I love Indigenous movies. On the Ice, Once Were Warriors, Skins, Naturally Native, and Atanarjuat are a few of my favourite all-time movies--hands-down--because we get to see into the lives, homes and cultures of incredible characters at their emotional crossroads. We also get to laugh and grieve with them and their families. We also get to wonder about them long after the movie is over.
I was blown away by Monkey Beach, the novel, when it came out in 2000. I couldn’t move when I read it: Lisa’s terrifying gift, her humor, her history and her family astonished me. I think about key scenes all the time: a shadow in the forest calling to Lisa for “meat”; the B’gwus; and the imp that waits for Lisa at night.
I’ve seen what a movie based on your novel can do for the pride of where you’re from. I wrote The Lesser Blessed, the novel, and it came out as a feature film with First Generation Films and premiered at TIFF in 2012. Not only did we work with Benjamin Bratt, Kiowa Gordon, Chloe Rose, Tamara Podemski and Adam Butcher, we were able to introduce Joel Nathan Evans as “Larry Sole”, the star. We found Joel Evans in my old high school in Fort Smith, my hometown!--after auditioning over 110 youth in five northern communities in six days and it was all worth it. Here’s our website: http://www.montereymedia.com/theatrical/films/lesser_blessed_the.html
I cannot wait to take part in the casting, the shoot, and witness the excitement around Monkey Beach. Loretta Todd’s passion and vision for this project is so contagious, and I’m proud to be the Executive Producer for the feature film. This movie is going to introduce the Haisla Nation, the beauty of its culture and their territory to an international audience.
I cannot wait to help launch the careers of new talents and work with stars that we all recognize. The screenplay is incredible, and it will be so great to see Vancouver, Kitimat and Kitimaat Village on the big screen. It’s time to reinterpret this timeless classic from Eden Robinson, and we cannot wait for you to see this movie! J
Stay tuned and mahsi cho!
Richard Van Camp
Monkey Beach, The Lesser Blessed, Mohawk Midnight Runners, Ronnie BoDean, Hickey Gone Wrong and Three Feathers.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!