Miranda de Pencier set to direct The Grizzlies

The directorial feature debut from de Pencier (pictured) is penned by Breaking Bad writer Moira Walley-Beckett.

Miranda de PencierMiranda de Pencier will make her feature directorial debut in the Canadian Arctic, with production set to begin in Iqaluit, Nunavut on The Grizzlies in April.

The feature is written by Moira Walley-Beckett (Breaking Bad) and Graham Yost (The Americans, Justified) and stars Ben Schnetzer (The Book Thief, Pride).

The film is based on the true story of high school teacher Russ Sheppard who starts a la crosse league when he moves to a community ravaged by alcoholism, abuse, and the highest suicide rate in North America.

The drama is produced through de Pencier’s Northwood Entertainment, alongside Zanne Devine of Pacific Northwest Pictures and Damon D’Oliveira of Filmshow. Alethea Arnaquq-Baril of Unikkaat Studios and Stacey Aglok MacDonald of Puhita,q also serve as producers on the project.

The Movie Network holds the Canadian TV licensing rights, while Mongrel Media will handle the theatrical distribution domestically. Executive producers on the project are Jake Steinfeld and Frank Marshall (Jurassic World). The film also received financial support from Telefilm.

De Pencier’s credits include Throat Song, a short film that premiered at TIFF ’13 and won the Best Live Action Short Drama Award at the 2013 Canadian Screen Awards. The Grizzlies marks the second project de Pencier and Walley-Beckett have collaborated on, with the pair also currently working on an upcoming  Anne of Green Gables series for CBCDe Pencier and Beckett are both producing and executing producing the series, which will go to camera this spring.

Schnetzer is repped by talent and literary agency Gersh and legal representative firm Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern.