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Digital Subscriptions > Quill & Quire > April 2018 > Guided by his voice

Guided by his voice

Ensuring the movie adaptation of Indian Horse stayed true to Richard Wagamese’s source material involved one main factor: the author himself
Director Stephen Campanelli and actor Sladen Peltier

It was his voice that caught her attention. On a Friday in early 2012, Christine Haebler, a producer at Screen Siren Pictures, was driving to work when she heard Richard Wagamese on CBC Radio talking to host Shelagh Rogers about Indian Horse, his novel about an Ojibwe boy named Saul who is traumatized at a residential school and finds possible salvation through hockey. For years, Haebler and Trish Dolman, Screen Siren’s founder, had been looking for a powerful story to put on screen that could raise awareness about the horrors of residential schools. Here it suddenly was, being discussed by its author in a voice that moved Haebler and created a sudden urgency in her. “My heart was pounding, and I felt like we had to get on this right away”, she says.

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