A new movie is coming to the theatres of Hay River and Yellowknife, and it is coming from a filmmaker who was born and raised in Hay River.
The movie is called “Cold Road,” and was made by Dene filmmaker Kelvin Redvers. It is described as a “action packed thriller” starring Cree/Metis actress Rosanne Supernault. Rosanne plays an indigenous woman traveling with her dog on a frozen remote northern highway to visit her mother. Her plans are upended when she is pursued by a dangerous stranger driving a semi-truck, giving her no choice but to fight for her life.
The movie was entirely shot right here in the NWT, and Redvers shared some of his thoughts that have come from the process of making a film.
“This was my first feature film that I’ve ever made, and it’s incredibly difficult to make movies. There’s so many moving parts, and you have dozens and dozens of crew members, and it’s expensive! So we were originally going to shoot in Northern Alberta, but actually, it was a little bit tricky to gain access to highways. As based on the name ‘Cold Road,’ it’s a movie about highways, but the inspiration for the movie was always the highways I grew up on as a kid.”
He said that he eventually decided that it would be best to shoot the movie on the very highway that inspired the story, mainly using the highway between Hay River and Fort Resolution, which made it feel special to him.
Shooting on the highway ended up presenting unique challenges. While Kelvin was expecting mild temperatures during the filming process in late March, the crew ended up in temperatures in the range of -20 and -25, which also made it difficult when shooting action scenes and car chases.
In the end, Kelvin believes that all of the struggles that he and the crew faced were worth it. As a teenager, Kelvin developed a love for making videos and short films with his friends in Hay River, so to come back to his home for his big screen debut was the cherry on top.
“There’s a homefield advantage as well, because movies are so complicated, but if it’s in Hay River, everybody knows us. So it’s like ‘Oh shoot! We need an R.V. now so we can have a makeup room!’ Two phone calls, and boom, we were able to rent an R.V. Or even just finding a place to do lunch when you have to feed forty crew members at three in the morning. Having that access to people who were so supportive made a huge difference to make this movie a huge success.”
The film is debuting tonight, January 26th, in Hay River, Yellowknife, Lethbridge, Red Deer, and Iqaluit.