An otherworldly interpretation of missing Indigenous women and girls in Canada.
When Ayeeiahchia’, a mystical water-creature from Lake Huron, is captured by Jones, a psychopathic hunter and recluse, it seems her fate is sealed. With help from the spirits of victims past, she must use the power of her voice to disarm her captor before it’s too late.
Writer/director: Jessica Lea Fleming
Producers: Jessica Lea Fleming, Ricardo Temporao, Aaron Bird
The water creature depicted in this short film is inspired by both my Métis and Scottish heritages. In the history of both cultures there are water creatures who symbolize many themes: death, transformation and living between two worlds. This creature’s name Ayeeiahchia’ is a Wendat word which means “my heart.”
In every way, this word reflects my goal in making Scales: to bring courage and love to the many living survivors of violence and the 1,200 Indigenous women and girls who are no longer with us.
I hope this story adds another layer to the various narratives surrounding violence against Indigenous women: that of fighter, shifter and rebel. I am proud to say the majority of people who collaborated on the production of this film identify as Indigenous women. Just like Ayeeiahchia’, we continue to thrive and we will be heard.
Jessica Lea Fleming
“Speaks to Grandmother”
About Jessica Lea Fleming
Jessica Lea Fleming is of Métis (Wendat, Anishnaabe and French) and Scottish descent, from Penetanguishene, Ontario.
She is a creator, producer, programmer and arts manager based in Toronto and Hamilton, Canada.
As an artist, Jessica has created theatre works (Purple Afro, Guelph Youth Theatre, I Stand Auto-Corrected, Second City Conservatory Program, Blue Moon Girls, Toronto Fringe Festival and Without Icing, 27th Weesageechak Begins to Dance festival); videos (After Life Blues, Pipe and Hat Artist Management, Flesh and Bone, Brutus Begins), commercials (Treaty, Charlie Wenjack, Historica Canada) and most recently her first short film, Scales (Fruitful Productions).
As a programmer, Jessica has collaborated with the Regent Park Film Festival Programming Committee (2016), Full Circle’s Talking Stick Festival (2016) and with imagineNATIVE as a member of the Sun Jury (2017). As a writer, her articles and poetry have been published in Urban Native Magazine, Novella Magazine and Polar Expressions Publishing.
Jessica has previously worked for GAT PR as a publicity assistant, for the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival as outreach coordinator (2010-2012) and development manager (2012-2015), at Native Earth Performing Arts as artistic producer where she co-curated and produced the annual 10-day Weesageechak Begins to Dance Festival (2015, 2016) and with the Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance as the Georgian Bay community liaison. She also sat on the board of directors for the Theatre Centre from 2012 – 2016.
Jessica is the co-founder of the Sweetgrass Sisters Collective which programs contemporary and traditional Indigenous arts and events in Hamilton. Jessica is writing a collection of poetry, developing a music video with singer-songwriter Iskwé and researching her next short film concept.