Friday, September 1, 2017

Press Release: Indian Horse Film Makes It's Debut At TIFF--Based on Richard Wagamese's Award Winning Novel


From director Stephen Campanelli and Executive Producer Clint Eastwood, stunningfilm features debut performances from Canadian actors
Sladen Peltier, Ajuawak Kapashesit and Edna Manitowabe.

Toronto – August 23, 2017 – Elevation Pictures with producers Screen Siren Pictures, Terminal City Pictures, Devonshire Productions and executive producers Roger Frappier and Clint Eastwood, today announced that INDIAN HORSE, based on the award-winning novel by Richard Wagamese and directed by Stephen Campanelli, will celebrate its world premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.

Recounting the story of Saul Indian Horse and his remarkable journey from a northern Ojibway child torn from his family and placed in one of Canada’s notorious Catholic residential schools, to a man who ultimately finds his place in the world, Richard Wagamese’s best-selling novel rose to critical acclaim when first published in 2012.

Shot on location in Sudbury and Peterborough, Ontario, INDIAN HORSE  stars Canadian newcomers Sladen Peltier and Ajuawak Kapashesit who, along with Forrest Goodluck (THE REVENANT), portray title character, Saul Indian Horse, at the three stages of his life. The film also stars Michiel Huisman (GAME OF THRONES, THE AGE OF ADALINE) and Michael Murphy (FALL, AWAY FROM HER, X-MEN) and features a compelling performance by newcomer Edna Manitouwabe. A residential school survivor herself,  Manitouwabe brings a soulful presence as Saul’s indomitable grandmother.

Following its premiere in Toronto, INDIAN HORSE will debut at film festivals across Canada including the Atlantic International Film Festival, Cinefest Sudbury Film Festival and Vancouver International Film Festival.

“I am truly honoured to bring Richard Wagamese’s moving novel to the screen,” commented director Stephen Campanelli, “Saul's story has touched countless readers and it is our great hope that the movie will continue to inspire audiences and contribute in its own way to the important ongoing process of reconciliation.  We are thrilled to begin the film's journey at TIFF.”

When learning of the TIFF world premiere, Campanelli’s long time mentor Clint Eastwood praised the film as, “powerful, important storytelling, authentic and moving; it is a compelling film that is beautifully realized and stays with you for a long time.”

 “Our dream for INDIAN HORSE was to make a lasting tribute to the Indigenous people of our country and to acknowledge a great injustice perpetrated against them. It has been a most humbling and amazing experience which we look forward to sharing with audiences everywhere,” said producers Christine Haebler, Trish Dolman and Paula Devonshire.

In late 1950s Ontario, seven year-old Saul Indian Horse is torn from his Ojibway family and committed to one of Canada’s notorious Catholic residential schools. In this oppressive environment, Saul is denied the freedom to speak his language or embrace his indigenous heritage and he witnesses all kinds of abuse at the hands of the very people who were entrusted with his care. Despite this, Saul finds salvation in the unlikeliest of places and favorite Canadian pastimes — hockey. Fascinated by the game, he secretly teaches himself how to not only play but develops a unique and rare skill. It’s as if he has eyes in the back of his head and can see the game in a way no other player can. His talent leads him away from the misery of the school to a Northern Ontario native league and eventually the pros. But the ghosts of Saul’s past will always haunt him. Forced to confront painful memories and revelations, Saul draws on the spirit of his ancestors and the understanding of his friends to gain the compassion he so sorely needs in order to begin healing. Indian Horse is a survivor’s tale that foregrounds the indomitable spirit of North America’s Indigenous peoples in the face of aggressive assimilation policies and racism.

INDIAN HORSE is directed by Stephen S. Campanelli (MOMENTUM) from a script by Dennis Foon (ON THE FARM, LIFE, ABOVE ALL). Based on the eponymous, award-winning novel by Richard Wagamese (Winner of the Canada Reads People's Choice award, the First Nations Communities Reads program, short-listed for the International IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award and a Globe and Mail top 100 book of 2012). INDIAN HORSE is produced by Christine Haebler (HECTOR AND THE SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS, HARD CORE LOGO), Trish Dolman (HECTOR AND THE SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS, FLOWER & GARNET) and Paula Devonshire (WET BUM, SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD). Roger Frappier (THE GRAND SEDUCTION, JESUS OF MONTREAL) and Clint Eastwood serve as executive producers.

Thank you for reading this 
Anthony Nadeau

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