Rust and Bone
With a newborn by his side and a movie made out of his short
stories, University of New Brunswick master’s in English graduate Craig
Davidson is making a name for himself.
With part of his master’s thesis “28 Bones” made into a
movie, Davidson’s dream is finally coming true.
The path to success, however, was not easy.
Putting nickels in a
After graduating from Trent University in Ontario, and teaching
for a year in Japan, Davidson decided to head back to school; but as his undergrad
marks were underwhelming, UNB Fredericton offered to accept him into its master’s of Arts program on a probationary basis.
“I’m a firm believer in the fact that if you just keep
working, keep plugging along, it’s like putting nickels in a penny bank; at
some point it may just pay off. And, if it never does, well, it’s still a good
way to go through life,” says Davidson.
While attending the University of New Brunswick, Davidson
was the only two-time recipient of the David H. Walker award, a $1,000 prize for
the best piece of fiction.
“It was fantastic to dominate my contemporaries, crush their
spirit, and spend all the sweet, sweet moolah! No, in all seriousness it was
lovely and I got lucky,” he says.
One of Davidson’s stories was then published by UNB in
Canada’s longest living literary journal, The Fiddlehead.
Finally making it
Inspired by Davidson’s stories, director Jacques Audiard
created “Rust and Bone”, a film which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in
“My main thought [when he approached me about the movie]
was that this is never going to happen,” says Davidson.
“The book was optioned years ago; it was
a long process to bring it to the screen. I thought the director would get
bored of the material, the producers wouldn't cough up the money, the stars
wouldn't agree to be in it, etc, etc. A film's got to leap a lot of hurdles to
unusual story lines and themes were initially a tough sell in Canada, Davidson says it feels nice knowing his films
will be shown in his homeland.
“It feels great
to have a movie made. It’s a wonderful bit of luck. I think my writing is
pretty cinematic in style, so directors can ‘see’ it more easily, hence making
it adaptable to the screen.”
With his story
now made into film, Sony Picture Classics is looking to show his film both in
Canada and the United States.
his time at the University of New Brunswick played a role in his success.
“UNB was integral in all that – after all, many of the
stories germinated there, and lo and behold these many years later something
pretty cool came of it.
Contributed by Bronte James, UNB Communications & Marketing. This story made possible through the support of the UNB Associated Alumni.