Two months ago, Sophie visited sunny Portugal, met Robert, a DJ who’s the antithesis of the flamboyant scenester, and got pregnant. Back in Winnipeg, she informs the father-to-be, who decides he must leave Portugal behind to be by her side, even if it means manning up to the Canadian winter. But between the inhospitable climate and his equally chilly reception, Robert finds the move a little more than he’d bargained for. McKenna, director of a number of acclaimed shorts (Chinatown, Bon Voyage, Honky Town Ben) who cut his teeth working with Guy Maddin (notably on My Winnipeg), serves up his first feature, a bittersweet minimalist tale that blows hot and cold on its characters and their surroundings. Offbeat and deadpan, its frigid setting the perfect complement to its sparse dialogue, The First Winter stars Eve Majzels and the Portuguese-born Roberto Vilar, a fixture on the Winnipeg indie short film scene for whom McKenna penned the endearing role of the disoriented foreigner.