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Canadian Indigenous feature film 'Monkey Beach' now streaming on Crave

Last Updated Jan 9, 2021 at 12:32 pm PDT

(Courtesy: Richard Hubbs)

New film 'Monkey Beach' based on the award-winning novel written by a B.C.-based author is now available on Crave

The director of the film explains the story focuses on a young Indigenous woman who goes back to her hometown in Kitimat

When the woman makes it to Kitimat she finds her family has become incredibly dysfunctional

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — A film based on the award-winning novel written by a B.C. based author, is now available on the streaming service Crave.

Loretta Todd is the director of “Monkey Beach,” and tells NEWS 1130 this is a proudly Canadian film — mostly shot in Kitimat and Vancouver.

(R) Director Loretta Todd on the set of Monkey Beach. (Courtesy: Richard Hubbs)

“It was really important for me to actually represent the places where the story inhabits,” she says.

The story, based on the award-winning novel by Eden Robinson, focuses on a young Indigenous woman who returns to her hometown and discovers how dysfunctional her family has become.

Todd, a fellow Indigenous woman who says she ran away from home at the age of 13, says she could relate to the story.

“There’s been many challenges in my life, just as there was many challenges in making this film,” says Todd. “I was drawn to this book partly because someone actually said to me, ‘You should option this book, her writing is like your film-making,’ so that really sparked me.”

Left to right: Director Loretta Todd, actress Grace Dove and author Eden Robinson (Courtesy: Richard Hubbs)

Since its premiere, the film has had a successful run at international festivals — winning a number of awards.

The film even made it to the Cineplex big screen, where it remained the #1 film in the country for more than four weeks.

Todd says audiences should be excited, because this is a fresh, unique story they’ve likely never seen before.

“It has a lot about Indigenous resilience, about our strengths … and I’d like to think it’s a very transforming film.”

The movie stars Manitoba-born actor Adam Beach, known for big blockbusters like “Suicide Squad,” and “Flags of our Fathers,” and Todd says, she loved working with him.

“There was a lot of fans.. so where-ever he went there were people asking for his autograph, he was always very patient and respectful,” says Todd. “It was a really good experience. He was very serious, he worked really, really hard.”

Left to Right: Tina Lameman and Adam Beach (Courtesy: Richard Hubbs)