‘The Grizzlies’ is inspired by Cranbrook lawyer Russ Sheppard’s experiences coaching and teaching lacrosse in northern Canada. Photo by Shane Mahood, courtesy of Mongrel Media.

Cranbrook man inspires movie ‘The Grizzlies’ set to debut at TIFF

‘The Grizzlies’ is based on Russ Sheppard’s experiences teaching and coaching lacrosse in the Arctic

A film inspired by a Cranbrook resident’s time as a lacrosse coach and teacher at a school in northern Canada is currently being debuted at the Toronto Film Festival this week, however, there will be an upcoming screening in the Key City in October.

Local lacrosse organizations, including field lacrosse’s Badgers Sports and the Cranbrook Lacrosse Association, are partnering together to present ‘The Grizzlies’ on Oct. 18 at the Key City Theatre during the Rockies Film Festival.

READ: Lacrosse movie to feature local coach

The movie is based on the true life events of Cranbrook resident Russ Sheppard, a local lawyer with Rockies Law Corporation. Russ currently works with Badgers Sports and the Cranbrook Lacrosse Association to bring some of the same concepts that are depicted in the film to youth athletics in Cranbrook.

Prior to practicing law, Sheppard completed his education degree before heading up to Kugluktuk in 1998, a small, Inuit community in the Arctic Circle that had one of the highest rates of suicide in North America.

In the film, Sheppard — played by Ben Schnetzer — is shocked and overwhelmed by the numerous social issues facing the youth, all as a result of the massive legacy of colonization on their families and communities.

He introduces a lacrosse program in the school. Through sport, the youth find a vital outlet for their emotions and the team creates a sense of pride and purpose in themselves and their community. The students work to take control of their destiny and Russ learns about what real character is all about.

The film is directed by Miranda de Pencier, a Canadian actress in film, television and stage who turned to producing and directing in the late 1990s. The script was written and developed by Graham Yost and Moira Walley-Beckett.

Following the world premiere of ‘The Grizzlies’ at TIFF this week, Sheppard will be heading to Alberta for the Edmonton Film Festival, with further stops for screenings at film festivals in Calgary and Vancovuer over the coming weeks.

Just Posted

Neighbours fear impact of tent city residents on Goldstream Provincial Park

Langford residents opposed to campers voice concerns at campground gate

Province now allowing tent city campers to stay at Goldstream Park

Contrary to earlier reports, Ministry of Environment says there is no hard deadline for campers to leave, park open to public

Victorians for Tranportation Choice survey Greater Victoria election candidates

Mayoral and council candidates from across Greater Victoria face 12 questions

Saanich offers land for housing for the homeless

Unclear many units of supportive housing the province will build in Saanich

United Way asks Victoria to share local love

2018 campaign aims to raise another $5M

Update: Search called off for missing plane between Edmonton and Chilliwack

Search efforts were concentrated along the Highway 5 corridor between Valemount and Kamloops

VIDEO: Dozens line highway as family brings home body of B.C. teen

Northern B.C. showed their support by lining Hwy 16 as Jessica Patrick’s body returned to Smithers.

Why Whistler for ski jumping in 2026? Calgary proposal gets pushback

Calgary 2026 proposes re-using the 2010 ski jumping venue Whistler for that sport and nordic

Despite progress, threat of 232 tariffs dominates NAFTA negotiations

Any deal is seen to require congressional approval before Dec. 1 to survive new Mexican government

B.C. MP Todd Doherty receives award for saving man who collapsed on a plane

Conservative MP was flying from Vancouver to Prince George, B.C., in June last year

Alleged border jumper from Oregon facing 2 charges after police chase in B.C.

Colin Patrick Wilson charged with dangerous operation of motor vehicle, flight from a peace officer

More than 35 B.C. mayors elected without contest

No other candidates for mayor in the upcoming local election in 22 per cent of B.C. cities

‘Hero’ kid fighting cancer helping with B.C. Children’s Hospital fundraiser

Penticton’s Wills Hodgkinson helping raise funds for B.C. Children’s Hospital

Most Read