A movie based on the critically acclaimed novel The Lesser Blessed by N.W.T.’s Richard Van Camp will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival this September.


Author Richard Van Camp, originally from Fort Smith, N.W.T., wanted the film adaptation of his novel The Lesser Blessed to be shot in the North, but lack of funding sent the production south. It will debut at the Toronto International Film Festival in September. (CBC)

The movie stars Benjamin Bratt and is set in Fort Simmer, a fictional community in the Northwest Territories based on Van Camp’s hometown of Fort Smith. It follows a Tlicho teenager through his high school experience.

Van Camp said he is elated his movie is premiering on such a big stage.

"I'm still in shock," he said. "I'm grateful. It's been seven years in the making — this is a major achievement for all Northerners out there who want to make movies and we're just really excited."

Van Camp said he hopes to bring the movie up North soon after the premiere. A screening is being planned for the first week of October in Yellowknife, and Van Camp would also like to bring it to Fort Smith.

The film was shot in Sudbury, Ont., after attempts to raise enough money to film parts of it in the N.W.T. failed.