The Emperor -

The first short film for Crowsnest Films and writer, producer, director John Kerr, is set in 1922 against the wild landscape of Canada’s Rocky Mountains and based on actual Prohibition-era incidents along the Alberta-British Columbia border, The Emperor is a dramatic restructuring of the events surrounding the tragic shooting death of Alberta Provincial Police Constable Steven Oldacres Lawson, and the subsequent trial, conviction, and execution of notorious Crowsnest Pass bootlegger Emilio “Emperor Pic” Picariello, and his housekeeper, Filumena “Florence” Losandro, for the policeman’s murder.

Like a vast distorting mirror, the same events are seen through the eyes of both Emilio Picariello and Florence Losandro as they await their executions, forcing each of us to reflect on the very nature of reality and truth as we are confronted with the question: Who killed Constable Lawson?

Imitating the tones and textures of early silent films, The Emperor traverses a landscape of memory, history, myth, and nostalgia, marrying music and spectacle with the language and syntax of cinema to create a thrilling and dramatic wordless play, complete with a chilling ending that will haunt audiences for years to come.

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