Les Films d’Ici, the production outfit behind “Waltz With Bashir” and “Funan,” has come on board “Ghostdance,” a timely animated feature shedding light on crimes committed against indigenous women in Canada.
“Ghostdance” is being directed by France’s Nicolas Blies, Stephane Hueber-Blies and Canada’s Kim O’Bomsawin.
Valérie Beaugrand-Champagne, the seasoned Canadian screenwriter whose credits include Denis Villeneuve’s “Enemy” and “Incendies,” has also joined “Ghostdance” to co-write the project with the Blies brothers and O’Bomsawin.
Now in development, “Ghostdance” follows Mykis, a native teenager who’s about to leave Canada to attend a prestigious dance school in New York when she accidentally causes the spirit of a faceless young woman to appear. Mykis sets off to help the ghost recover her identity and embarks on a journey that will lead her to learn about her own heritage and the history of her community.
“‘Ghostdance’ is a singular project that’s timely because it addresses the violence against women,” said Sébastien Onomo, producer at Les films d’Ici whose recent animated feature “Funan” revolves around a mother who is separated from her child during the reign of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.
Les Films d’Ici will be co-producing “Ghostdance” with Marion Guth and François Le Gall at A_Bahn; Stephan Roelants at Mélusine Productions in Luxembourg; and Josée Rock, Francine Allaire and Andrée-Anne Frenette at the Canadian banner Terre Innue.
The Blies brothers said “Ghostdance” would be in line with their previous works, notably “Zero Impunity,” a multi-media format dealing with sexual violences during wartime.
“Ghostdance” is another film that will strive to “deconstruct the dominance of White occidental men which we represent,” said the Blies brothers. “We belong to this generation that’s eager to see more equality in our society and we’re working towards that goal through the stories we tell and the way our films are made.”
O’Bomsawin’s previous film, the documentary “Quiet Killing,” also raised the issue of indigenous women who have disappeared or have been killed. “In spite of the promises of the government and a national investigation whose aim was to highlight the (plight) of these indigenous woman, the nightmare continues… the number of murders and disappearances keeps growing at a scary pace, (so) we must continue this work to raise awareness,” said the filmmaker.
“Ghostdance” is backed by Film Fund Luxembourg, Canada’s Fond des Médias and the promotion org SODEC, as well as Radio-Canada. The film is expected to be completed by 2023.