In­ter­na­tional ac­co­lades for film shot in val­ley

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Patrick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail

A fea­ture film show­cas­ing the Bad­lands of Drumheller is hav­ing a big week as it re­ceives in­ter­na­tional recog­ni­tion and will be fea­tured in Land­mark Cin­e­mas in Cal­gary and Ed­mon­ton.

Last sum­mer The Mail brought read­ers the story of Ben­jamin Ross Hay­den and his film The North­land, which at the time had the work­ing ti­tle of The Edict. In October of 2015, he was in the val­ley shoot­ing the science fic­tion ad­ven­ture. He wrote, di­rected and pro­duced the film.

Just a year later, the film is re­ceiv­ing crit­i­cal re­cep­tion home and abroad. "For Cal­gary and Ed­mon­ton it is the Western Canada premier, and more ex­cit­ing, it is its of­fi­cial the­atri­cal re­lease,”

in­cluded the Bad­lands, Writ­ing on Stone and wilder­ness ar­eas of Al­berta play a huge role in the film.

“It is no sur­prise that Hol­ly­wood films choose Al­berta to film in be­cause of the land­scape, but it is do­ing that land­scape jus­tice with great per­for­mances and de­sign that went into cre­at­ing an indige­nous fu­tur­is­tic land­scape in a very spe­cific part of the world. This re­minded me again that the char­ac­ters and de­sign of this movie is largely in­spired by the land­scape of Al­berta.”

The North­lander is a re­cip­i­ent of the Tele­film Mi­cro Bud­get Pro­duc­tion Pro­gram, and Ross Hay­den was the youngest re­cip­i­ent of the award.

The North­lander does not end with the film. Ross Hay­den tells The Mail, they will see the story live on.

“The North­lander is con­firmed in devel­op­ment with Canada Me­dia Fund, as a six part tele­vi­sion minis­eries,” he said.

The Gala Open­ing for the North­lander is at Land­mark Cin­e­mas Coun­try Hills Stu­dio on October 12 and 13 at 7 p.m. Ross Hay­den tells The Mail from the Fer­a­tum Film Fes­ti­val in Mex­ico last Thursday, where the film had just re­ceived two en­core screen­ings.

This could be just the tip of the ice­berg for the film. In March it was se­lected for the 69th Cannes Film Fes­ti­val in the Per­spec­tive Canada Pro­gram. It was an of­fi­cial se­lec­tion at the Mon­tréal Film Fes­ti­val in Septem­ber and from October 19 -23 it will be fea­tured at imag­ineNA­TIVE, the largest fes­ti­val of indige­nous films and me­dia arts, in Toronto.

"There are about eight fes­ti­vals in to­tal,” he tells The

Mail. “It feels like a real cin­e­matic home­com­ing for The North­lander, to have its cin­e­matic de­but on its home soil in Al­berta to start with. The amount of ex­po­sure and gen­uine ap­pre­ci­a­tion and re­sponse we are get­ting for The North­lander is tes­ta­ment to the hard work that Western Canada is re­ally known for and to be cel­e­brated in the part of Canada where I live feels like an hon­our.”

He goes on to say the land­scape where it was shot, which

mailphoto by Patrick Ko­lafa

Ben­jamin Ross Hay­den's film The North­lander, shot in the val­ley has been screened in Cannes, Mex­ico and across Canada. Its cin­e­matic de­but is this week at Land­mark Cin­e­mas in Cal­gary and Ed­mon­ton.

(l-r) Barb Steeves of the East Coulee School Mu­seum, Jay Rus­sell of the At­las Coal Mine and Cindie Hughes of Qual­ity Ho­tel were elected to the board of Travel Drumheller.

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