The NWT’s Next Feature Film 'Dark Sky' is on the Horizon

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January 13, 2017

(Photo by Bill Braden, on the set of Dal Segno, 2016)

On the heels of a particularly successful year for the Northwest Territories (NWT) film industry, 2017 begins with news of another made-in-the-NWT feature-length project to be filmed entirely in the NWT.

Writer-Director, Jen Walden and Producer Jeremy Emerson have clinched one of the highly-coveted top three spots in the Indiecan20K for their proposed film, Dark Sky.

Jen penned the script for Dark Sky, which tells the story of a young boy who encounters a mythical Rock Creature after being separated from his family while camping.

“The inspiration for the film came from spending time hiking on the land with my kids. I was inspired by how they see and experience the land and I wanted to tell that story from two perspectives – one from the parent and one from the child,” Jen explains.

Through Indiecan20K, the film will be provided with in-kind production, post-production and mentorship services valued at up to $250,000. The Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment’s NWT Film Commission was pleased to partner with Indiecan20K to provide funding to support the post-production work of Dark Sky.

Meanwhile, Jen and Jeremy are responsible for raising $20,000 on their own to cover the costs of cast, crew, wardrobe, props and other expenses. It will take imagination to stretch the funds but Jen is confident that the team will be able to create a high-caliber feature film.  

If all goes as planned, Jen hopes to film in Yellowknife as well as the South Slave Region, including Fort Smith and Wood Buffalo National Park.

In addition to being written, produced and filmed in the NWT, Dark Sky has another northern anchor. Kirsten Carthew, who directed the recent NWT feature film, The Sun at Midnight, will be taking on a mentorship role for Dark Sky.

“This film will be very tied to the NWT because this is the place that inspires me to create my art in any format – both painting and film,” Jen says.  “My first experience with a feature film was working for Kirsten on the set of The Sun at Midnight so I feel like the mentorship experience really began then.”

Jen’s work has included short films Preserved, Painted Girl and Dal Segno.

In addition to supporting economic development and the growth of the NWT film industry, the NWT Film Commission is committed to sharing northern stories and adventures through film and television to increase interest in visiting, filming and living in the NWT.

Jen’s project is set to be completed by April 2018. Stay up to date at: