Taika Waititi exec. producing Danis Goulet's Ontario-shot Indigenous sci-fi thriller

TORONTO — Oscar-nominated director Taika Waititi has been announced as an executive producer on an upcoming Indigenous sci-fi thriller from Saskatchewan-born Cree/Metis filmmaker Danis Goulet.

A news release says the New Zealand-born Waititi, whose Second World War satire "Jojo Rabbit" hits theatres in Toronto on Friday, is attached to "Night Raiders."

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Goulet is writer-director on the project, which began shooting in and around Toronto on Oct. 7.

The story is set in post-war North America in the near-future, where a military occupation controls disenfranchised cities and children are a property of the state.

At the centre of the female-driven dystopian drama is a Cree woman who joins an underground band of vigilantes to infiltrate a state-run children's academy and get her daughter back.

The cast includes Elle-Maija Tailfeathers, Brooklyn Letexier-Hart, Alex Tarrant, Shaun Sipos and Amanda Plummer.

"Night Raiders" marks Goulet's feature film directorial debut and will be distributed in Canada by Elevation Pictures. XYZ Films is handling U.S. sales.

The film is a Canada-New Zealand co-production and one of several Indigenous genre features coming to the fore in Canada.

Another is Jeff Barnaby's zombie thriller "Blood Quantum," which made its world premiere at September's Toronto International Film Festival.

Like "Blood Quantum," "Night Raiders" also explores the impact of colonization.

In particular, it looks at "what happens to families when they're fractured by the state," Goulet said in a statement issued Tuesday.

"Throughout cinema history, 99 per cent of Indigenous stories on screen have been told without us. I'm so thrilled to be seeing change happen in the industry to support more Indigenous perspectives and it's an honour and privilege to make a film that I've been writing for seven years with such incredible industry support and with such a stellar cast."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 22, 2019.

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