|(L-R) Jennifer Podemski, Hannah Moscovitch, Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, Zoe Hopkins, and Jeremy Podeswa|
|– The series’ creative team features Jennifer Podemski, Hannah Moscovitch,|
Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, Zoe Hopkins, and Jeremy Podeswa –
– Key cast members include Darla Contois, Ellyn Jade, Joshua Odjick,
Michelle Thrush, and Eric Schweig –
– Six, hour-long episodes are filming in and around Winnipeg, on Treaty 1 territory and the traditional territory of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, Dene, and Métis people –
– Production begins with a newly developed training program that aims to build capacity and sustainability in the Indigenous screen sector
(TORONTO) April 18, 2022 – Crave announced today, in association with Rezolution Pictures, APTN, and OP Little Bird, that production is underway on the Crave Original drama series, LITTLE BIRD. Created by showrunner Jennifer Podemski (UNSETTLED) and head writer Hannah Moscovitch (X COMPANY), the six-part, one-hour limited series follows an Indigenous woman on a journey to find her birth family, and uncover the hidden truth of her past. The series will be available to audiences in English and French, and Fremantle will handle international distribution.
The character-driven drama features an extraordinary cast of Indigenous actors, led by newcomer Darla Contois (Dhaliwal ’15) along with: Ellyn Jade (LETTERKENNY); Osawa Muskwa (World Ends at Camp Z); Joshua Odjick (The Swarm); Imajyn Cardinal (TRIBAL); Mathew Strongeagle (BLACKSTONE); Eric Schweig (BLACKSTONE); and Michelle Thrush (Bones of Crows).
Award-winning filmmakers Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers (The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open) and Zoe Hopkins (Run Woman Run) each direct three episodes, while Hopkins writes three of the episodes.
“I’m very proud to be working alongside visionaries like Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Zoe Hopkins, and a creative partner like Hannah Moscovitch, whose allyship is brilliant and remarkable,” said creator and showrunner Jennifer Podemski. “I’m also incredibly honoured to tell this story with an outstanding group of actors. We all take the responsibility very seriously, and acknowledge that the power and triumph of this project lies in the reclamation of Indigenous narratives and perspectives.”
“APTN is proud to present LITTLE BIRD, a compelling series that explores the far-reaching impact of the child welfare system on Indigenous families,” says Adam Garnet Jones, APTN’s director of TV content and special events. “The story is told by some of the brightest talents in Indigenous storytelling and provides audiences with the opportunity to reflect and have meaningful conversations about reconciliation.”
“Crave is committed to telling compelling stories that resonate with all Canadians, and LITTLE BIRD is a powerful story that must be told,” said Justin Stockman, Vice President, Content Development and Programming, Bell Media. “We are honoured to collaborate with our partners at Rezolution, APTN, and OP Little Bird to share LITTLE BIRD with Crave audiences.”
LITTLE BIRD explores themes of resilience in the face of trauma and loss. Removed from her home in Long Pine Reserve in Saskatchewan, Bezhig Little Bird is adopted into a Montréal Jewish family at the age of five, becoming Esther Rosenblum (Contois). Now in her 20s, Bezhig longs for the family she lost and is willing to sacrifice everything to find them. Her quest lands her in the Canadian prairies, worlds apart from everything she knows. As she begins to track down her siblings, she unravels the mystery behind her adoption, and discovers that her apprehension was connected to a racist government policy now known as the Sixties Scoop. Bezhig’s sense of identity shatters and she is forced to reckon with who she is and who she wants to become.
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The production of LITTLE BIRD features a training program that includes opportunities for emerging and mid-career level Indigenous creators and crew as well as for entry-level individuals to gain practical on-set experience leading to subsequent employment in the industry. Built with the understanding that training, skill building, and professional development are integral to building capacity and sustainability in the Indigenous screen sector, the program, is made possible via partnerships with the Indigenous Screen Office, Bell Media, REEL Canada, DGC, DGC Manitoba, and IATSE 856.
LITTLE BIRD is a co-production from Bell Media’s Crave and APTN, produced by Rezolution Pictures and OP Little Bird with the participation of the Canada Media Fund (CMF), the Bell Fund, and Manitoba Film and Music. Fremantle International is the distributor for the series. Led by an Indigenous creative team, LITTLE BIRD is developed by showrunner Jennifer Podemski and Rezolution Pictures, and created by Podemski and head writer Hannah Moscovitch. The series is executive produced by Christina Fon, Ernest Webb, Catherine Bainbridge, Linda Ludwick (Rezolution Pictures), Kim Todd, Nicholas Hirst (Original Pictures), Jeremy Podeswa, Jennifer Podemski, and Hannah Moscovitch, along with Christian Vesper and Dante Di Loreto (Fremantle). Producers are Tanya Brunel and Jessica Dunn (OP Little Bird), Claire MacKinnon and Philippe Chabot (Rezolution Pictures) and Lori Lozinski and Ellen Rutter.
For Bell Media: Rachel Goldstein-Couto is Head of Development; Alison Korogyi is Development Executive; Sarah Fowlie is Head of Production, Original Programming; Mitch Geddes is Production Executive. Carlyn Klebuc is General Manager, Original Programming; Pat DiVittorio is Vice-President, CTV and Specialty Programming; Justin Stockman is Vice-President, Content Development & Programming, Bell Media; and Karine Moses is Senior Vice-President, Content Development & News, Bell Media and Vice Chair, Québec, Bell.
APTN’s Adam Garnet Jones and Sylvain Lévesque are production executives for LITTLE BIRD.
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Indigenous-Led Drama ‘Little Bird’ Gives Voice to Canada’s Stolen Generation