From The Director – When casting the film I spend half an hour on Skype taking to Ajuawak from his home in Minneapolis and by the time we said goodbye I knew I wanted him to play Hank. Not only is he extremely good looking with that steely-eyed, noble warrior look that adorns the covers of romance novels and sixties movie posters he also has the cool intelligence and gravitas that I wanted for my main character. Hank Crow-Eyes can be very charming and persuasive but only when it’s to his advantage. He has a way of getting himself into trouble and then out of it virtually unscathed. Thus he is a bit of local legend/rockstar on the Rez. As his name suggests he’s an observer; he sees things that others don’t. He has a near desperate urge to be free, hit the road, live large, see the world, but this desire conflicts strongly with his feelings of obligation and love for his home and the people that he grew up with. It’s Hank that changes the most in the film.
Based on the novel Indian Horse, written by Richard Wagamese, Ajuawak plays the lead character Saul Indian Horse. The story follows the life of Canadian First Nations boy, as he survives residential school and life amongst the racism of the 1970s. A talented hockey player, Saul must find his own path as he battles stereotypes and alcoholism.
3 Awards at Festival du Film Canadien de Dieppe
The Kiwanis Award 2018 for Sladen Peltier’s acting performance
The Prix du Jury Jeunes and Prix du Public TV5 Monde for Stephen Campanelli’s directing
The Prix du Jury Jeunes for Stephen Campanelli’s directing
Calgary International Film Festival 2017
Audience Award Best Narrative Feature
Cinéfest Sudbury 2017
Best Canadian Film Best Feature Film
Edmonton International Film Festival 2017
Audience Award Audience Choice
Vancouver International Film Festival 2017
Super Channel People’s Choice Award Stephen S. Campanelli
Victoria Film Festival, Canada 2018
Audience Favourite Feature Best Feature Film