When a devastating highway accident on April 6, 2018, thrust Humboldt, Sask., into the international spotlight, people from across Canada and around the globe responded with condolences, vigils and tributes. As the shock subsided and the world stepped back to let the community grieve, the directors of Humboldt: The New Season opted to stay with the families for 11 months, beginning in August 2018, as training for the new hockey season began. They followed players and parents as they gradually adapted to their new reality, which included the trial and sentencing of the truck driver who caused the deadly accident, with surprising and touching results.
Humboldt: The New Season features five survivors: Brayden Camrud and Derek Patter, who return to play for the 2018–2019 Humboldt hockey season with a different coaching staff and new teammates; and Tyler Smith, Kaleb Dahlgren and Layne Matechuk, who continue their recovery. We also meet the late Logan Boulet’s parents, who carry on their son’s legacy by raising unprecedented awareness about organ donation in Canada, and assistant coach Mark Cross’s parents, who see their son’s memory live on through his former York Lions hockey program (where Kaleb was recruited).
“To the rest of the world, assistant coach Mark Cross was one of [the] people who died on April 6, 2018, in the Humboldt Broncos accident. To me, he was a lifelong best friend. With this documentary, I wanted to honour Mark and the 28 people he worked with on the team. We filmed with the Broncos and a number of families for [almost] one year following the accident, and their resiliency has shown me that the memory of the lives lost will never fade,” said co-director Lucas Frison.
“I learned so much from everyone we met making this film: about healing, about resilience, and about finding peace — and meaning — in the aftermath of immense loss. It was profoundly humbling,” added co-director Kevin Eastwood. This is a story of healing without ever forgetting.