The film based on the award-winning novel by Richard Wagamese is getting a lot of attention at the Kamloops Film Festival, and will now play twice on the one-year anniversary of the author’s death.
A second screening Indian Horse has been added to the festival due to “an overwhelming response.” The added show at 10 a.m. is in addition to the sold-out show at 6 p.m., which will be preceded by a special tribute to Wagamese, and followed by a Q&A session at 8 p.m.
The film, which will close out the festival, was directed by Stephen Campanelli and executive produced by Clint Eastwood.
Producers say they’ve been overwhelmed by audience reactions so far.
“We are deeply humbled and honoured and know that Richard Wagamese would have been so proud,” read a statement by producers Christine Haebler, Trish Dolmon and Paul Devonshire.
Indian Horse recounts the story of Saul Indian Horse, a northern Ojibway child who was torn from his family and placed in a residential school. Saul is told he can’t speak his language and must discard his Indigenous heritage. As a refuge from the abuse he witnesses, he finds salvation in hockey and teaches himself to play, developing “a unique and rare skill.”
As Saul progresses to a Northern Ontario native league and eventually the pros, he must confront the ghosts of his past that still haunt him and draw on the spirit of his ancestors to begin healing.
Wagamese’s book is the winner of the Canada Reads People’s Choice award, the First Nations Communities Read award and was a Globe and Mail top-100 book of 2012.
In January, publisher Douglas & McIntyre announced that the book had sold more than 100,000 copies, and to celebrate the upcoming film, would release a special tie-in edition of the book to be released in April.
As for the film, some of its early accolades include the people’s choice award at the Vancouver International Film Festival, the audience award for best dramatic feature at the Edmonton International Film Festival, the audience award for best narrative feature at the Calgary International Film Festival and the best feature film runner up at Cinefest in Sudbury.
The film will open in theatres Canada-wide April 13.