NOW FEATURING: Passages
Make sure you catch this awesome film in our online cinema! Three women - strangers to each other - embark on a multisport expedition following the Koroc river in Nunavik. Travelling together against adversity, this journey soon becomes one of self-discovery for each participant...
Don’t miss out – this film is only featured until 15th April 2021.
Passages sees three strangers come together with a common purpose: to complete an ambitious 20-day multisport expedition in Canada, all the way from the foothills of Mt. D'Iberville in the east, along the Koroc river to Ungava Bay. We see stunning scenery and isolated landscapes, and tackle some very human challenges along the way...
We spoke to one of the film's directors, Florence Pelletier, about the motivation behind creating this film, capturing journeys of self-discovery, and what she wants people to take away.
Why did you want to make this film?
After a short expedition in Kuururjuaq National Park (Canada) in 2017, Caroline and I
started planning a greater adventure: a multisport expedition crossing the entire park from East to West, following an Inuit passage along the Koroc river. It soon became obvious that this would be the background of our first feature-length documentary.
We wanted to create a unique encounter between women that get to know each other in extreme situations and portray an enriched and empowering vision of women and First Nations communities, as well as the grandeur of the great North of Quebec.
Why was it important for the film that the women didn't know each other?
Caroline and I had met and got to know Christine, Dominique and Katrena extensively
before the expedition. We thought that the fact that they would get to know each other during the expedition would reveal their true identity. When you’re in such an expedition, there's no distraction from your own mind. We had envisioned that the discussions about everyone past and ambitions would come organically, and it did. It was a journey of personal transformation for everyone involved.
How did you meet Dominique Cormier, Christine Bérubé-Martin and Katrena Cooper?
We had launched a casting call for women interested in participating in an expedition
with us. We were amazed to receive over a hundred videos from candidates that were willing to accompany us! We met Dominique, Christine and Katrena and we knew they would make a perfect team. They also had a story to tell, one we felt we could bring to the screen.
Why did you choose them?
Dominique, Katrena and Christine are avid trail runners, skiers, and climbers, but they
had never been tested by a multisport expedition. We sensed they were at a moment in their lives where they needed a challenge, and we knew they could bring their authenticity to the screen.
Dominique was at a moment of her life where she needed to define herself not only as a
mother but as a woman. Her two daughters had moved out of the house and her 9-to-5 job was not fulfilling. This was the opportune moment for an adventure to come into her life.
For Katrena, the expedition was a way to return to her roots and connect with her Inuit
ancestors. She describes the Inuit people as open and resilient. Katrena had also recently lost someone close to her prior to embarking on the expedition, and this grief accompanied every step of her journey through the park.
Christine had tumultuous teenage years, moving from foster home to foster home.
Throughout those years, Christine and her father had a difficult relationship. Recently, she has found peace in nature, and doing this expedition was a way for her to connect to her indigenous roots.
For the year before the expedition, what did the training involve?
We prepared a year ahead of time for the expedition. We met with park members to
review our itinerary and logistics, we prepared the dry food rations and all the camping gear. We had physical training that was adapted to our expedition, and we also talked about everyone's insecurities ahead of time.
Katrena told me she prepared for the expedition by carrying her loaded backpack up and down the stairs of her apartment building in Montreal!
What was most challenging for you personally while filming this project?
The first day of the hike was the most challenging one. We had landed in the park later than
expected and started hiking at 4 p.m. That day, we had to hike until 2 a.m to reach the first
camp. Being closer to Labrador on that day, it was a bit more risky for polar bears, so we really wanted to make sure we got to that basecamp. Everyone was exhausted, and there were moments when I doubted we could make it to the finish line. I thought maybe we had been too ambitious with our goal. But we took it day by day and got to the end, stronger than before!
What surprised you the most?
I had forgotten how many mosquitoes and bugs there were in that park, but also how impressive and beautiful the scenery of the arctic tundra was!
What was the best part of the whole experience?
To get to see a real friendship building in the group. Katrena and Christine developed a special bond. They were always laughing in their tents at night. The scene of the film when they are fishing together in the Koroc river is one of my favourites.
What do you want people to take away from this film?
PASSAGES tells the story of a shared experience between women of different
cultures who become advocates to be looked up to due to their non-professional athletic
backgrounds. We wish people watching the film will feel empowered and want to take action to set in motion their very own adventure/expedition.
What's next for you?
We have started our own film production company, Denali Films, to focus on human perspectives through adversity. And so our second feature film will focus on an individual journey through an extreme expedition, perhaps in polar conditions this time. We will once again explore the themes of resilience and challenge. But we take our time for now and live every step of the promotion of our first film fully!