Focal Point: theatrical release for Shawn Linden’s film Hunter Hunter, developed through NSI Features First

Hunter Hunter

At the National Screen Institute, we’re thrilled to celebrate our alumni and their accomplishments. Through Focal Point we aim to highlight significant milestones our alumni achieve in their projects and careers.

Congratulations to Shawn Linden (NSI Features First) on the premiere of his film, Hunter Hunter – developed through NSI Features First. This is the 25th fully produced film to come from the training program. Hunter Hunter was also the inaugural recipient of the Jim Murphy Filmmakers Bursary.

The horror film was released in US theatres, DVD and on-demand in mid-December 2020 with plans for further distribution on streaming sites across North America.

Garnering positive reviews, horror fans were particularly shocked by the ending. “People are generally horrified, either in a good or a bad way. That works for me,” says Shawn.

Hunter Hunter follows Joseph and his family living in the remote wilderness as fur trappers. When their peaceful lifestyle is threatened by a rouge wolf, Joseph decides to leave his family behind and catch the predator.

Shawn has worked to bring Hunter Hunter to life for over a decade. He participated in NSI Features First in 2008 where he was encouraged to pursue production and learned how to navigate the challenges ahead.

“NSI was the first national organization to support my career in general, and this film in particular,” says Shawn. “Filmmaking is hard, so it’s really meaningful to get that kind of support at such an early stage.”

The film was shot in Winnipeg throughout 2019 and included many NSI alumni as crew members: Darren Wall (NSI Features First) as visual effects supervisor; Roger Boyer (CBC New Indigenous Voices, NSI IndigiDocs, NSI Storytellers) as assistant production coordinator; Ryan Cooper (CBC New Indigenous Voices, NSI IndigiDocs) as second assistant director; BJ Verot (NSI Drama Prize) as stunt coordinator/stunt double; and Justina Neepin (CBC New Indigenous Voices, NSI IndigiDocs) as production coordinator.

On February 2, Shawn, along with producer Juliette Hagopian, will lead an online panel discussion hosted by Film Training Manitoba (FTM) about their experience making Hunter Hunter. For more information about the panel, check out FTM’s website.

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NSI Features First 2008 was made possible by Presenting Sponsor Telefilm Canada; Program Partners The Brian Linehan Charitable Foundation and Canwest; Supporting Sponsor Corus Entertainment Inc.; Provincial Sponsor MANITOBA FILM & SOUND; and Service Sponsor William F. White International Inc. and NSI Core Funders Manitoba Sport, Culture & Heritage and the City of Winnipeg through the Winnipeg Arts Council.

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