A film shot on the West Coast, directed by an Indigenous filmmaker who adapted a novel by an Indigenous author, is getting its theatrical release.
Monkey Beach had its world premiere as the opening gala film of the 2020 Vancouver International Film Festival on September 24.
A screen interpretation of Eden Robsinon’s book of the same name, the film stars Grace Dove (The Revenant) as Lisa, a young Indigenous woman who has struggled her whole life with precognitive visions.
However, troubled by what she foresees of her brother (Joel Oulette, who also stars in the CBC TV series Trickster which was also adapted from a Robinson novel), she leaves Vancouver behind and heads back to her Haisla family in Kitamaat Village (where it was shot on location) in attempt to whatever she can to save him from his apparent fate.
The cast also includes Adam Beach (Suicide Squad), Nathaniel Arcand (FBI: Most Wanted), Tina Lameman (Mixed Blessings), Sera-Lys McArthur (Outlander), Stefany Mathias (Longmire), Glen Gould (Cardinal), Ta'kaiya Blaney (Kayak to Klemtu), Nick Dangeli, Zoey Snow, Oliver Tru Sison, Miika Bryce Whiskeyjack (Red Snow), and more.
Cineplex Odeon announced that the film opens today (October 16) at Cineplex Odeon International Village and Fifth Avenue Cinemas in Vancouver, and will have additional dates throughout B.C. and Canada.
Although it was slated to open also in Toronto, Ontario has closed all theatres due the COVID-19 pandemic.
The film is also screening digitally this month at the imagineNATIVE Film and Media Arts Festival on October 22.
It will also screen at the Santa Fe Film Festival, the Red Nation Film Festival in Los Angeles, and the Portland Film Festival, and it will open the American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco.
For a capsule review of the film from VIFF, see this article.