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WILDHOOD Begins Production In Nova Scotia

The film began principal photography on August 12, 2020.

WILDHOOD Begins Production In Nova Scotia

One of the first film productions in Nova Scotia to start up post-COVID lockdown, the Two-Spirit odyssey, Wildhood, from writer/director Bretten Hannam, began principal photography on August 12, 2020. Wildhood, which will be filmed in English and Mi'kmaw, is written and directed by Hannam (Wildfire, Deep End) and produced by actor-turned-producer Gharrett Patrick Paon of REBEL ROAD Films (Wildfire, The Killing), with Julie Balassi (My Dead Dad's Porno Tapes, Dim the Fluorescents) as producing partner and Damon D'Oliveira (The Grizzlies, Honey Bee, The Book of Negroes) as Executive Producer. Filming is taking place in Windsor, Nova Scotia and will run until September 16. It will release in Spring, 2021.

Wildhood stars Phillip Lewitski (Vikings, Utopia Falls), Joel Thomas Hynes (Little Dog, Trickster, Frontier, Orphan Black), Michael Greyeyes (Blood Quantum, I Know This Much is True, True Detective, Fear the Walking Dead), Joshua Odjick (Unsettled, Coroner), Steve Lund (Schitt's Creek, Frankie Drake Mysteries, Reign, Bitten) and newcomer Avery Winters-Anthony (Wildfire).

A snarling dog backed into a corner, Link (16) is at odds with everyone around him. His Mi'kmaw mother is dead, and his connection to his heritage is lost. His white father, Arvin, is resentful of his existence and the racist boys in the trailer park are both dangerous and alluring. Link's struggle comes to a head when he discovers his birth mother is still alive. In a desperate gamble to start a new life, he runs away with his half-brother Travis (10) to find her.

Lost in their new-found freedom they're joined by Pasmay (18), a Two-Spirit teenager drawn to Link's pain. Together they travel down backroads and through reservations, avoiding Arvin and tackling whatever the road throws at them.

Start of principal photography is the next important step on the long journey of this project. It began in 2018 with the short film Wildfire, which was one of five scripts in Canada selected for Whistler Film Festival's 2017 Aboriginal Filmmaker Fellowship and has played at multiple film festivals internationally. The feature film script won Telefilm's 2018 Pitch This! at the Toronto International Film Festival.

"I've carried this story with me for over a decade," says writer-director Bretten Hannam. "It's as much a part of me as my own heart. I'm excited to finally let it loose as we film among the forests, rivers, and all the land that we belong to."

"Having never met my own father, growing up I spent many dreamy nights imagining what it might be like to go on one of these quests. Little did I know that ours would be in a pandemic," says producer Gharrett Paon. "I'm thankful to our whole team for pulling everything together and MAKING IT into production, despite an almost comedic number of roadblocks that could have shut us down. Shout out to our funders who hustled right there along with us."

Cinematography for Wildhood by multi-award winner Guy Godfree (Giant Little Ones, Maudie, Suck It Up), production design by Michael Pierson (Stage Mother, Werewolf), and costume design by Emlyn Murray (Terror in the Woods, Forgive Me, Drown the Lovers).

Wildhood received financial support from Telefilm Canada, the Canada Media Fund, Nova Scotia Production Incentive Fund, the Shaw Rocket Fund, and CBC Films, which provided development support. The Indigenous Screen Office also provided COVID relief funding.

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