Featuring polar bears and a headstrong heroine, the new post-apocalyptic thriller Polaris is out in cinemas on 3 November and VOD on 7 November 2023. Set in 2144, the film follows 10-year-old Sumi’s fight for survival in a frozen, inhospitable world.
The film is carried by the outstanding young actress Viva Lee, who plays Sumi – through her eyes, we see a different perspective on this dystopian world. Sumi narrowly escapes capture from the brutal Morads and sets out alone across the vast subarctic landscape. When she stumbles across the mysterious Frozen Girl, an unlikely friendship is forged and together they race ahead towards the guiding light of the Polaris star.
Despite a a challenging subartic shoot for cast and crew, Polaris retains its strong vision throughout. Executive producer Patrick Ewald explains: “When I met the Polaris filmmaking team at the Frontières market, I was immediately drawn to the story and environmental messaging of this project. It’s amazing to see what KC has accomplished and brought on screen. I can’t wait for audiences to see Viva Lee Sumi’s award-winning performance in this incredible film.”
Writer and director KC Carthew says: “I want to encourage an emotionally immersive audience experience that is more empathy-based, intuitive and universal.”
Polaris is Carthew’s second feature film, following her multiple-award winning debut feature, The Sun at Midnight (2017) starring Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs from Reservation Dogs. Recognised for spectacular world-building in her visual storytelling, Carthew excels in bringing forth award-winning performances, cultivating innovation and pushing both technical and narrative elements to new heights in her work.
Polaris has already won awards at film festivals around the world, including multiple Best Performance awards for Viva Lee (Sydney Science Fiction Film Festival, Fantasmagoria, LEO), the Audience Choice Award at the Sydney Science Fiction Film Festival, the Jury Award at the Reel 2 Reel International Film Festival For Youth and a Visionary Award for KC Carthew (Seattle Make Believe).
Synopsis: Set in the frozen world of a post-apocalyptic 2144, a young girl raised by a polar bear must fight to survive after she is captured and escapes from a brutal warriors.
Directed by: KC Carthew (The Sun at Midnight, Fish Out of Water)
Produced by: Max Fraser (Bond of Strangers: The Operation Husky Story, Martinis of the Wilderness), Paul Cadieux (Advocate, Gaza), Alyson Richards (Children Ruin Everything, Before I Change My Mind), Kirsten Carthew (The Sun at Midnight)
Written by: KC Carthew (The Sun at Midnight, Fish Out of Water)
Starring: Viva Lee (An Unexpected Christmas, Deadly Class), Khamisa Wilsher (The Flash, Charmed), Muriel Dutil (Ressac, Curling)
Genre: Sci-Fi | Action | Thriller | Fantasy | Adventure | Independent
Run Time: 89 minutes
Territory: US Only
Theatrical Release Date: November 3, 2023
VOD Release Date: November 7, 2023
The film, a co-production with Epic Pictures, is written and directed by KC Carthew, and is executive produced by Patrick Ewald (Epic Pictures CEO and owner); Paul Cadieux (winner of the 2003 Genie Award for Best Motion Picture for The Triplets of Belleville); Alyson Richards (an Ontario-based producer and writer, known for The Retreat, Don’t Talk to Irene and Guidance); Kirsten Carthew (Elijah and the Rock Creature, The Sun at Midnight) and independent Yukon filmmaker Max Fraser.
Also starring in the film are Muriel Dutil (Ressac, Niagara) as Dee, and Khamisa Wilsher (a Canadian actress, model and singer-songwriter) as Frozen Girl.
ABOUT EPIC PICTURES
Founded in 2007, Epic Pictures is an independent content studio with the mission of delivering the best-in-class genre entertainment “for fans, by fans.” Epic Pictures produces, finances, and distributes approximately twenty-thirty independent genre films a year. In 2013, the company established Epic Pictures Releasing which is its US focused distribution division. In 2017, Epic Pictures acquired the world’s most popular horror website, Dread Central, and launched its unique horror label, Dread, followed by its AVOD channel, DreadTV. In 2019, Epic Pictures started the horror gaming site, DreadXP, with a focus on editorial, reviews, podcasts, and original streaming content. In 2020, DreadXP began a video game production and publishing division in collaboration with some of the most innovative developers in the independent gaming space.
Featured photo credit: Epic Pictures