THE ROAD TO TOPHET
The Chapleau shot feature film, The Road to Tophet, will premiere Friday, September 5 at 6 p.m. at the Carlton Cinema as part of the Toronto Independent Film Festival.
The movie - written and directed by Chapleau's own, Steve Schmidt and co-written by Jeremy Beal, stars up and coming Montreal actor Samuel Thivierge (La fille du Martin).
Actors Axel Green (Freddy vs Jason), Steve Gagne, (Hard Rock Medical), who both grew up in Chapleau, also star.
The movie was the brainchild of Schmidt and Green who also produced the feature.
"We had long talked of making a movie in our home town," says Green.
"And there were a number of people from Chapleau working in the film industry - so we got them all together to make The Road to Tophet," adds Schmidt.
The movie tells the story of Charlie, a french-Canadian kid, smuggling drugs over the American border into northern Ontario to make some extra cash.
When he decides to get out, his boss sets him up to lose a shipment.
Trapped he sees no way out until his friend Johnny shows up with a bunch of gambling debts and an idea that leads them both down the road to Tophet.
Shot over three weeks in March of 2012; the movie was funded in part by Chapleau Cree First Nation, with accommodation provided by Roger Perreault of Aux Trois Moulins.
Wilderness Helicopters of Wawa provided aerial services.
An early cut of the show previewed to audiences in Christmas of that year and feedback was collected from these screenings.
Additional screenings for film industry insiders netted the movie it's biggest star when Adam Beach offered to narrate the Windego story voice over written by Chapleau Cree's Brian Edwards for the movie.
Additional footage was shot in the spring and summer of 2013 by local photographer Kari Luhtasaari and editing was completed in late summer of that year.
Over the winter, the audio was edited in Vancouver and additional audio was recorded in Montreal, Vancouver, and Chapleau.
David Anselmo of Sudbury's Northern Ontario Film Studios took the production under his wing and brokered a deal with Technicolor Toronto to complete the film's digital colour correction and do the 5.1 Surround audio mix.
In the spring of 2014 the movie was completed and festival submissions were made.
The filmmakers acknowledge the extraordinary way the entire community of Chapleau embraced this production, came together to pitch in, contributing what they could, to ensure the success of the movie.
"We couldn't have done it without them," says Green.
"And we couldn't be more proud of our community," adds Schmidt.
Tickets are to be sold through the website of the Toronto Independent Film Festival at www.film-fest.ca.