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Kayak to Klemtu’s family adventure seeks to engage a larger dialogue

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Kayak to Klemtu follows Ella (Ta’kaiya Blaney), a 14-year-old girl who travels the Inside Passage in protest of a proposed pipeline. Photo courtesy Scythia Films.
Kayak to Klemtu follows Ella (Ta’kaiya Blaney), a 14-year-old girl who travels the Inside Passage in protest of a proposed pipeline. Photo courtesy Scythia Films.

Part of the appeal of Kayak to Klemtu, the new film from Zoe Leigh Hopkins (who also directed the 2017 360-degree documentary Impossible to Contain), is that it’s a family road movie, with all the dysfunction inherent to the genre. But the characters in the film are impacted by more than just their interactions with one another – Kayak to Klemtu is largely concerned with pipeline construction and the subsequent environmental impact of that construction.

“I think it’s really cool to tell this story that, probably normally or traditionally, we’re used to hearing this kind of story told in a documentary format,” Hopkins said. “I think it’s really important to start telling this story in a more far-reaching way, especially to kids, because they are inheriting the world we are living in right now.”

Hopkins said production on Kayak to Klemtu was underway during the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline – a series of protests Hopkins felt the film had a connection with.

“It felt like this was a way for me to participate in that bigger dialogue about protecting the planet, protecting the water,” she said. “I felt like even though I was thousands of miles away, I also felt like everybody on this film was passionate about protecting the water. I felt like in some small way we were kind of there.”

Kayak to Klemtu follows 14-year-old Ella (Ta’kaiya Blaney), who decides to travel the length of the Inside Passage to protest the construction of a pipeline in the area with her family in tow. Hopkins said casting Blaney in the role of Ella wasn’t difficult, as she knew from previous projects that Blaney shared many characteristics with the movie’s lead.

“She’s such an admirable person. She’s spoken before the (United Nations), whenever we see something about water protectors, she’s there,” Hopkins said. “She was my girl from the get-go. She said to me that many of the things in the script were things she had studied in her life, so that has really helped to give her performance a lot of passion.”

Though the film is set along the shores of the Great Bear Rainforest from Tla’Amin to Klemtu, B.C., Hopkins said it was “really limiting” to think about the dialogue surrounding pipelines as just a “coastal issue or a First Nations issue or an issue about the tar sands.”

“We need to protect these areas, not just for the coastal First Nations or the coastal communities, and it’s not just specific to British Columbia. It’s a global issue – we need to move away from fossil fuels,” Hopkins said. “I think there will continue to tend to be localized issues – people in Vancouver protesting against the Kinder-Morgan pipeline (for example) – but we all need to be concerned about this on a national scale.”

Kayak to Klemtu plays July 23 at the Vancity Theatre and August 11 at Cinematheque in Winnipeg. For more information, click here.

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Schitt’s Creek to conclude after next season

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The popular CBC sitcom Schitt’s Creek will conclude with its sixth and final season, star and co-creator Dan Levy announced in a statement today. Photo courtesy CBC.
The popular CBC sitcom Schitt’s Creek will conclude with its sixth and final season, star and co-creator Dan Levy announced in a statement today. Photo courtesy CBC.

The popular CBC sitcom Schitt’s Creek will end at the conclusion of its sixth season, series co-creator and star Dan Levy announced March 21.

“We are so grateful to have been given the time and creative freedom to tell this story in its totality, concluding with a final chapter that we had envisioned from the very beginning,” Levy said in a statement. “It’s not lost on us what a rare privilege it is in this industry to get to decide when your show should take its final bow.”

Schitt’s Creek premiered on CBC in 2015, becoming one of the network’s most successful half-hour comedies ever. The show follows the fish-out-of-water Rose family, forced to assimilate into a small town after they lose their family fortune.

Though the show’s first season received mixed reviews, it grew in regard with both fans and critics over subsequent iterations. Schitt’s Creek’s fifth season, which premiered on January 8, 2019, scored a 100 per cent “Fresh” ranking on the review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes.

The show is also among select company among Canadian sitcoms, drawing strong viewership in the United States and elsewhere thanks to distribution on Netflix and the American Pop network. Critics have reacted favourably to recent episodes, with TV Guide’s Megan Vick writing that each season of Schitt’s Creek has “gotten better and better.”

Read Levy’s full statement below.

New episodes of Schitt’s Creek air Tuesday nights at 9/9:30 NT on CBC.

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Watch the Oscar-nominated Canadian short “Animal Behaviour”

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The National Film Board of Canada is offering Canadians the opportunity to watch the Oscar-nominated Canadian short film "Animal Behaviour" until the end of today. Photo courtesy NFB
The National Film Board of Canada is offering Canadians the opportunity to watch the Oscar-nominated Canadian short film "Animal Behaviour" until the end of today. Photo courtesy NFB

To get prepped for the 91st Academy Awards, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is offering Canadians the chance to check out Animal Behaviour, nominated tonight in the Best Animated Short Film category.

Animal Behaviour is a new short from Alison Snowden and David Fine, who previously won an Oscar in 1994 for Bob’s Birthday. The short is the 75th Oscar nomination for the NFB, and the first short film for Snowden and Fine since Bob’s Birthday. The 91st Oscars air tonight at 8 Eastern on ABC and CTV.

Watch Animal Behaviour below (expires tonight).

Next up on The Mutt: Wynonna Earp future in doubt as Season 4 delayed

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Wynonna Earp future in doubt as Season 4 delayed

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Wynonna Earp Season 3 Episode 11/12 - "Daddy Lessons/War Paint". Photo courtesy Bell Media
Wynonna Earp Season 4 is in jeopardy, according to the The Hollywood Reporter, due to financial difficulties. Photo courtesy Space

All of a sudden, Wynonna Earp is in Purgatory.

Earpers were stunned Thursday night when executive producer and showrunner Emily Andras posted (and subsequently deleted) a tweet suggesting that fans of the show may soon have to fight for it. Another tweet, posted shortly later, took a decidedly more straight-forward approach.

Andras appeared to be responding to the news that funding for the fourth season of Wynonna Earp appeared to be on shaky ground, according to a report from The Hollywood Reporter. According to THR, financial challenges faced by IDW Entertainment have stalled production on Season 4, despite the company being contractually obligated to deliver the show to Syfy.

In response to the news, Earpers took to Twitter with the hashtag #FightForWynonna, which at the time of publication was one of the top Twitter trends in Canada. Though Season 4 has yet to be officially cancelled, IDW has yet to commit to a start date for the new season.

“IDW is committed to continuing to tell the Wynonna Earp story,” the company said in a statement posted to Twitter. “Much like the fans, we are passionate about not only the series, but the comics, the characters and the overall message that the Wynonna Earp franchise carries. We are in the process of working out the details for how the Wynonna story will continue and will share new details very soon.”

Our resident Earper, Ghezal Amiri, was a big fan of Season 3, writing that the show’s season finale, entitled “War Paint”, was a “wildly emotional conclusion.” Read her recap here.

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