FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 2021 – On April 27, 2021, radio-Canada announced its first-ever drama production written, directed and produced by Indigenous creators. Pour toi Flora, a miniseries consisting of six hour-long episodes, will premiere on the ad-free premium streaming service ICI TOU.TV EXTRA in 2022 before its linear-TV broadcast on ICI TÉLÉ as well as APTN.
According to radio-Canada, Pour toi Flora, written and directed by WIDC alumna, Sonia Bonspille Boileau and produced by Jason Brennan for Nish Media, will be partly shot in Algonquin territory, with the support of the Kitigan-Zibi Indigenous community, in the fall of 2021 and winter of 2022. The lead cast members are Dominique Pétin, Marco Collin, Virginie Fortin, Samian and Mylène St-Sauveur, with Antoine Pilon, Théodore Pellerin and Eve Ringuette, among others, in supporting roles. Extensive on-location casting for a number of roles will also be conducted this summer in Indigenous communities, with the complete cast to be announced at a later date.
Pour toi Flora will examine the bitter legacy of residential schools in Quebec on screen for the first time. The aim of these government-funded, church-run institutions was to assimilate Indigenous children and deprive them of their communities’ traditional teachings. Though fictionalized, the storyline is inspired by the true-life experiences of several hundred families in the province, underscoring the innate resilience of these uprooted children, which persisted in the face of unimaginable adversity, and the repercussions on their loved ones.
The series is the story of two Anishinabeg who today are trying to come to terms with their painful past in the residential school system. It depicts the heartbreak of their forced removal from their parents’ care by the Oblate missionary order in the 1960s, and the haunting consequences of their ordeal more than five decades later. Episodes will chronicle specific periods of their lives as well as those of their family members, cross-cutting between the two to show how Indigenous families in Quebec were torn apart – and how, sometimes, they’ve managed to come together again.
“This is undeniably a historic occasion and something we’re quite proud of. We’ve been hoping to announce news of this drama series created and produced by Indigenous talent for two years now, but shooting was delayed by the pandemic,” said Dany Meloul, General Manager, Television, CBC/ Radio-Canada French Services. “Pour toi Flora is a huge step toward our goal of better reflecting the diversity of experience of all Canadians in our scripted content.”
Pour toi Flora will be presented in two languages on ICI TOU.TV EXTRA: the French-subtitled Anishinaabemowin version will stream for seven days before the original French version premieres. The miniseries will then be broadcast in prime time on ICI TÉLÉ and later on the APTN channel. (source: cbc.radio-canada)
WIDC acknowledges that today, May 5, 2021 is Red Dress Day in Canada, a day to honour and raise awareness about the crisis of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls. Sonia Bonspille Boileau’s feature film Rustic Oracle shares one story and offers our broken hearts hope.