Teen actor Lacey Oake of Red Deer has been recognized internationally for her performance in the film-festival selection, Before I Change My Mind.
Oake won the jury prize for Best Performance in a Female Role in a feature film at the Diva Magazine/Iris Prize LGBTQ+ Film Festival in Cardiff Wales.
“We are so proud of her,” said Lacey’s mother Tracey Oake on Monday.
Lacey, a Grade 9 student, appears in the film directed and co-created by Trevor Anderson, a Red Deer native who now lives in Toronto. She plays Izzy, who is friends with Robin, a non-binary person who’s having identity challenges while growing up in the 1980s.
Described as a coming-of-age story, this film was made in central Alberta last summer, including some outdoor scenes shot in Red Deer.
A film reviewer from the publication Queerguru also praised Lacey’s performance — along with that of Vaughan Murrae who plays Robin — for not being stereotypical. Oake’s Izzy “makes an impression with her lip gloss and …Lolita sunglasses,” wrote reviewer Jose Mayorga.
At its debut at the Locarno Film festival in Switzerland, the film was voted one of the Top-10 must-see movies, with an award nomination for Anderson. It was also screened at the Calgary Film Festival in September.
It is next showing as the opening night feature at the Rainbow Visions Film Festival in Edmonton on Nov. 3.
Lacey has acted in a several film projects, as well as in Cornerstone Youth Theatre Stage productions in Red Deer.