible history. But that doesn’t stop this group of interlopers from going there across some things that they probably wish they wish they hadn’t. Ebonwood Falls, being my third and final short, will dovetail seamlessly straight into the first planned feature film, Ebonwood.”

Aside from the planned features, Kane has plans to expand into various mediums, including comic books, video games, and “even a table top role-playing game planned for the entire franchise. The comic book series, titled The Fathoms of Yiqomec, is available on my Patreon page free for subscribers. It will follow the events that transpire in the forthcoming feature films and will continue on beyond them. The video games and role-playing game are currently in development and will be detailed on my Patreon page as they progress and come to fruition.”

Cover art for Issue #1 of “The Fathoms of Yiqomec.”

“As an artist who created my own comics while growing up, as well as being a tabletop RPG gamer and video game geek, I have lots of experience within each of these mediums. So working on all of these projects is just a blast for me and a real dream come true.

My goal is to create exciting and thought provoking entertainment that people will not only enjoy, but can feel came from someone who loves all of them as a fan. This franchise will also finally allow me to contribute to several Native American charities that I’ve always had in mind.”

You see, Kane’s ancestry is at the core of the series. The Fathoms of Yiqomec has a “strong Native American theme by design,” although the director wants to refrain from being “overly-preachy” about the subtext. “Since I’ve been a lifelong horror fan and always wanted to make horror films, I thought it would be interesting to couple that with my desire to reveal a few inconvenient truths about Native Americans. In other words, while many folks will probably watch my films as strictly horror experiences, there are enough historical undercurrents within to spark curiosity. Hopefully, curiosity about the history of these boarding schools as well as Native Americans on a more macro scale

These days, we live in a society where Native Americans are practically invisible to most of the nation. Even if something gains a little bit of attention, you’ll see the usual reaction to important events or calamities. Up go the copied and pasted, cute little hashtags, post a few “hopes and prayers,” and move on to the next.

I want to build a franchise that breaks through this laconic mass-apathy and stays in the popular consciousness. Even if one person is inspired to do something, such as researching more about what happened to Native Americans throughout history (things that aren’t taught in classrooms) in this country, then I’ll feel like I’ve done my job.”

Interested in checking out The Visitor? Head over to the series’ Patreon page to watch and gain exclusive access to Ian Kane’s upcoming work! Also, be sure to follow the DreamFlight Entertainment Facebook page as well!

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