Creative BC News

Q&A with Indian Horse producers Christine Haebler and Trish Dolman

Oct 10, 2017 | News, Uncategorized

Q: 1) What was your inspiration for this film?

A: I [Christine Haebler] was listening to CBC radio and heard an interview with Richard Wagamese in April of 2012 about his upcoming book Indian HorseI had a feeling it was a special story from hearing Richard’s voice and his description of the story. Trish and I had talked for years about the importance of doing a feature film about residential schools and both fell in love with the book. Within a few days we spoke to Richard, came up with a shared vision that he loved and optioned the material. It was such a moving and important story, we knew we had to make it together with Richard. This was going to be a hands across the nation project. 

Q: 2) What does the film say about the world we live in?

A: Canada is in a time of healing and reconciliation and the non- Indigenous population needs to acknowledge and recognize the wrongs of our colonial past and move forward together with respect and in friendship. 


Q: 3) What are the BC elements of your film?

A: We are BC producers and we optioned the novel from Richard Wagamese and developed the project. Dennis Foon adapted the screenplay and is a BC-based writer. Stephen Campanelli is a BC based director. The film was shot in Ontario but post production was done entirely in BC. 

Q: 4) Briefly describe the appeal you think your film will have for audiences?

A: It’s a universal story of survival, of overcoming extraordinarily difficult circumstances and the triumph of the human spirit. It’s also an important story about a dark stain in Canadian history and the fallout of aggressive assimilations policies adopted by the Canadian Government.

Q: 5) What inspired you to become a creator?

A: Wonderful movies that touch us and reflect the human experience.  Storytelling is what shapes culture and can change the way people feel about a subject or an experience. It is visceral. 

Q: 6) What are you working on next?

A: We have a slate of feature films with Graeme Manson, Sheri Elwood, Simon Barry and a feature film starring Stellan Skarsgard, Alexander Skarsgard and Laura Linney based on a script written by Megan Skarsgard.


Q: 7) What's the best advice you could give someone new to filmmaking?

A: Feature filmmaking is a lifestyle business largely based on relationships. Find people you like working within all areas. Think of the long-term. People want to know you aren’t going into real estate in 6 months.

Q: 8) What are your top 3 favourite films of all time?

A: Christine Haebler: – 400 Blows, 2001- Space Odyssey, The Great Beauty.

Trish Dolman: Hiroshima Mon Amour, The Shining, Deer Hunter


Q: 9) If you had to describe your film in three words, what would they be?

A: Moving, inspiring, authentic