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To Sir with Love meets Northern Exposure. That plot from one of my all-time favorite films mixed with a dash of a classic TV show sort of describes the plot to The Grizzlies (opening wide in theaters next month). Except The Grizzlies is based on a true story.

The film is about a group of Eskimo students in a small Canadian town who are struggling to find their way. With nothing to do in their extremely tight-knit community, many of them turn to alcohol and drug abuse to ignore their problems. Arriving on a one-year teaching contract, culturally-naive Russ Sheppard (Ben Schnetzer, 7 Days in Entebbe) stumbles onto the sport of lacrosse as a means to inspire them to achieve personal goals.

Interestingly, except for Schnetzer and Will Sasso (Mad TV, Mom), the cast is made up mostly of indigenous people from Nanavut and the Northwest Territories of Canada. “The process of finding and training young actors for The Grizzlies was one of the most challenging, moving and exciting experiences of my life,” according to director Miranda de Pencier. In fact, over 600 young people from over 25 local communities auditioned for roles. Is a future star among them? Time will tell.

Check out more about the movie here.

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

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