Emily Roberts (Alyssa) was born in Saskatoon and grew up in Hall Lake and Prince Albert. Aged 17, she enjoys both athletics and the arts, and can be found singing regularly in talent shows across northern Saskatchewan. Emily lives with her family and two pets, including a dog named Famous after her dream of becoming a star – but only after university.
Cole Ballantyne (Brandon) lives in Prince Albert, already an accomplished jigger at 17. When not performing as part of the Northern Prairie Dancers, Cole can be found sparring at the Wildcats Boxing Club and volunteering in his community. He plans to study performing arts in university.
Seventeen-year-old Kassie Svendsen (Charlene) has lived in Prince Albert all her life. A high school student at St. Mary’s, she is a vital member of the school’s wrestling team. Off the mat, Kassie enjoys hanging out with friends and exploring her emerging artistic side.
“Aboriginal people, perspectives and northern settings are under-represented in Canadian cinema,” says Goulet of her decision to cast non-actors from the north. “I am passionate about bringing stories to the screen that are told from the perpectives of Aboriginal characters — in this case, teen girls.”
Goulet aspired to create a depiction of Aboriginal teens that captures some of the characteristics and nuances of the culture and region. To that end, more than 200 Aboriginal youth from five communities in northern Saskatchewan auditioned. “We wanted to work with people who already understood what it’s like to live there, and to find a cast that would reflect the disinct world of reserve life in northern Saskatchewan.”
Following the audition process, ten young people were called back for an intense week of training and rehearsal with drama facilitators, using a community theatre model. At the end of that week, three leads were cast: Emily Roberts, Cole Ballantyne and Kassie Svendsen. All three are from northern communities, and Roberts and Ballantyne are Cree-speakers. “The young people we worked with were a huge inspiration. I was floored by some of the challenges that many of them face. But in spite of these challenges, there is spirit, tenacity, beauty and vulnerability. And Emily, Cole and Kassie brought that to the screen.”
|Gym Teacher||SARAH C. POOLE|
|Little Brother||TYRELL TREMBLAY|
|Little Sister||TERRILYNN TREMBLAY|