International accolades for film shot in valley
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
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.