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Who is Jeff Barnaby's wife? Late 'Blood Quantum' director revolutionized Indigenous filmmaking

Jeff Barnaby is known for transforming indigenous filmmaking by highlighting problems impacting Canada's First Nation communities
Jeff Barnaby pictured with his wife Sarah Del Seronde (Instagram/tripgore)
Jeff Barnaby pictured with his wife Sarah Del Seronde (Instagram/tripgore)

MONTREAL, CANADA: Indigenous filmmaker Jeff Barnaby died on Thursday, October 13 after a year-long battle with cancer. Barnaby, 46, is well known for his films 'Blood Quantum' and 'Rhymes for Young Ghouls'.

Barnaby's family stated that he passed away in Montreal, as reported by Hollywood Reporter. Born in 1976 and raised in the Listuguj Mi'gmaq community, he moved to Montreal to start his career after earning a degree in film production from Concordia University in 2004. His final film, 'Blood Quantum', a zombie-fueled, John Carpenter-inspired satire on settler colonialism, received 10 Canadian Screen Award nominations.


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Barnaby is known for transforming indigenous filmmaking in Canada to highlight problems and challenges impacting its fragile First Nation communities. He offered many unique talents a platform, including Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs, better known as Devery Jacobs, whom he cast in 'Rhymes for Young Ghouls'. 


Jacobs achieved her first professional breakthrough while portraying Alia in the drama, and became close friends with Barnaby. After learning of the filmmaker's passing, she shared a touching tribute on social media. She wrote, "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."


"Jeff had an ineffable impact on my life. I wouldn't be an actor today, if it weren't for Jeff. Having nearly given up on this career, he not only took a chance on me, but fought relentlessly to cast me in his debut feature Rhymes for Young Ghouls, my first leading role. I am filled with tremendous gratitude for having known you, @tripgore and for having been part of your life. Wela'lin, niawenhkó:wa, tánon konnorónhkhwa. ❤️💔," Jacobs concluded her message.

In a tweet confirming his death, Barnaby's representatives noted, "Jeff Barnaby redefined Indigenous cinema by injecting elements of magical realism, body horror, and sci-fi into Indigenous stories. He was uncompromising in his views on Indigenous identity, Indigenous storytelling and authenticity. He never hesitated or backed down from his point of view, and remained authentic throughout his career."


Independent Canadian producer John Christou, a close friend of Barnaby, shared a clip of him giving an inspirational speech to his crew. "Before the cameras rolled, Jeff would give the crew an inspirational speech. Here he is on day 1 of #BloodQuantum," he wrote. 


Who is Jeff Barnaby's wife? 

Jeff Barnaby was married to Sarah Del Seronde, a filmmaker in Canada. According to an Instagram post, there are just six days between their birthdays. Seronde's well-known works include 'Making the River', 'Metal Road', and 'Tavake'. The couple has a son, named Miles. Details regarding Barnaby's private life are mostly unknown, and it appears he preferred it that way.


The director's last Instagram post features a picture of his son curled up in bed. He captioned it, "Rockstar parking." His last photo with his wife was captioned, "Look who we ran into at the Saint lazarre car show. Lol it even has a flux compactor." For the photo, they smiled while standing on opposing sides with their heads slightly tilted.