Bathurst school officials wary of film
Production to focus on basketball championship, crash
The head of the school district that oversees Bathurst High School says he's gauging local support before participating in a film about the school's basketball team.
The Phantoms is supposed to be about the team's 2009 provincial championship win, a year after a tragic crash killed seven players and a teacher.
In Jan. 2008, the Bathurst High School boys basketball team was returning from a game in Moncton when the van fish-tailed on a slippery highway and collided with a truck driving in the opposite lane.
John McLaughlin, the district superintendent, issued a statement Wednesday saying he's aware Dreamstreet Pictures is producing the film.
He said he was consulted by the production company, but the school cannot cooperate until there's a better sense of whether it will help in the healing of the community.
McLaughlin refused an interview request from CBC News.
Exploiting for profit: parent
Earlier this week, a mother of one of the basketball players who died in the crash, said she was upset money was being spent on a movie instead of improving student safety.
Isabelle Hains lost her son Daniel in the crash.
Hains said Tuesday she was aware there was interest in making the film after speaking with producer Tim Hogan in March.
She said she voiced her concerns to him, but that's the last she heard about it until this week.
She said the making of the film is exploiting the death of seven boys for profit.
"Here it is, only three and a half years since the death of my son and six young men, and it's too soon for me. I wouldn't be able to watch the movie because I know why it was made," said Hains.
The company said last week that the film will focus not on the tragedy of the crash, but the triumph of the team the following year.
Hains said it doesn't matter how they brand the film, it's still in poor taste.
If it goes ahead, Hains thinks any profits should go to extracurricular programs in the province and to keep kids safe while they travel.
Dreamstreet Pictures hopes to shoot the film in Bathurst, bringing jobs and business to the community.
The production company refused to be interviewed about concerns that some people in Bathurst might not feel comfortable about the movie being made.