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Theatre curtain set to rise on Cold Road in Hay River

The Cold Road film poster will be seen more often in cinemas across Canada now that the final work has been completed on the project. Hay River will get to see the film this Friday at the Riverview Cineplex. Image courtesy of levelFILM

After the successful screening of his film Cold Road at the Yellowknife International Film Festival (YKIFF) last fall, former Hay River resident and Dene filmmaker Kelvin Redvers is ready to bring home the final cut of the suspenseful drama.

The Riverview Cineplex will air the locally-filmed thriller this coming Friday. NNSL Media was also able to confirm a showing at the Capitol Theatre on Friday as well.

From its inception to the final rolling of the film credits, it was a long road for Redvers to travel to complete his debut production.

“That was an extremely satisfying feeling after years of both working on this movie, and then, decades working towards wanting to make a feature film,” Redvers said.

After the final remastering of the surround sound mix, Redvers, who also directed the film, said they recently held a special world premiere screening of the film at the Rio Theatre in Vancouver, where his company, IndigiFilm Media, is based.

Big screen, big gratitude

“And it was a slamming night — like, it was just incredible. We had a packed house at the Rio and an extremely excited audience, really engaged, and you know, got to watch the movie on the big screen with a big crowd, a few friends and family, a few crew, and then a few audience members who wanted to see it and it went amazing,” Redvers said.

“It was everything that we could ever want from the final version and an incredible reaction from people.

“And it’s just a powerful experience.”

The release of the film in Hay River marks the beginning of another journey for Redver’s team, as they work to garner support from theatres to show the production. Currently, the film will be shown in Iqaluit and Lethbridge, Alta., and the list is growing.

“In the following weeks, it’s going to go on to more theatres. So we’re planning to, you know, kind of grow an audience for this movie over the coming months,” Redvers said.

Because the decision to show a film is usually made by an individual theater, Redvers said people wanting to see the film in their local area should contact the theatre requesting it.

“And so if any folks want to advocate and talk to the theater and say, ‘Hey, we should bring in this movie, that is what’s going to make the difference.

“So it’s up to the people to ask for it.”

If current reaction to the film is an indication of the film’s success, the film will reach a widespread audience.

After the Yellowknife screening, Redvers said feedback was “overwhelmingly positive”.

“It was fun to talk with people who were just, like, excited about what they just watched and just brimming with enthusiasm, and wanting to talk about the plot and the story. The compliments or the types of things people would say - that helped us feel confident,” he said.

“It’d be like, a couple that would come up to me and then the husband would say, ‘My wife nearly broke my hand during the movie squeezing it so hard’.”

The setting of the intense action film is on a cold, remote Northern highway, where Tracy, an Indigenous woman — played by Roseanne Supernault — and her dog Pretzel are being terrorized by the driver of a semi-truck as she tries to drive back to her home to see her mother before she passes away.

“I believe Indigenous folks deserve badass heroes, told from our own perspective. That’s very much what the story is: a character going from victim to hero,” Redvers wrote in his Director’s Notes for the film.

Trailer tidbits

Redvers said he just completed the trailer for the movie and is preparing to put it online so potential audiences can see a preview of it.

“And so, I think that that’ll be a good chance for people across the country to kind of see what the movie is all about for the first time,” he said. “And I think that once that gets out there, the interest of many more theaters should be coming.”

While Redvers said there is something uniquely special about the experience of going to the cinema and watching a larger-than-life film, for those who prefer to stay home, a digital release of the movie is pending.

“It’ll be available to rent on platforms like YouTube and Amazon, Prime Video, and Apple. So that will be the kind of broad release,” he said.

He also said people can also follow along with the action on the film’s Cold Road Facebook page.

But while the film is now set to be up and running across Canada, Redvers is far from resting on his laurels for creating his first feature film.

Coming down the pipe

“At the same time that we’ve been finishing up this movie, I’ve in the background, slowly been putting together some other projects and working with various broadcasters and working on developments.

“So, there’s a couple of TV series that I have in the pipeline that we’re working on developing. One is a documentary series, the other is scripted. And I’ll be able to speak more publicly on those at some point not quite yet,” Redvers said of his future plans.

“You know, to make a career in media takes constant and consistent efforts. And I’ve been lucky enough to be able to make my living by working in film and television, and so this is sort of the first time I’ve gone into being a producer of putting together a whole project and releasing it.

“It takes a lot of work, but having started doing that, it feels like the right direction to go.”

But meanwhile, the Cold Road awaits theatre-goers in his birthplace.

“And I’m excited for Hay River folks to get to see it.”

—By Jill Westerman

Roseanne Supernault, who plays Tracy in Kelvin Redvers’ film, Cold Road, is shown in a terrifying scene in the bone-chilling thriller. Image courtesy of levelFILM