How did Jeff Barnaby die? Award-winning Indigenous director was 46

How did Jeff Barnaby die? Award-winning Indigenous director was 46
Jeff Barnaby is survived by his wife Sarah and his son Miles (Alberto E Rodriguez/Getty Images)

MONTREAL, CANADA: 'Blood Quantum' director Jeff Barnaby, a famous Indigenous genre filmmaker, died in Montreal on October 13, 2022, after a year-long struggle with cancer, according to his publicist. He was 46.

ADVERTISEMENT

Barnaby was already referred to as a visionary whose effect has yet to be completely acknowledged in Canada or worldwide in modern Indigenous cinema, which is still growing into its newfound power. According to fans, he was unflinching, honest, and raw with his work in a way very few other filmmakers dared to be.

ADVERTISEMENT

READ MORE

How did Ivan Reitman die? Legendary ‘Ghostbusters’ director mourned after death at 75

'Boyz N The Hood' director John Singleton dies aged 51 after suffering stroke 2 weeks ago

ADVERTISEMENT

Born and raised on a Mi’gmaq reservation in Quebec, Canada, Barnaby drew inspiration from his roots as well as his love of horror luminaries like Stephen King, Clive Barker, and David Cronenberg for his work. He went on to attend Dawson College and Concordia University’s cinema program.

ADVERTISEMENT

His first movie titled 'Rhymes for Young Ghouls', which debuted in 2013, criticized Canada's system of residential schools. In 2019, Barnaby released the zombie horror film titled 'Blood Quantum' which won the most Canadian Screen Awards that year, with seven wins out of a possible ten nominations, including Michael Greyeyes in the Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role category. The cast of the movie was predominately indigenous. 

ADVERTISEMENT

'Blood Quantum' revolved around a zombie outbreak on a First Nations reservation. The pandemic prevented it from being released in theaters after its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2019. It became available for streaming in 2020.

(L-R) Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers,  Forrest Goodluck,  Olivia Scriven, Michael Greyeyes,  Brandon Oakes, Jeff Barnaby, Kiowa Gordon, Stonehorse Lone Goeman, John Christou and Rob Vroom attend the
(L-R) Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, Forrest Goodluck, Olivia Scriven, Michael Greyeyes, Brandon Oakes, Jeff Barnaby, Kiowa Gordon, Stonehorse Lone Goeman, John Christou, and Rob Vroom attend the 'Blood Quantum' premiere during the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival at Ryerson Theatre on September 5, 2019, in Toronto, Canada (Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

ADVERTISEMENT

As news of Barnaby’s death spread on social media, people took to Twitter to express their condolences. Producer and friend John Christou said, "I'm heartbroken over the loss of my dear friend Jeff. He was surrounded by love in his last days. Please send all your love to his wife Sarah and his son Miles."

Kaniehtiio Horn tweeted, "I remember being cast in Jeff’s short “The Colony” when I was starting out. I had my own insecurities with being a white passing ndn. I said “should I dye my hair darker?” He said “FUCK no, if anything dye it even more red, fuck, You’re an ndn n that’s it.” RIP Jeff Barnaby."

ADVERTISEMENT

Cameron Bailey, CEO of the Toronto International Film Festival, described Barnaby as an “artist powered by a blazing fire”, who “understood horror on its deepest levels.” He tweeted, "We should have had so many more films from Jeff Barnaby. Rhymes for Young Ghouls, Blood Quantum and his short films showed an artist powered by a blazing fire. He understood horror on its deepest levels. Such a shock. RIP."

ADVERTISEMENT

“Canadian cinema was better for having his talents, passion and vision,” said actor and writer Jay Baruchel in his post.

Devery Jacobs called him "beautifully stubborn ’til the very end". She tweeted, How I'll miss you, @tripgore. Beautifully stubborn ’til the very end, Jeff Barnaby was bold in his life and his work. He bore a sensitivity, poignancy and depth within him, that translated through his films and resonated with audiences Indigenous and non-Native alike."

ADVERTISEMENT



 


ADVERTISEMENT


 



 


ADVERTISEMENT


 



 

Barnaby is survived by his wife Sarah and his son Miles, as per LA Times.

ADVERTISEMENT

This article contains remarks made on the Internet by individual people and organizations. MEAWW cannot confirm them independently and does not support claims or opinions being made online.

Share this article: How did Jeff Barnaby die? Award-winning Indigenous director was 46