Updated: Nov 16, 2022
MOVIE EXCLUSIVE: THE BIRDS WHO FEAR DEATH - Two brothers, disinherited and desperate for cash, journey into the Canadian wilds to find themselves, their people and their fortune.
Cast photo by Darren Ballingall.
The Dreamers Series Exclusive
with The Birds Who Fear Death
by Sanjay Patel of Dim Light Pictures.
The Canadian film stars Adam Beach, Simon Baker, Nathaniel Arcand, Carmen Moore and more.
Disconnection from the natural world and each other is at the heart of human misery. We spend our lives apart from each other, working all too often in exchange for money that is attached to some kind of planetary destruction. We are left with scraps for family, friends, art, culture and deep impact and connection with wilderness generally comes last. Yet these are the things that bring us joy, contentment and meaning.
THE BIRDS WHO FEAR DEATH takes us on a journey from the wasteland of isolation and destruction to love, peace and meaningful connection.
WE HAD THE PLEASURE OF PHOTOGRAPHING A FEW OF THE STARS IN OUR SPONTANEOUS PHOTO SHOOT, DOWNTOWN CALGARY WITH DARREN BALLINGALL, DURING THEIR WRAP UP PARTY!
Canadian Icons Simon Baker, Carmen Moore and Nathaniel Arcand by Darren Ballingall for imherewithmag.com.
I'm Here With had Jill and Darren cover this amazing night in Calgary mid September. I'm Here With had the great honor of being able to do a pop up photo shoot for some of the cast at the BHFD wrap up party.
We photographed them in a parking lot none the less, down town Calgary at 10 at night. Darren Ballingall was up for the challenge, to try something new and photograph beautiful people in un-ordinary locations. He always carries his camera bag with him when we together! We had about less then an hour in total to photograph over 10 members of the cast.
IHW loved the photos and had to make it a cover for you all, to make a statement and show representation for Indigenous youth. We are here to support our Indigenous friends who are all very known in Canada and TV and Film. We are sharing their behind the scenes photos with Sanjay Patel the writer, director, and filmmaker of The Birds Who Fear Death.
When 70 percent of the cast and crew made it to the wrap up party a month ago, we had come prepared for anything. We have been media supporters of the Calgary and TV industry for over 10 years. If anyone knows who's who in this city Nathaniel Arcand name is famous among young teens and Indigenous elders. We have adored the work of Heartland on CBC and Nate's 16 year role, being the friendly "Veterinarian Scott Cardinal", and a family friend to the "Flemming family".
As well, starring is Adam Beach and Michelle Thrush who are A-list actors and always have a solid performance. Nate, Adam and Michelle have all worked together before and have a great connection on screen always!
Adam plays Adam, a boy wronged by his father, has grown into a man with resentment in his heart. A gifted basketballer, Adam didn’t receive the support he needed to make it to the big league, and he blames his father for it. His mother died when he was very young, and whilst lionizing her, he channeled all his rage and sorrow at her passing toward his father, whom he believes drained his mother of her wealth and happiness.
Bitterness and blaming and a f you attitude has seen Adam descend into an angry life—constantly battling to get ahead and prove his father wrong. His scheming and dangerous endeavors to be a big man regularly get him into strife and financial trouble. Though he would never admit it, there is a soft heart deep inside his chest underneath all that hatred and indignation. With the passing of his father Adam finds room to breathe and he soon discovers that a peaceful and happy life can only be found through encountering and transforming personal demons... and he finds plenty of opportunity for that in his dealings with the Birds and the healing way of the wilderness.
Nathaniel Arcand plays Don in The Birds Who Fear Death, photo by @volumatic
Nathaniel Arcand is a talented actor known for his roles in North of 60, FBI Most Wanted and playing Scott Cardinal on the @official_heartlandoncbc series. That is only a few of the giant list of television and film roles he has amassed in almost 30 + years of acting. Photographer Darren Ballingall shared on social media; Nathaniel is also just a great dude. Humble, smart and funny, we had some great conversations and laughs on a drive out to Canmore and I am always happy when I run into him at events around the city. I have met a lot of great people over the last year through doing portraits and he is easily one of my favorite people to have met in that time. Looking forward to his upcoming film The Birds Who Fear Death and just recently watched another of his films Portraits From a Fire witch I highly recommend. We got these shots in that parkade and swipe for BTS of what it looked like without lighting.
Sanjay Patel Sept, 15 2022 -The shooting of THE BIRDS WHO FEAR DEATH wrapped today... Taking a deep breath and reflecting on the journey -- from developing concept for the film in 2019, writing the script, casting some of the most talented actors, including Oscar-nominated actor GRAHAM GREENE and Golden Globe nominated actor ADAM BEACH, and shooting this film with some of the excellent crew that would make all this happen. Sharing this in humble gratitude for my Hollywood debut as a writer, director and producer!
Sanjay Patel, an engineer with Suncor who has also directed independent movies since 2014, says the movie will tell a story that reminds everyone of their roots, culture and identity in an increasingly materialistic world. He an independent filmmaker based in Canada. Sanjay has made two award winning films so far, and both the films have won numerous international awards from places as far-flung as Athens Internatinal Film Festival in Greece to the International Film Festival of India (IIFFI - Goa).
Sanjay’s first feature film, “UNION LEADER,” has achieved commercial success and artistic recognition, and it was sold to Netflix and Amazon Prime. In 2014, he founded Dim Light Pictures—a film production company dedicated to making socially relevant films.
The story is about two Indigenous brothers who have lost connection with their heritage or culture in the pursuit of money. “They are greedy, they are entitled and they are spending their time and lives chasing money. But at the end of the day, they realize money is not the architect of happiness,” said Patel.
“At a deeper level, it focuses brothers’ re connection to their indigenous roots, culture and people. Besides, the story focuses on many different themes and subjects, such as brotherly love, forgiveness, social change and simple living by giving up greed.”
The Indigenous cast of The Birds Who Fear Death includes Oscar-nominated actor Graham Greene, a Golden Globe-nominated actor Adam Beach, Carmen Moore, Simon Baker, Tanaya Beatty, Nathaniel Arcand, Michelle Thrush and Glen Gould. The movie is expected to be released in 2023. “Working with this stellar cast on the set is so much fun,” said Patel.
Patel said the story was inspired by his own work in oil and gas, where he occasionally met Indigenous people who had lost touch with their culture.
The colonial roots of attacks on Indigenous heritage, such as broken treaties or the impacts of the Residential School System on communities and families, have become national topics of discussion. Patel wanted to explore the consequences of these events, such as a loss of culture in some communities.
“I always wanted to tell a story that reminds everyone of their roots, culture and identity,” he said.
Patel’s last film, Union Leader, was a Hindi-language film that premiered at independent film festivals and was sold to Netflix and Amazon Prime. It told the story of a mill worker who demands better working conditions for his coworkers.
vmcdermott@postmedia contributed quotes.
Photography by Darren Ballingall
Sharon played by Carmen Moore
Sharon is an intoxicating mix, a fearless and uncompromising Indigenous leader with a bug up her arse and a strong desire to share her culture, uplift her people and build a bridge with the colonists to create a considerate, respectful, ecologically, economically and spiritually aware world. She is passionate and hard-headed with lust and enthusiasm for life in the wild. She sees bringing Adam and Ryan back to their heritage as part of her community’s healing and is willing to go toe to toe when honey doesn’t work.
RYAN played by Simon Baker
Despite losing his mother at a young age and being raised by his rigid, domineering and emotionally estranged father, Ryan has maintained a kind heart and gentle personality. The hardness of his upbringing
hampered him scholastically and stunted his ambition, and he knows he is capable of more than the mundanity he accepts, and this eats away at him deep inside. He is easily led by his brother Adam, and as a result, he has often found himself in a sticky situation. He secretly dreams of finding a partner and creating a stable and loving home.
Don played by Nathaniel Arcand.
Don is a Bird Band Councillor, not afraid to walk on the wrong side of the law, with an eye out for any opportunity to get something for himself. He feels the world has screwed him and his people and he has no problem wresting something back. He sees Ryan and Adam as fair game but when things get out of control and he accidentally kills Ryan he is plunged into an existential crisis.
Watch the CTV Nesws Interview you can see Calgary's Tommy J. Muller featured as well.
Follow IMDB Brids Who Fear Death to see the full cast list!
Stay tuned for more about them and when their trailer comes out!
Courtesy of Dim Light Pictures, I'm Here With mag and Platinum Talent Mgt.