BELONGING IS MORE THAN FINDING A PLACE…
Inspired by a true story, Luna: Spirit of the Whale is a CTV Original Movie about the distances we must travel to discover our identity and true place in life.
Mike Maquinna (Adam Beach, Flags of Our Fathers, Windtalkers) is the hereditary chief of an aboriginal village on British Columbia’s Vancouver Island. When he comes home to his estranged father’s funeral to pay respects and hand over his birth right to a more suitable elder (Graham Greene, Dances With Wolves), his convictions are tested when he faces the true spirit of his people – a stray orca whale from Puget Sound called Luna.
Mike’s people – the Mowachaht-Muchalaht – believe that Luna is the embodied spirit of his father, the late chief. But Mike, a man separated from his culture, is disbelieving. Mirrored in Mike’s confusion is Adam (Aaron Miko), a troubled Native teen struggling with his own identity, as well as a local fisheries officer (Erin Karpluk, Godiva’s), who must question the science she has practiced.
Luna becomes the center of a spiritual and political controversy when a government official (Jason Priestley, Love and Death on Long Island, Beverly Hills 90210) announces plans to transport him over land to reunite the lost whale with his pod. When the resolute Mowachaht-Muchalaht people, including Mike’s mother Gloria (Tantoo Cardinal, Unnatural and Accidental), fight to protect the young killer whale, Mike finds himself embroiled in a struggle that challenges his own spiritual beliefs – as well as his notion of home and belonging.
Produced by Screen Siren Pictures Inc. in association with CTV and Peace Arch Entertainment.
Visit CTV for an interview with Adam Beach.
CTV Television Presents A Screen Siren Pictures Production in Association with Peace Arch Entertainment
Running Time: 92 mins (TV 2 hours)
Director: Don McBrearty
Executive Producer: Trish Dolman
Producer(s): Trish Dolman
Writer: Elizabeth Stewart
Story Editor: Marguerite Pigott
Story Consultant: Barbara Samuels
Production Manager: Holly Redford
Associate Producer: Lori Lozinski
Consulting Producer: Anne Marie La Traverse
Director of Photography: Jan Kiesser, ASC, CSC
Production Designer: Matthew Budgeon
Editor: Michael John Bateman
Original Music: Tim McCauley
Casting: John Buchan, C.S.A Corinne Clark and Jennifer Page
Financing: CTV, Peach Arch Entertainment, Shaw Rocket Fund, BC Film, FIBC, FITC
Produced with the participation of: The Aboriginal Peoples Television Network,The Government of Canada Film or Video Production Tax Credit Program, The Province of British Columbia Film Incentive BC
Developed with the participation of: British Columbia Film and with the financial participation of Rogers Telefund
FESTIVALS & AWARDS
Awards & Nominations
2008 Awards and Nominations
- 2008 Nominated for Gemini Awards, “Best TV Movie” and “Best Visual Effects”
- 2008 Nominated in the Feature Length Drama category for Leo Awards, “Best Screenwriting”, “Best Cinematography”, and “Best Supporting Performance by a Female (Erin Karplunk)”
- 2008 Nominated for “Best TV Movie” at the CFTPA Indie Award
2007 Awards and Nominations
- 2007 Audience Award, Children’s section – 30th annual Mill Valley Film Festival
- 2008 Ashland Independent Film Festival, Ashland, Oregon USA
- Reel 2 Real International Film Festival for Youth – Vancouver, BC
- Sprockets Toronto International Film Festival for Children – Toronto, ON
- Dreamspeakers Aboriginal Film Festival – Edmonton, AB
- Rimouski International Film Festival – Rimouski, QC
- Carousel International Film Festival for Youth – Rimouski, QC
- Mill Valley Film Festival – San Francisco, CA
- Oulu International Children’s Festival – Oulu, FIN
- American Indian Film Festival – San Francisco, CA
- Whistler Film Festival – Whistler, BC