Cleetche Vancouver filmmaker

August 2021

In 1989, Christopher McDonell – nicknamed “Cleetche” by his high school classmates – successfully pitched his first film project SOLOSHYE to a local TV station in his Canadian hometown of Orillia, Ontario. Only 17-years-old, he would go on to write, direct, shoot and star in nine 44-minute episodes of the comedy sketch-series, laying the ground for a career in independent filmmaking. In 1991, he moved to British Columbia where he studied at both UBC and the Vancouver Film School. In 1995, he shot a documentary in West Africa, surviving a bout of malaria along the way. And in 2001, he was living his dream: directing his first feature film, TRIBE OF JOSEPH, on a Telefilm-funded budget of $1.5 MM. QUEEN OF THE BEACH is his latest endeavour, an ambitious documentary that spans 11-years in the life of a child-labourer working on a beach in India. Winner of 11 awards, including 8 “Best Pictures”, it is being distributed worldwide on VOD platforms later this year. Projects in development include the feature-films, “BEACH_FLY”, a recent quarterfinalist at two international screenplay competitions, and “GRIZZLY MESSIAH”.