ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: Alexander Lasheras’ Telefilm Canada-Funded Film 'The Beehive' Swarms Festivals

By VFS, on June 14, 2023

Everyone loves our friendly, honey-making, pollinating bee friends as the unsung heroes of our ecosystem. However, what if a seemingly regular beehive becomes an ominous extraterrestrial threat? Vancouver Film School’s Film Production alumnus Alexander Lasheras wrote and directed his second feature film The Beehive that centers around just that!

He is joined by fellow film production alumnus and current VFS instructor Arun Fryer, who co-produced the film with Mike Johnston. Alexander and Arun have previously worked together as a directing/producing duo on Alexander’s first feature thriller Cadence, which screened at Vancouver International Film Festival.

The Beehive is a sci-fi thriller buzzing around a young girl who discovers and documents a beehive in the forest, only to discover the beginnings of an alien-invasion. Indigenous talent is highlighted throughout the production, which includes principal actors Meadow Kingfisher as the curious and endearing daughter Rosemary, Kaydin Gibson as the broody teen son Arron, and Aleen Sparrow as their intelligent and warm-hearted Aunt Zoe, while Alexander himself is Métis. The film has been well-received and noted as being richer than a one-dimensional alien invasion plotline, with a reviewer at Film Threat stating, “while the framework follows a traditional alien attack trajectory, there is a richness of parallels between the invaders and the invaded woven into the narrative.”

Producer Arun Fryer (left) with Writer and Director Alexander Lasheras at the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival for their film The Beehive.

They received funding for The Beehive from Telefilm Canada, Creative BC, and the Indigenous Screen Office, and the film was distributed by Game Theory, as well as pre-licensed to CBC, APTN, and Hollywood Suite.

The world premiere of The Beehive was held at the Arizona International Film Festival on April 22, where it snatched up the Special Jury Award for Outstanding Cinematography (cheers to the cinematographer, Pieter Stathis). It also gained recognition at the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival in California and the Julien Dubuque International Film Festival in Iowa.


The Beehive is making its highly anticipated Canadian premiere at the Oakville Festival of Film & Arts on June 21, coinciding with National Indigenous Peoples Day. The film will be the first screened at the gala, playing in Canada’s largest drive-in movie theatre, alongside a traditional Opening Ceremony. There will even be a Q&A with our bee-loved filmmakers Alexander Lasheras, Mike Johnston, and Arun Fryer!

June 21 is also the launch date for Vancouver Film School’s Indigenous Peoples Scholarship, a fund offering full and partial-tuition scholarships for First Nations, Métis and/or Inuit students to enrol in a VFS full-time program of their choice. Stay tuned for more information!

We wish the team all the best at their premiere in Oakville next week, and we look forward to seeing the otherworldly work they come up with next!

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