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Cannes festgoers are promised a spectacular color and light show from Canada’s Arctic skies when Kim Nguyen’s small-town romance Two Lovers and a Bear, starring Tatiana Maslany and Dane DeHaan, screens next month as part of the just-announced Directors’ Fortnight lineup.
But capturing golden and blue lights for a movie set in an eerie North Pole landscape had a cost: the Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Orphan Black stars had to bundle up or get frostbite when filming in Canada’s Nunavut province. That was especially so when Maslany was pulled by a Ski-Doo on skis and Nguyen and director of photography Nicolas Bolduc had only 15 to 30 seconds to shoot her before frostbite might literally burn and discolor Maslany’s face.
But don’t expect the Hollywood actress, who grew up in Saskatchewan, where wintry temperatures routinely fall to 40 degrees and lower, to complain about dangerously frigid conditions. “It was no super shock to the system,” Maslany told The Hollywood Reporter as she gets set to bring the Canadian indie about two young lovers fighting the elements and their inner-demons in an Arctic town to Cannes.
“We weren’t pretending it was California. We had electric long underwear. Honestly, I felt more cold in Toronto, where it’s humid,” she added. The Canadian film from Oscar-nominated Nguyen (War Witch) filmed partly in Iqaluit in Canada’s Arctic, where Maslany helped build an igloo.
“It’s an insanely difficult process, and requires strength and engineering knowledge to keep the structure up,” she recalled of the experience while in Boston to star opposite Jake Gyllenhaal in the film Stronger, based on a memoir by a Boston Marathon bombing survivor.
After being spared frostbite and other dangers from frigid conditions in Canada’s north, Maslany found the two-month movie shoot for Two Lovers and a Bear “spiritual” and calming.
“There’s a lot of sky and snow and space. You can look out for days and see very little. There’s very little noise and chaos, and there’s a real simplicity for the senses that you’re taking in,” she recalled. “And it leaves an enormous room for breath and space. That’s nice after being in Toronto, where it’s chaos, and on Orphan Black, where there’s so much sensorial stimulation. Just thinking of Iqaliut again makes me very calm,” Maslany added.
TF1 International picked up the worldwide distribution rights to Two Lovers and a Bear and will start shopping the indie to international buyers in Cannes. Entertainment One will release the film in Canada.
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