‘The Grizzlies’ is inspired by Cranbrook lawyer Russ Sheppard’s experiences coaching and teaching lacrosse in northern Canada. Photo by Shane Mahood, courtesy of Mongrel Media.

Cranbrook man inspires movie ‘The Grizzlies’ set to debut at TIFF

‘The Grizzlies’ is based on Russ Sheppard’s experiences teaching and coaching lacrosse in the Arctic

A film inspired by a Cranbrook resident’s time as a lacrosse coach and teacher at a school in northern Canada is currently being debuted at the Toronto Film Festival this week, however, there will be an upcoming screening in the Key City in October.

Local lacrosse organizations, including field lacrosse’s Badgers Sports and the Cranbrook Lacrosse Association, are partnering together to present ‘The Grizzlies’ on Oct. 18 at the Key City Theatre during the Rockies Film Festival.

READ: Lacrosse movie to feature local coach

The movie is based on the true life events of Cranbrook resident Russ Sheppard, a local lawyer with Rockies Law Corporation. Russ currently works with Badgers Sports and the Cranbrook Lacrosse Association to bring some of the same concepts that are depicted in the film to youth athletics in Cranbrook.

Prior to practicing law, Sheppard completed his education degree before heading up to Kugluktuk in 1998, a small, Inuit community in the Arctic Circle that had one of the highest rates of suicide in North America.

In the film, Sheppard — played by Ben Schnetzer — is shocked and overwhelmed by the numerous social issues facing the youth, all as a result of the massive legacy of colonization on their families and communities.

He introduces a lacrosse program in the school. Through sport, the youth find a vital outlet for their emotions and the team creates a sense of pride and purpose in themselves and their community. The students work to take control of their destiny and Russ learns about what real character is all about.

The film is directed by Miranda de Pencier, a Canadian actress in film, television and stage who turned to producing and directing in the late 1990s. The script was written and developed by Graham Yost and Moira Walley-Beckett.

Following the world premiere of ‘The Grizzlies’ at TIFF this week, Sheppard will be heading to Alberta for the Edmonton Film Festival, with further stops for screenings at film festivals in Calgary and Vancovuer over the coming weeks.

Just Posted

Mackenzie Interchange pump failure sends contaminated water into Colquitz River

Sediment release in salmon-bearing river a serious threat to aquatic life, says local activist

WATCH: Booze, weed both have fatal consequences

Video shows how easily impairment affects driving

Catch last call and a cheap ride home: Late night buses coming to Victoria in 2019

New plan will extend service on weekends with last trip leaving downtown at 3 a.m.

1,000 free Christmas meals served at Our Place

Community donations fuel support for those in need

Uvic to launch app to link drug users with Naloxone kits

Researchers have spent the last year developing the Nal-Pal app

Santa visits some of Victoria General Hospital’s littlest patients

Santa flew in to the hospital via air ambulance helicopter

READER POLL: Do you have turkey or ham for Christmas dinner?

What are you having for Christmas dinner? Canadians gobbled up 3.3 million… Continue reading

Bear cubs try to take Vancouver Island woman’s Christmas cookies

Incident happened in the early-morning hours today, Dec. 18, in Nanaimo

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 18, 2018

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

FortisBC says you can return to normal gas use following pipeline fire

Utility says increased pipeline capacity, warmer weather have allowed supply to reach normal levels

CSIS collected info on peaceful groups, but only in pursuit of threats: watchdog

Security Intelligence Review Committee says fears unjustified after reviewing evidence, testimony

Canada ranks 16th on annual gender gap list

This is the second year Canada has placed 16th in the World Economic Forum’s list

VIDEO: Tornado rips through city west of Seattle

Reports indicate five to seven homes damaged in Port Orchard, Wash.

Trial date postponed for man charged with killing Abbotsford police officer

Oscar Arfmann’s trial pushed back from January to May 2019

Most Read