Bowles was our Best of Halifax cover star in 2005, when he won Best Dancer in the readers’ poll. He’s always been something of a local hyphenate, well known for his regular appearances as Cory in Trailer Park Boys and for his dancing and choreography with his company Verve Mwendo. He’s also a musician.
“I tend to think of it like dance is a need, music is a passion and acting is a really awesome job,” he said at the time.
But he earns our pick for Best Crossover for becoming a prominent filmmaker. When we track him down, he’s prepping for a shoot, but resists the idea that his creative approach is so different between disciplines.
“Much to the chagrin of some, I sort of clump it all as the same thing,” says Bowles, who is from Truro originally and moved to Halifax with his old band, Hip Club Groove, which was signed to Murderrecords. “I’ve always been interested in filmmaking, I’ve always been writing things, but it was one of those things I didn’t want to do until I felt ready.”
His recent short film, The Scavengers, was originally developed through The Atlantic Filmmaker’s Co-op Film Five Program, though it didn’t get through to the production stage, so he made it himself. It recently competed as part of the CBC’s Short Film Faceoff series. And the directorial work isn’t stopping there.
“I just got a grant to do another short,” he says, and is the midst of prepping to shoot another short, Righteous, based on a one-man show Bowles did at The Fringe Festival, a story about what Bowles calls “reverse racism.” The script for Righteous won the Linda Joy Post Award and this year Bowles also won the Inspired Script Pitch Award at the Atlantic Film Festival, which will allow him to develop a feature film called Cracker Factory.
“It’s been kind of nice,” he says of the new opportunities in filmmaking, including directing other material that he didn’t write. “It sounds funny, but it’s the same as creating a dance piece or choreographing new work with the company.”
Bowles doesn’t expect his hectic schedule to slow down anytime soon as he also prepares to work on new dance projects with Verve Mwendo. “I love it. I always cram in too many things at once. If there’s any idle moment I get depressed. It always bleeds into each other.”