Jay Cardinal Villeneuve (Cree/Metis/Welsh) grew up in Slave Lake, Alberta and currently lives and works in Vancouver, BC. After graduating high school with Drama honours, Jay received a Performing Arts Scholarship and went on to study Theatre and Visual Fundamentals in College before moving to the west coast to pursue a career in the film industry. He continued his education and graduated on the Dean’s List from Capilano University, receiving a Diploma in Indigenous Independent Digital Filmmaking and a Certificate of Achievement in Cinematography for Film & Video.
Jay’s numerous low-budget Independent short and student films have played at various film festivals across North America and been sought after in Europe. His first short documentary “Business as Usual” played in Montreal at the 2009 Terres en vues Land InSights First Peoples’ Film Festival and can now be found on-line. His cult favourite “Plethora of Idiots” was named an Official Selection at the 2008 Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival, while his experimental music video “no dogs and no Indians allowed” was named an Official Selection at the 2010 imagineNATIVE film festival in Toronto. His next short documentary “The Hanging of Louis Riel” premiered at the prestigious 2010 American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco CA, and his controversial neo-noir crime drama “Indigenous Streets – a Native Gangster tale“ screened at the legendary Rio Theatre in Vancouver and received an Honourable Mention for Best Student Film at the 2011 Los Angeles Movie Awards Film Festival.
While working on various APTN productions behind the scenes including the environmental documentary series Down2Earth, Jay got the chance to compete in the 2011 APTN Shortcuts contest and won first place where he wrote, directed & co-starred with LORNE CARDINAL in the uproarious comedy “Reserved for Hollywood” which was broadcast to a national audience and received an Official Selection during the 2012 NSI Online Film Festival. Subsequently he is now trying to develop the idea for television. Jay also voiced the Trickster character on the Leo Nominated APTN animated TV pilot “Animism – The God’s Lake.”
Jay Cardinal Villeneuve aspires to produce both documentary & dramatic feature films, and hopes to inspire youth through cinematic storytelling. It is said that storytellers have the power to heal the spirit and he encourages our next generation to embrace creativity and follow their dreams just like he did while growing up in a small town in northern Alberta. Jay is a proud family man who spends a fair amount of spare time making movies with his wife and children and also works as a statement gatherer with residential school survivors for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
“Live to dream, dare to live, live your dreams if you dare…”