PRINCIPAL PHOTOGRAPHY BEGINS ON “THROUGH BLACK SPRUCE”, ADAPTED FROM THE GILLER PRIZE WINNING NOVEL
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – August 24, 2017 – Serendipity Point Films, Kistikan Pictures and Buffalo Gals announce that principal photography begins tomorrow, August 25th on THROUGH BLACK SPRUCE on location in Moosonee, Ontario. Don McKellar (The Grand Seduction, Last Night) directs from a screenplay by Barbara Samuels, based on Joseph Boyden’s 2008 Best Seller. Tina Keeper, Robert Lantos and Barbara Samuels produce. Steve Solomos is co-producer.
Cultures and narratives collide in THROUGH BLACK SPRUCE, a contemporary drama about despair, loss and redemption, framed within a tight knit Indigenous family. Cree hunter Will Bird, forced into desperate action, tries to escape from his troubled life in Moosonee, while his niece Annie heads south in search of her missing sister Suzanne.
The cast is led by Tanaya Beatty (The Night Shift) in the starring role of Annie, who goes searching for her missing sister. Kiowa Gordon (The Twilight Saga) plays her lover, the photographer Jesse. Brandon Oakes (Blackstone) takes on the role of Will Bird. Supporting cast includes Graham Greene (Dances With Wolves), Tantoo Cardinal (Wind River), Wesley French (Shadow Hunters), Roseanne Supernault (Blackstone), with Tina Keeper in the role of Lisette, Annie and Suzanne’s mother.
The project began with Tina Keeper’s acquisition of the rights to the novel back in 2012. Said Keeper, “THROUGH BLACK SPRUCE has been with me for a long time. I have to say that the journey has been incredible. I believe that this film has been made possible by visionaries, and through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s impact on this country. My late mother is from that region and I dedicate this effort to her Indian Residential Schools experience and to our culture which gave us resilience and creativity.”
Director McKellar said, “It’s exhilarating to work with such bright and challenging collaborators — our brilliant cast, crew and production team — on a story with such urgency and nuance. The script hit me hard. It’s both unsentimental and heartfelt. Even in the breadth of our locations, from James Bay to Lake Ontario, I can feel intimations of a movie I’ve been waiting a long time to see. I hope I can do it justice.”
THROUGH BLACK SPRUCE is produced in association with South Africa’s Distant Horizon, Telefilm Canada, The Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation, Ontario Media Development Corporation, CBC, The Movie Network a division of Bell Media, and The Harold Greenberg Fund. Executive Producers are Phyllis Laing, Mark Musselman and Anant Singh. Distant Horizon will handle International Sales. D Films will handle Canadian distribution.
Distant Horizon is an independent production, distribution and financing company. Its award-winning productions include “Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom”, “Shepherds & Butchers”, “Remember”, “The First Grader” and the Academy Award® Nominated “Yesterday”.
Serendipity Point Films recent credits include “Remember”, Academy Award® Nominees “Barney’s Version,” “Eastern Promises,” “Being Julia” and Golden Globe Nominee “Sunshine.” For more information, please visit, www.serendipitypoint.com
Nicole Robertson, Chief Communications Specialist
Muskwa Productions & Consulting