The Grizzlies

A film by Miranda de Pencier

This film was screened as a part of the 2019 Cine Las Americas International Film Festival (CLAIFF22)

This feature was preceded by the short film Lo cotidiano (The Usual)


The Grizzlies


Canada, Drama/Sports, 2018
104 min, Color
English, Inuktitut with English subtitles

Based on a true story, THE GRIZZLIES is more than the usual triumph through sports story, for it doesn’t shy away from moving depictions of the poverty and isolation characteristic of too many northern communities. When first-time teacher Russ Shepherd comes to Kugluktuk, he brings preconceived notions about northern life and no little hubris about his self-imposed mission to bring about change. An interconnected chain of dramatic incidents, however (and some quieter cross-cultural corrections) lead Russ to understand that education is a two-way street. Initially, the hastily built lacrosse team seems mild after-school fun, but soon becomes the lightening rod for the community’s differing views on its future. Driven by remarkable performances by the young, Nunavut-based cast, and seeded with unassailable authenticity because of its dramatic location, THE GRIZZLIES proves to be one of the most unexpectedly affirming films of the year.

Regional Premiere


Miranda de PencierAward-winning producer and director Miranda de Pencier is the founder of Northwood Entertainment. Prior to producing, de Pencier was the Director of Development for Robert Redford’s Wildwood Enterprises, where she was involved in developing several projects including THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES and SPY GAME. de Pencier directorial debut is THE GRIZZLIES, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2018 and for which she was awarded the Director’s Guild of Canada Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in a Feature Film.



Producer: Stacey Aglok MacDonald, Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, Zanne Devine, Damon D’Oliveira, Miranda de Pencier
Production Companies: Northwood Entertainment
Screenwriter: Graham Yost, Moira Walley-Beckett
Cinematographer: Jim Denault
Editor: Ronald Sanders, James Vandewater
Music: Garth Stevenson
Cast: Ben Schnetzer, Emerald MacDonald, Booboo Stewart, Paul Nutarariaq, Anna Lambe

Print Source: Sarah Quan,