Adventure film celebrates the wild west coast of Canada and gives voice to communities living in the shadow of encroaching industry.
Kayaking for Beginners invites viewers on an epic journey through the spectacular landscapes of The Great Bear Rainforest, as 14-Year-old Ella searches for the courage to speak for her people and the connection to the land they are defending.
Ta’ Kaiya Blaney as “Ella”
BC, October 12, 2016 – Principal photography is underway on Kayaking for Beginners, a family adventure film directed by Sundance alumna and award-winning Zoe Hopkins (Mohawk Midnight Runners, One-eyed Dogs are Free, and Tsi tkahehtayen) who grew up in The Great Bear Rainforest, and produced by Daniel Bekerman (The VVitch, Bang Bang Baby) of Scythia Films and Sheryl Kotzer. Executive Producers are Academy Award nominated Alex Ordanis, Christopher Yurkovich, and Ethan Lazar.
Kayaking for Beginners is a work of fiction set amongst real-world, hot button issues; not only is this a family drama about a girl’s quest for courage, it’s also an appeal through storytelling for Canadians and the world to rally around the protection of the environment and all creatures existing within it.
The film stars the phenomenon Ta’ Kaiya Blaney (Savage, Spelling Bee, though she is also known for addressing parliament and the UN) as Ella, a young girl determined to stop oil tankers from passing through the waters of her homeland waters. Ta’Kaiya is a member of the Tla A’min Nation, she has also been a youth advocate for climate change and Indigenous First Nations rights since the prodigal age of 10. Ta’ Kaiya is an ambassador for Native Children’s Survival (NCS) and has spoken before the United Nations. Kayaking For Beginners’ talented ensemble cast also includes Gemini-nominated Sonja Bennett (YPF, Preggoland, Where the Truth Lies) and Gemini Winner Lorne Cardinal (Corner Gas, Insomnia, If I had Wings).
ABOUT THE FILM
Kayaking for Beginners follows 14-year-old Ella and her dysfunctional family as they travel the shores of the Great Bear Rainforest by kayak on a mission to testify against a proposed crude oil pipeline. They must face all the challenges that come along with navigating the Interior Passage including weather, water, wildlife, and each other. It’s a modern story about modern people, but the journey connects the characters to a history that fills them with purpose, and to a relationship with the natural world that unites us.
“Kayaking For Beginners epitomizes the kind of project that excites us at Scythia. It’s intensely relevant; the challenges the characters face, both personal and political, are some of the challenges we are all facing.”
– Daniel Bekerman