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The Grizzlies

Directed Miranda de Pencier
Feature Narrative
Canada | 104 min | 2018

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 it’s dramatic location, The Grizzlies proves to be one of the most unexpectedly affirming films of the year.

Grizzlies - Poster

Grizzlies - Miranda de PencierMiranda de Pencier

Award-winning producer and director Miranda de Pencier is the founder of Northwood Entertainment, an independent film and television production company formed with a mission to create a thriving home for filmmakers with singular voices to reach broad audiences.

Her credits include: ANNE WITH AN E (winner of 2018 and 2019 Canadian Screen Award for Best Drama Series) currently streaming in 191 countries on Netflix, THANKS FOR SHARING written and directed by Academy Award nominee Stuart Blumberg (THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT) and starring Mark Ruffalo, Gwyneth Paltrow and the international pop star Pink; BEGINNERS, directed by Mike Mills and starring Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer (2012 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor); ADAM starring Hugh Dancy and Rose Byrne, and PU-239 for HBO, and executive produced by George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh. Prior to producing, de Pencier was the Director of Development for Robert Redford’s Wildwood Enterprises.

de Pencier made her feature film directorial debut with 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.

Film Information

Director:Miranda de Pencier
Country: Canada
Year: 2018
Language: English
Runtime: 104 min.
Rated: 14A


Producer: Stacey Aglok MacDonald, Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, Miranda de Pencier, Zanne Devine, Damon D’Oliveira
Writer: Graham Yost, Moira Walley-Beckett

Connect With This Film

Principal Cast

BIFF - Beloit International Film Festival
BIFF | Beloit International Film Festival