Directed by Tracey Deer, shooting in Kahnawake, Kanesatake, Oka and Montreal, BEANS is the first narrative film depiction of the historic 1990 Oka Crisis in Quebec from the perspective of a 12-year-old Mohawk girl.
EMAfilms and the Canadian Film Centre (CFC) are proud to announce that production began in late August on the feature film BEANS, and is scheduled to run until early October. Directed by award-winning Mohawk filmmaker Tracey Deer, who co-wrote the script with Meredith Vuchnich, the film depicts a 12-year-old Mohawk girl’s coming-of-age during the harrowing Oka Crisis in Quebec in 1990. It also marks the first feature film to explore the event narratively onscreen.
Director Tracey Deer, creator of the multi-award-winning, long-running series Mohawk Girls, was a recipient of the Birks Diamond Tribute Award, and a participant in the 2018 TIFF Filmmaker Lab and 2017 TIFF Studio. She was inspired by her childhood experiences to create this film. “I was twelve years old during the Oka Crisis and that experience completely shaped my understanding of my place in this country and how unsafe it is to be an Indigenous person,” says Deer. “I want better for future generations, and that is only possible if attitudes change and allies come on board; so my hope is that the film will give people a new perspective of our reality to build bridges of understanding and compassion.”
Anne-Marie Gélinas (Turbo Kid) from EMAfilms, producer of BEANS, has worked with Deer for the past seven years to develop and finance the film. “I believe this story is an essential one that needs to take its long overdue place in Canadian Cinema,” added Gélinas.
Co-writer and CFC alumna Meredith Vuchnich is a well-seasoned dramatic and comedic television writer. Vuchnich will also be serving as executive producer, together with CFC’s Justine Whyte. Additionally, the team includes cinematographer Marie Davignon, production designer André Chamberland, and costume designer Eric Poirier.
Joining the filmmakers is a dynamic cast of Indigenous actors who are bringing the brilliant script vividly to life. The lead role of Beans is portrayed by Kiawentiio Tarbell (Anne with an E); Beans’ friend April is played by Paulina Jewel Alexis; Beans’ younger sister Ruby is portrayed by delightful newcomer Violah Beauvais; theatre vet Rainbow Dickerson (Chicago Fire) plays Beans’ mother, Lily; BC actor Joel Montgrand (DC’s Legends of Tomorrow) plays Beans’ father, Kania’Tariio; D’Pharaoh Woon-a-Tai (Murdoch Mysteries) plays Hank, April’s brother; and the role of Gary, Hank and April’s father, is played by Jay Cardinal Villeneuve (The Revenent).
BEANS was one of two projects that CFC Features, in partnership with Bell Media’s Crave, selected for development in 2018, in consultation with Women in View, to recruit promising projects by female directors. “I’m excited and proud to have CFC support these three talented female filmmakers realize the story of BEANS, allowing audiences, through the power and magic of cinema, the opportunity to revisit and reinterpret the pivotal role the Oka crisis has played in Canadian history,” shared Justine Whyte, Director & Executive Producer, CFC Features.
CFC Features invests in and collaborates with the most promising filmmakers across Canada to bring their stories to the big screen. It has produced 24 critically and commercially successful films to date; BEANS marks the 25th feature to be developed and financed for production with the support of CFC Features.
Gélinas negotiated and secured production financing for the film from Telefilm Canada; SODEC; the Canadian Media Fund; Crave, a division of Bell Media; and CFC Features, among others. The project received instrumental support in the script’s development from The Harold Greenberg Fund and the TIFF-CBC Films 2018 Screenwriter Award. BEANS will be distributed by Mongrel Media in English Canada and Metropole Films in Quebec and will be released in fall 2020, followed by a streaming premiere on Crave.
Development at CFC Features is supported by the Government of Ontario, with production support and financing provided by valued program partner, Crave, a division of Bell Media.
LEPAGE AU SOLEIL: AT THE ORIGINS OF KANATA, the latest documentary by Hélène Choquette, is released today.
In the spring of 2016, for the first time in 54 years, Ariane Mnouchkine entrusts her troupe, the Théâtre du Soleil, to another director. Robert Lepage then embarks on the creation of Kanata, a work that imagines the meeting of Europeans with First Nations people of Canada over a period of two centuries. After more than two years of work, the rumour of a show about First Nations people without their direct involvement sparks debates in the Canadian media, and soon in Europe and the United States. Its creators are accused of cultural appropriation while no one has seen the show.
Visit the page of the film here : https://www.emafilms.com/en/film/lepage-in-the-sun/
Principal photography on SLAXX, a slasher movie co-written and directed by Elza Kephart, begins today in Montreal, and will wrap on March 10.
Romane Denis has been cast in the lead role, playing Libby. Nominated for an IrisAward as Breakthrough Artistin 2018, Romane is known for her performances in Slut in a Good Way, Les Salopes or The Naturally Wanton Pleasure of Skin, and Les pays d’en haut. Sehar Bhojani (The Handmaid’s Tale, Sex and Ethnicity) plays Shruti, Brett Donahue (Bad Blood, Radius) and Stephen Bogaert (It, X-Men: Apocalypse) will portray Harold Landsgrove, the owner of the clothing store.
When a mild-mannered idealistic cashier of a trendy clothing store witnesses the grisly deaths of her co-workers at the hands (legs?) of a possessed pair of designer jeans, she must get to the bottom (ass?) of what’s driving SLAXX and try to stop the slaughter.
“I am so excited to shoot SLAXX in 2019! This is an idea co-writer Patricia Gomez Zlatar and I came up with in 2001- (yes that’s right 2001). 18 years later and here we are, fully funded and with a great cast and crew. SLAXX taught me a very important lesson: NEVER GIVE UP!” exclaimed Elza Kephart.
SLAXX was selected for the 2016 Fantasia Frontières Co-Production Market as part of Directed by a Woman pitch session – this is where Anne-Marie met Elza and Patricia. The film is backed by SODEC, Telefilm Canada, tax credits and private financing from Executive Producer Shaked Berenson through his financing and producing outfit Entertainment Squad.
For more info, interview requests, press kit or visual materials :
Ingrid Hamilton – firstname.lastname@example.org – (416) 731-3034
TROISIÈMES NOCES, a dramedy directed by David Lambert with Rachel Mwanza (Rebelle) and Bouli Lanners (Les Géants, Eldorado), is in Quebec theatres tonight!
Recently widowed and overcome with grief, fifty something homosexual Martin accepts a friend’s proposition of a marriage of convenience to Tamara, a twenty-year-old Congolese woman. Different on every level, they’ll need to make their love believable to the authorities – but if they pretend long enough, they might learn to love each other… in their own way!
You can catch it on the big screen in the following theatres: Beaubien, Quartier Latin and Le Clap Ste-Foy.
Congratulations to Meredith Vuchnich & Tracey Deer on winning a TIFF–CBC Films Screenwriter Award for BEANS!
Thank you to all the organizations who have supported the story of a Mohawk girl who learns to be her own kind of warrior during the Oka Crisis.
- TIFF Studio
- CFC Features & Crave Television
- Women In View
- Mongrel Media
Special shout out to Alan Bacchus & John Galway at the Harold Greenberg Fund for their early and enthusiastic support.