Polaris Crew and Actors on Set

It’s Mad Max but with Snow and an All-female Cast

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Kristen Carthew’s new fantasy thriller feature film Polaris wrapped this month in Whitehorse.  It’s a story of a young girl who is taken captive by a brutal hunting party intent on killing her mother. The film follows the young girl’s journey to escape capture, reunite with her mother and find her way home.

The cross-border collaboration Little Dipper Films Inc. is a partnership of NWT film alumni Carthew and Max Fraser of Whitehorse. Despite filming in challenging times, they managed to go to camera in March.

Polaris features heavy world design, VFX, animals and vehicle and combat stunts. It is based on short film created for the first ever Dead North Film Festival. 

Crew and actors on set prepping their souped-up snowmobiles

Thanks to funding from NWT Film Commission and with the help of the NWT Professional Media Association’s NWT Apprenticeship Program, Polaris also presented an extraordinary opportunity for NWT crew to work on a feature film and gain valuable skills and experience. (The NWTPMA’s Apprenticeship program exists to provide film professionals with an opportunity to access special funding to be used for on-the-job placements.)


And the winner is… The NWT Film Industry

Film and Media Stakeholder Recognition Awards

NWT Film Commission Celebrates Partners

The film will now go into post-production; it is scheduled for completion next winter. One of the key objectives of Take One: NWT Film Strategy and Action Plan is to develop the skills and competencies of NWT film producers and to build below-the-line crew and support services by creating more opportunities to work on sets and enabling industry-standard accreditation.

Carthew is one of a growing number of NWT producers whose recognition and awards are proving the potential of the NWT’s film and media sector to be a contributor to the NWT economy.

Carthew wrote and directed the 2017 feature film The Sun at Midnight, which won 9 awards internationally, and was an executive producer on Elijah and the Rock Creature directed by Jen Walden and filmed in Yellowknife. 

The GNWT released its first film strategy Take One: NWT Film Strategy and Action Plan in 2015. Its recommended actions and investments were designed to improve the economic viability of the NWT film sector and position it for growth. Carthew’s works are an indicator that the GNWT’s strategy is accomplishing, in part, what it set out to accomplish.