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Welcome to Ellen Page Online, the first and foremost fansite dedicated to Canadian actress Ellen Page. Here you will find the latest news and the most up to date information, the biggest photo gallery online, video clips, movie trailers, wallpapers, an awesome message board and much more... Take a look around and enjoy your stay!

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»Into the Forest« world premiere at TIFF / Ellen Page answers fan question from our Mireille / Review summary

TIFF 2015 - Into the Forest World Premiere - September 12, 2015Okay folks, it's time for another update. Last weekend, we shifted our focus to the social networks to keep you updated on everything that happened surrounding this year's TIFF.

Now we are back on the main site with a roundup of the early days of the festival including the world premiere of »Into the Forest« on September 12. Among those attending the event held at Elgin Theatre were the two leading actresses Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood, actor Callum Keith Rennie, actor Michael Eklund, actress Wendy Crewson, director Patricia Rozema and her daughter Jacoba as well as author Jean Hegland. While there was no sign of actor Max Minghella, actress Alia Shawkat stepped out on the red carpet to support her long-time Canadian friend.

TIFF 2015 - Into the Forest World Premiere - September 12, 2015Due to the lack of reports and videos from inside the theatre, I can't say if there were standing ovations following the premiere screening or how well the movie was actually received by the audience. Hopefully Marci will be able to shed some light on that soon. What I do know, however, is that Rozema's post-apocalyptic tale got good reviews for the most part with both Page and Wood being the stand out performers. They seem to pull off the omnipresent bond between their characters Nell and Eva very well and make it easy for the audience to relate to the scenario when their present day society falls apart, all the things you took for granted are taken away from you piece by piece and the life you've dreamed of becomes pure utopia.

Given those reviews and the timeless theme of the movie, it eventually came as no surprise that A24 quickly snapped up the North American rights at the beginning of last week. While it is not yet known how the distribution of the movie will play out, Elevation Pictures is currently planning some advance screenings prior to a general release in Canada in the coming months. It might also interest you to know that the movie already made its way to other countries and will be screening at the 20th Busan International Film Festival in South Korea as well as the 48th Sitges Film Festival (also known as Festival Internacional de Cinema Fantàstic de Catalunya) in Spain. Here's to hoping that this is the initial spark for further releases around the globe!

On a different note: The thing I remember the most from this past weekend are the 10 hours of sleep I had in 3 days, and our EPO friend Mireille Lanser's question being picked up by Ellen in a video from The Hollywood Reporter. In the run-up to the festival in Toronto, the newspaper announced that the stars coming to the THR TIFF lounge will answer fan questions and called people to send in what they want to know from the celebrities via Facebook. It was during the night-time from Saturday to Sunday at around 4:00 AM in Germany and I was already about to go to bed when I discovered that the video popped up on msn.com an hour earlier. I immediately reached out to Mireille via Facebook asking "OMG, OMG OMG, are you sitting down?" and shared the joyful occasion with her. It goes without saying that Mireille was absolutely delighted about this and we spread the word to our followers making a long day even longer. All of Team EPO including Wayne and Trisha celebrated with Mireille because she totally deserved this! Not only because she is a part of our team, but also because she is one of the loveliest and most extraordinary people that we’ve ever met! You can find the video along with a complete transcript of the question and Ellen's answer after the jump.



The Hollywood Reporter - Fan Questions - September 12, 2015

What’s the best and what’s the worst thing about being an actress?

"The best part of it is acting. That’s what I love to do. To have the opportunity to work with someone like Evan; who, when you are doing a scene with, you feel utterly and completely present with. Seperated from the reality that surrounds you. It’s a really extraordinary feeling. And when I would say the worst part is, I don’t know. I think it’s hard. I think I feel so lucky, and so privileged to do something I love, and to be paid to do it. And to get to travel, and meet and work with incredible people. I feel I would be a jerk to be complaining about anything."

Since we are still working on our new video gallery and didn't want to put any further effort in the existing listings, we haven't added new clips to the website yet. However, you can find many videos related to the festival in our constantly updated TIFF15 playlist on YouTube! And finally here's a summary of all reviews and press comments for »Into the Forest« that were published during the last week!
»Into the Forest« - Press Reviews
"The performances by the principal actresses play a big part in whether Into the Forest works or not, and so it’s an enormous credit to Page and Wood that many of the scenes play as well as they do. Page steals much of the spotlight due to the nature of her character, a more playful, silly, and outwardly emotional person. As an actor she’s already remarkably charming, but as Nell she makes her as endearing as possible without being overly cute about it [...] Fantastic - Set in an imaginable, only slightly futuristic apocalypse, Into the Forest is a compelling portrait of a sisterly bond in the wake of an existential crisis." (4.5 out of 5) — Darren Ruecker, We Got This Covered

"Page and Wood are terrific together, with all the symbiosis and friction expected of close siblings, but Nell’s and Eva’s interior lives are regrettably thin. As with her 1999 Jane Austen adaptation “Mansfield Park,” Rozema has an attraction to literary material, but despite her evident intelligence and sensitivity, she lacks the facility to bring it to specific cinematic life. Connecting the incidents in Hegland’s book gives “Into the Forest” plenty of dramatic kick, but the film leaves the impression that the characters’ full selves remain stubbornly on the page, as thoughts not translated into action." — Scott Tobias, Variety

"At times troubling and even frustrating (people aren't always likeable in these situations), this intimately observed portrait of two sisters finding strength in each other is a deeply moving testament to the nature of what remains of our identity when all of the noise and modern conveniences of the world are stripped away." (8 out of 10) — Robert Bell, Exclaim!

"Into the Forest succeeds on so many levels. It is the most sensuously filmed I have seen this year. Cinematographer Daniel Grant’s work is accomplished, menacing and breath-taking. Director Patricia Rozema has a history of bringing out the best in actresses. Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood sky-rocket. They bring out the best in each other in two very demanding roles with intensity, fervour and love. I was completely mesmerized watching these very talented performers." — George Kozera, MrWillWong

"Based on the Jean Hegland novel, Into the Forest is the first theatrical feature from Canadian filmmaker Patricia Rozema since 2008, and while it isn’t exactly a full-on return to form, it’s a well acted, gorgeously shot, and often interesting take on a rather tired and clichéd sort of post-apocalyptic fable. [...] It’s not perfect, but it’s a fine addition to the usually testosterone driven post-apocalyptic genre." — Andrew Parker, Toronto Film Scene

"Ellen Page does an admirable job of playing someone trying to make the best out of a bad situation while Evan Rachel Wood coolly portrays a diva. The perspective of the crisis never goes beyond the two girls which results in the audience being solely invested in them. [...] Filmmaker Patricia Rozema makes effective use of out of focus imagery to indicate an unwanted presence and cleverly shifts the framing to emphasize the emotional trauma a character is experiencing. If the pacing of the opening act had been maintained throughout Rozema would have crafted a tense thriller; however, the story drags on like catastrophe being depicted." (3 out of 5) — Trevor Hogg, Live For Films

"Page and Wood’s comfort around one another is truly remarkable; in the film’s clear standout sequence, Page bathes a nude Wood as she trembles like a leaf on a tree. Their verisimilitude as siblings suffers a bit from odd miscasting — there’s no way that Page is studying for her SATs — as well as the fact that Page and Wood don’t look like they could possibly share any DNA. For the most part, though, it’s easy to overlook this by virtue of their true-blue intimacy with one another." (B) — Charles Bramesco, Indiewire

"As a parable of resilience, the film is only as persuasive as one’s willingness to believe it. The performances help. Rennie could be any earnest father as he tries to protect his daughters and dies cutting wood for them. Page, playing headstrong Nell, is a tough fighter. Wood, radiant as a dancer who rehearses to her metronome, survives the extreme conditions and her own obsessional fantasies." — David D'Arcy, ScreenDaily

"Into the Forest is earnest, earthy, and a little bit silly, which is not an unwholesome combination. It’s also excellently acted by Page and Wood, neither of whom ever quite look as ragged as eight months off the grid would imply but still inhabit their roles with believable love and affection for one another. Rozema has spent the last decade or so lost in the industrial forest that swallows up Canadian auteurs; now, it looks as if she’s come out the other side." — Adam Nayman, Cinema Scope

"Into the Forest is therefore also a nail-biter of suspense asking if or when these two young girls will die. Starvation, boredom, stir-crazed lunacy, or uninvited guests could all supply this end and many come very close to doing exactly that. The journey is nuanced and subtle, though, just like its science-fiction premise. So don’t expect a thrill a minute. I think the slow pace, despite its usually active subject matter, tripped up many people because inappropriate laughter and walkouts occurred throughout the TIFF screening I attended. Conversely, I appreciated the gradual burn and the intelligence utilized to reject the appeal of going bigger. Personal conflict is more attuned to what I’d face in these circumstances than Mad Max spectacle." (B) — Jared Mobarak, The Film Stage

"Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood star as sisters who suddenly find their small little home in the woods thrust into darkness, and silence, as the power grid fails across North America. It doesn’t really matter why any of that happens–the film is really about what the sisters do next, and that’s what makes Into The Forest so fresh and exciting. The film nurtures their story, sows doubt, and then reaps the consequences with an ending that feels right on every level. While I can’t speak to the film’s success as an adaptation of the book, its a joy to watch." (3.5 out of 4) — W. Andrew Powell, Cinema Scope

"Into the Forest is the most insane movie I've seen in years, and I read the book. [...] If only the film were stronger. Its anti-technology message and epiphany is too over-the-top. It detracts from how perfect and believable Ellen and Evan are as sisters in crisis. They're two of the best actresses of their peer group, but this adaptation doesn't do them or the book justice. All it needed to do was pick a genre. Horror? Suspense? A relationship drama?" — Joanna Adams, Lainey Gossip

"Despite strong performances from Page and Evan Rachel Wood as sisters struggling for survival, Patricia Rozema’s adaptation of Jean Hegland’s popular novel struggles to grip [...] the problem with Rozema’s adaptation: their relationship isn’t that compelling. It’s revealed in clunky fashion through home movies, that Nell and Eva’s mother died not long ago of an unnamed disease. Their grief registers, yet the characters remain underdeveloped as people worth investing in. That’s not to discredit the work done by Page and Wood, both of whom go as deep as they can go with Rozema’s surface-level handling of the material (she also wrote the screenplay). Their sisterly bond is undeniable; it’s too bad that as individuals, they never manage to ring clear." (2 out of 5) — Nigel M Smith, The Guardian

"The actresses inhabit a wholly believable sibling dynamic, with Eva needing more nurturing than her sister and only really drawing nourishment from her dance sessions — beautiful episodes of abstract movement choreographed by Crystal Pite. Page, watchful and worried, carries responsibility on her shoulders without bitterness. [...] The Bottom Line: A high-caliber survival film focused on familial bonds over genre scares." — John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter

"Maybe the biggest surprise as I knew the least about it — is Patricia Rozema's Into the Forest. [...] What Rozema created is the image of a welcoming forest, of the possibility of a retreat and a new beginning, the beginning of a home. Forests were the beginnings of civilization. Once people left the caves they started to build shelters/homes with wood. When they hit the deserts, they invented monotheism (think of all the prophets who have their visions in the desert) and air-conditioning, the ultimate rebellion against nature. These two women take the next step that we all have to take sooner than later. Thank you, Patricia, for tying our laces!" — Jörn Weisbrodt, Luminato Festival

"Ellen Page (in her first starring role since Whip It) and Evan Rachel Wood are superb, particularly the latter in a couple of devastating scenes. Outside some moments of clumsiness at the beginning thanks to some goofy next generation tech, Into the Forest unfolds confidently. Whether it sticks the landing, it’s up to you to decide, but it’s a hell of a ride. Four soon-to-be-roasted prairie dogs." — Jorge Ignacio Castillo, Prairie Dog

"Watching her work here and in “Freeheld,” one notices something about Ellen Page—she’s always remarkably present. You can see her listening, thinking and responding to her fellow actors and the situations that confront her. She doesn’t seem forced. Wood is typically strong as well (she’s an underrated actress), but it’s Page’s journey from what almost feels like a teenager to the de facto leader of the house that I find the most interesting. Still, “Into the Forest” remains a near-miss despite the strong work by its two leads as, and this could be a flaw of the source material, it starts to feel unfocused and directorially thin. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if other people see enough in these two performances to feel otherwise." — Brian Tallerico, Roger Ebert.com

"As a pair of leads very much carrying the thing—with an appearance from the sympathetic Max Minghella—Page and Wood are completely capable. You might never have imagined them as siblings before, but their cut glass cheekbones and steady gazes feel entirely sisterly. [...] Though the seasons are oddly unchanging and there’s a little head-scratching logic in the last reel, the film provides a compellingly fresh addition to a growing End Of Days cinematic subgroup." — Carsten Knox, Halifaxbloggers


Date: 09/20/2015 - 16:40:16 Posted by Dominik
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Ellen Page on the cover of NOW Toronto / International festival tour of »Into the Forest« and »Freeheld«

Almost ten years after her her first appearance on the cover of NOW Toronto in November 2005, Ellen is once again on the front page of the magazine's current September 3 issue. While scans have already been added to our gallery on the publication date, the featured articles "Dawn of a new Page" and "Q&A: Patricia Rozema on Ellen Page" are also available at full length on nowtoronto.com!

NOW Toronto - 3rd September 2015 issueNOW Toronto - 3rd September 2015 issueNOW Toronto - 3rd September 2015 issue

If you are a regular visitor to the website, you will surely remember Marci who worked as a volunteer at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and provided us not only with some photos and videos but also a great report, including reviews of both »The East« and »Touchy Feely«. She will be heading to the film festival in Toronto at the end of the week and will be lucky enough to watch both of Ellen's latest movies there. We are wishing her a wonderful time in Canada and hope she comes back with many memorable experiences and footage that she can share with us!

For all those who did not get hold of tickets or can't watch »Into the Forest« and »Freeheld« at this year's TIFF for some other reason, we made a summary of further festivals where both movies will be playing at. While we did our best to gather all screening dates that were announced in the past few days, it cannot be ruled out that we have overlooked something. Please drop us an email at teamepo@ellenpage.org or hit us on Twitter @ellenpagenet if you know an upcoming event which is not listed below yet. We will update the information as we get it, so make sure to check back often!

Into the Forest
Date/TimeCountryFestival/EventGuestsWeb
September 19 - 7:00 PMCanadaAtlantic Film FestivalPatricia Rozema»»»
September 23 - 9:30 PMCanadaCinefest Sudbury Int. Film Festival»»»
September 24 - 9:30 PMCanadaCinefest Sudbury Int. Film Festival»»»
September 27 - 7:00 PMCanadaCalgary International Film Festival»»»
September 29 - 6:15 PMCanadaCalgary International Film Festival»»»
October 3 - 1:30 PMSouth KoreaBusan International Film Festival»»»
October 3 - 6:00 PMCanadaVancouver International Film Festival»»»
October 5 - 2:00 PMSouth KoreaBusan International Film Festival»»»
October 7 - 7:00 PMSouth KoreaBusan International Film Festival»»»
October 8 - 11:00 AMCanadaVancouver International Film Festival»»»
October 17 - 8:15 AMSpainSitges Film Festival»»»
October 17 - 8:15 PMSpainSitges Film Festival»»»
October 17 - 11:00 PMSpainSitges Film FestivalPatricia Rozema»»»
November 5 - 7:30 PMCanadaSouth Western Int. Film FestivalPatricia Rozema»»»
December 12 - 6:15 PMItalyCourmayeur Noir in Festival»»»
(Last updated on December 2, 2015)

Freeheld
Date/TimeCountryFestival/EventGuestsWeb
September 21 - 7:00 PMUSAReeling Film Festival»»»
September 24 - 9:00 AMSpainSan Sebastian Film FestivalPeter Sollett, Ellen Page»»»
September 24 - 10:00 PMSpainSan Sebastian Film Festival»»»
September 25 - 6:30 PMSwitzerlandZurich Film FestivalPeter Sollett, Ellen Page»»»
September 25 - 8:45 PMSpainSan Sebastian Film Festival»»»
September 25 - 11:00 PMSpainSan Sebastian Film Festival»»»
September 27 - 6:00 PMAustraliaQueer Screen Film Fest»»»
September 28USAArthouse Film Festival»»»
October 1 - 9:00 PMSwitzerlandZurich Film Festival»»»
October 2 - 7:00 PMCanadaCalgary International Film Festival»»»
October 4 - 4:45 PMCanadaCalgary International Film Festival»»»
October 4 - 7:15 PMUSAOut on Film LGBT Film Festival»»»
October 4 - 8:00 PMSouth KoreaBusan International Film Festival»»»
October 6 - 9:00 PMCanadaEdmonton International Film Festival»»»
October 7 - 8:00 PMSouth KoreaBusan International Film Festival»»»
October 8 - 7:15 PMUSASeattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival»»»
October 9 - 1:00 PMSouth KoreaBusan International Film Festival»»»
October 16 - 5:30 PMAustraliaAdelaide Film Festival»»»
October 18 - 7:30 PMItalyFesta del Cinema di RomaPeter Sollett, Ellen Page»»»
October 18 - 8:00 PMItalyFesta del Cinema di Roma»»»
October 19 - 10:30 PMItalyFesta del Cinema di Roma»»»
October 20 - 5:00 PMItalyFesta del Cinema di Roma»»»
October 22 - 10:30 PMItalyFesta del Cinema di Roma»»»
October 24 - 5:30 PMAustraliaAdelaide Film Festival»»»
November 26 - 6:50 PMTaiwanTaipei Golden Horse Film Festival»»»
(Last updated on November 26, 2015)





Date: 09/08/2015 - 18:43:31 Posted by Dominik
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Ellen Page and Julianne Moore in the October 2015 issue of Out Magazine / EPO on Instagram and Tumblr

Ellen and her »Freeheld« co-star Julianne Moore are featured in a 8-page cover story, including some wonderful photos by Ruven Afanador, in the upcoming October 2015 issue of Out Magazine. While you can already have an advance look at it in our gallery, print copies will be subsequently available on newsstands at the end of September!

Out Magazine - October 2015Out Magazine - October 2015Out Magazine - October 2015Out Magazine - October 2015

The very first review for »Into the Forest« has just landed, courtesy of Darren Ruecker over at WeGotThisCovered. Check it out after the jump! - Removed on request of Elevation Pictures and WeGotThisCovered due to a press embargo. The review will be back online when it ends on Sunday, September 13th! -

Tumblr - EllenPageCanadianInstagram - EllenPageCanadianI am also very pleased to announce this website is finally represented on Instagram as well as Tumblr. From now on, EPO will work together with EllenPageCanadian (EPC) run by the lovely Mireille aka pomerani. Make sure to follow so we can keep you up to date on everything Ellen Page!

» instagram.com/ellenpagecanadian
» ellenpagecanadian.tumblr.com


Date: 08/31/2015 - 12:02:54 Posted by Dominik
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TIFF 2015 Special - Screening times for »Into the Forest« and »Freeheld«

TIFF 2015

The TIFF Group has finally published the complete schedule for the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival yesterday. Check out the screening times for both »Into the Forest« and »Freeheld« after the jump!

MovieDate/TimeLocation/Theatre
Into the ForestSaturday, September 12 - 8:30 PMElgin/Winter Garden Theatres
Into the Forest **Sunday, September 13 - 8:30 AMScotiabank Theatre
FreeheldSunday, September 13 - 9:30 PMRoy Thomson Hall
Freeheld **Monday, September 14 - 11:00 AMScotiabank Theatre
FreeheldMonday, September 14 - 12:00 PMRyerson
Into the ForestMonday, September 14 - 2:15 PMTIFF Bell Lightbox
Into the Forest **Tuesday, September 15 - 9:00 AMScotiabank Theatre
Freeheld **Wednesday, September 16 - 11:15 AMScotiabank Theatre
(** press and industry only)

Individual tickets will go on sale on September 6 at tiff.net/festivals/festival15/tickets!


Date: 08/26/2015 - 15:20:28 Posted by Dominik
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TIFF 2015 Special - All about the post-apocalyptic tale »Into the Forest«

TIFF 2015EPO is pleased to be among the first websites (perhaps even the first one at all) to provide you with brand new insights including facts and quotes relating to Patricia Rozema's »Into the Forest«, as a prelude to the upcoming world premiere at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival in September. Read on to find out what the post-apocalyptic tale and its production is all about! (no spoilers included)

Synopsis
In the not-too-distant future, two ambitious young women, Nell and Eva, live with their father in a lovely but run-down home up in the mountains somewhere on the West Coast. Suddenly the power goes out; no one knows why. No electricity, no gasoline. Their solar power system isn't working. Over the following days, the radio reports a thousand theories: technical breakdowns, terrorism, disease and uncontrolled violence across the continent.

Then, one day, the radio stops broadcasting. Absolute silence.

Step by ominous step, everything that Nell, a would-be academic, and Eva, a hard working contemporary dancer, have come to rely on is stripped away: parental protection, information, food, safety, friends, lovers, music - all gone. They are faced with a world where rumor is the only guide, trust is a scarce commodity, gas is king and loneliness is excruciating.

To battle starvation, invasion and despair, Nell and Eva fall deeper into a primitive life that tests their endurance and bond. Ultimately, the sisters must work together to survive and learn to discover what the earth will provide. They find comfort in cherishing the memories of the happy family life they once shared. The natural world, art & memory sustain them. But for how long?

Into the Forest, a raw and elegant "realistic fable," explores the beauty that can come of painful beginnings, the denial we resort to in a world come unhinged and the strength that we find when our plans for our lives have been obliterated.

About the film
Into the ForestWhile spending time in her native town of Halifax, Nova Scotia a few years ago — Ellen Page visited one of her favorite bookstores where a friendly clerk recommended Jean Hegland's book Into the Forest. Page instantly felt the story would make for an incredible film. "The book was so beautifully written, compelling, suspenseful and deeply, deeply emotional that I thought it would be something that I'd really like to see on film," said Page. With that in mind, Page went to work with executive producer Kelly Bush Novak on securing the rights to the novel and presenting their vision for the feature film adaptation to Hegland. With Hegland on board and the rights secured, Sriram Das and Das Films were brought on to help develop Page's passion project.

From there Page sought out writer/director Patricia Rozema who found the story equally moving and immediately signed on to the project. Rozema adapted the novel quickly which allowed the filmmakers to charge ahead with the project. "It was one of these dream scenarios where it's not years and years of preparin — it just had a kind of special force right from the beginning," said Rozema. "Although producers Kelly Bush Novak, Niv Fichman, and Aaron Gilbert have all been incredibly helpful — creatively, it was Ellen who was integral to developing this film." The film marks Page's first producorial venture, and beyond development, Page has been hands-on in post-production. "During the actual process of shooting, Ellen really wanted to concentrate on her performance and put her trust in Aaron Gilbert and myself," said Fichman. "But in completing the film, she has very much been a force in terms of the direction of the editing, and in shaping the release of the film."

Into the Forest steers away from fantastical or science fiction devices and offers a more unsettling and realistic vision of the future. "It's a piece of speculative fiction about survival," says Rozema. Despite it's haunting atmosphere, she hopes audiences come away from the movie with a feeling of comfort. "Even if the worst happens, short of death, if your head is in the right place, you can survive," says Rozema. "I wanted to convey the fact that information would be the hardest thing to find and the hardest thing to live without. The fact that rumors would be all you have when all forms of energy are gone, would be very difficult for me and for most of us. It's more character-based and psychologically motivated than most post-apocalyptic stories." She adds: "Not to get too grand about it, I have thought that it's also about the Buddhist concept of detachment, of letting go." Wood also views the film as a sort of cautionary tale. "I think a lot of the things in this film aren't too far off from where we're headed, which is a scary thought," said Wood. "The film underscores the importance of not taking things for granted, and pushes the audience to hopefully reexamine themselves and how they relate to the world around them."

For Page, who brought this film to life and shepherded the project — the journey has been an incredible one of discovery. What compelled her to want to tell the story is what she hopes the film will inspire in audiences. "The film and its story really get into what it signifies to truly live outside all of the elusive things and expectations we have for life," says Page. "I'd like for audiences to think about what it means to be a human being in this world, what surviving looks like, and what existence actually means to them."

About the casting
Into the ForestOnce Rozema had finished the script, she and Page set out to bring together the rest of the cast which includes Evan Rachel Wood, Max Minghella, Callum Keith Rennie and Wendy Crewson. "These actors are all as authentic as can be," said Rozema. "They would hesitate with anything that seems remotely stagey or setup, and I love that about them because I felt that this story especially needed to be without artifice, as humble and true as possible." Page reached out to Evan Rachel Wood directly, as she was the first actress they considered and hoped would play the role of Eva. "I hadn't been that moved by a script in maybe ten years," said Wood. "I loved it because it really challenged me and I had to put down the script and walk away and really think about what I had just read, what it meant, and how I was supposed to feel. That really excited me."

Page had long wanted to work with Wood, but she recalls it wasn't until she began working with her on Into the Forest that she realized the degree of Wood's talent. "I haven't had an experience with an actor like that in a really long time, where there's just such fluidity," said Page. "Evan is so unbelievably present and wildly committed — she really just blew my mind every single day because she's so extraordinary." Having become attached to the project almost a year before production ultimately began, Wood and Page took time to get to know each other and become friends to prepare for what would be an intimate portrait of the two sisters. They developed a shorthand that comes from really knowing a person and both felt their friendship off-screen helped elevate the performances onscreen. Wood was equally effusive in praise when discussing how it was collaborating with Page to play these two sisters facing the world alone. "Getting the chance to work with someone you admire so much and respect makes you feel safe as an actor," said Wood. "When we got in the room and started acting, I was just blown away by how present she was and how quickly she could turn it on and off."

Max Minghella, who plays Eli in the film, was eager to get to work alongside Page and Wood whose work he admired. "This experience has been rigorous, and very collaborative," said Minghella. "We've all bonded in a pretty intense way because it's a film that requires us to explore a lot of different emotions."

Page had previously worked with Callum Keith Rennie when she was 16 on the film Wilby Wonderful. Of Rennie, Page says, "I think he's one of the most talented people working and was so thrilled that he wanted to be a part of the film."

About the story
In adapting the screenplay, Rozema focused on the second half of Jean Hegland's novel and extracted major themes that were fairly grand in scope, but told from the intimate perspective of the two sisters. The film reveals what Nell and Eva endure to survive and create a new life that has them moving ever further away from modernity and the comforts they once knew. As Page describes, "The film doesn't explain what is behind the collapse of society — but what the sisters are dealing with in terms of the repercussions, such as not having electricity, running water, or access to food supplies."

For Rozema, the story was one she was particularly interested to tell as she felt it was relevant to what is on the world's collective mind. "Maybe the reason we're seeing so many post-­-apocalyptic stories right now is that we're actually wondering how we could handle a return to a primitive state," said Rozema. "In a very simple way, Into the Forest deals with the complex problem of the collapse of our fossil fueled society on a more psychological level. It asks would happen if there was no transportation, food stopped being distributed, taps wouldn't flow and maybe you are one of the last people alive. But you don't even know for sure. Would you cocoon? Would we become depressed or violent or heroic and adventurous? Would people turn on each other or band together? Would you cling to the habits and rituals and memories of the past? Would women or men be especially vulnerable or especially strong? Would you cling to the old structures or tear them down and start anew?"

As the story progresses, layers are peeled back to reveal more about the family life Nell and Eva once shared, and the loss that brings them together. Very much a dramatic film with moments of suspense, Into the Forest is as much about the bond between two sisters as it is about the frightening possibilities of a complete societal collapse. Wood describes the universal themes behind the film as "extreme loss, letting go, family, love, and survival."

About the sisters
Into the ForestNell and Eva had a good upbringing in a loving family. Nell is cerebral, putting emphasis on academics and schooling. As the film opens we see Nell on her computer taking a practice entrance exam. "She is a born reader, hungry for knowledge," said Rozema. "She's kind of lonely and needs to connect with her sister, but can't because Eva is so very focused on her art." Eva is equally intelligent, but her heart and soul are set on becoming a professional dancer. As we're introduced to her character, we find that she allows no one to distract her from practicing in her beautiful mirrored dance studio, striving for perfection. "In the screenplay, I wrote that Eva floats in mind, body and spirit," said Rozema. "She is a dancer, and that's all she wants to think about. She doesn't have the same urge as Nell to connect. She is very self-contained."

When all forms of power are gone, the sisters find themselves struggling to cope with the inconveniences. Nell loses access to electronic information, and Eva is left without music, which is vital to her obsessive rehearsing. Very quickly, the sisters come to realize what was initially a disruption to their daily lives is much more severe and permanent — forcing them to find happiness elsewhere, initially in meeting their basic needs for survival. Nell and Eva use their respective skills to help each other survive this new primitive life they've been thrown into. "Through circumstance, the sisters unite in a way that's very powerful and necessary in order to figure out their next steps," said Page. "We see how they have an extraordinary love for one another, in that sort of inexplicable family way."

As is often the case, family comes together in times of crisis, and that is exactly what these sisters do. To brave this new world, they draw upon their inner strength, love and upbringing to carry them through. While they face devastating blows and stumble in their steps to survive — they ultimately unite in a way that leaves audiences feeling hopeful that the sisters will endure.

About the look
Into the ForestThe film was shot on location in Vancouver and Vancouver Island, Canada, in beautiful old growth forests that were somewhat representative of Northern California, where the book was originally set. Rozema was initially a bit nervous to shoot in the forest, "I'm wary of shooting in nature because on a visual level it can kind of be messy and I love a nice clean graphic image," she said. "But the forest is the heart of the film" so she embraced showing the dichotomy and complication behind the allure and challenges of the forest, capturing the attraction of it, the danger, the thrill, and the quiet of it all. "I knew I had to avoid anything slick or self-conscious." While driving around with production designer, Jeremy Stanbridge, I was in awe of the natural beauty all around. I kept thinking of something my dad would say when we were driving across the country when I was little, 'Look at that mountain', he'd say 'just look. If you had to pay to see it, people would pay millions of dollars. But it's free.' He'd say it about forests and rivers too - so much of which is now under serious threat."

Rozema enlisted cinematographer Daniel Grant, who she chose to work with after being taken by some of the images in his reel. She says Grant, "has a loose, gracious approach and a clear understanding of moment, light and the emotive power of images. He talks about every shot having some mystery to it. I love that." They storyboarded extensively and mostly stuck to the plan, working hard for what Rozema calls the feeling of "accidental beauty". Rozema says, "I had two words "raw" & "elegant" that I repeated a lot. And Daniel would often I speak about 'curious cam'. We avoided anything that smacked of 'ego-cam', something designed to impress but not born organically from the intent of the scene. We had such a wonderful time designing the shots. When we got to set, I felt completely comfortable that we understood each other and I could focus on the nuances of the acting. In editing, his work was an embarrassment of riches."

The house, which Rozema had envisioned as something designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, is almost a character in its own right. She was overjoyed when Stanbridge found a house designed by Frederick Hollingsworth, an icon of west coast modernism, who had actually been a friend of Lloyd Wright's and shared his ensibility. Stanbridge created a state-of-the-art dance studio out of a carport and brought the house through a huge transformation. "Jeremy also handled the fact that the story is set 4 or 5 years in the future very subtly. We decided that this far away from an urban center, only the technology would be noticeably different. I think he did an exquisite job of making it clear but not having it shout 'Hey, look at me, I'm from the future.'"

About the music
Page and Rozema were very excited to work with Max Richter, world-renowned composer based in Berlin. "Max's music is simultaneously intelligent and wrenchingly emotional," says Rozema, "he rides that very difficult line between over-playing a moment and heightening it."

"Into The Forest is a fascinating puzzle of a project, both philosophical and deeply emotional," recalls Richter. "Looking at the texture of the narrative and it's setting, I chose a hybrid acoustic and electronic palette of muted colors. The intense story telling in the film is embedded in abstract analogue drones, reflecting the unknown landscape the characters inhabit, while the instrumental music drives the story forward, articulating the narrative architecture. It was a pleasure to be part of this fascinating voyage of discovery."

Quotes
Into the Forest"Patricia is exceptional. She has this combination of being incredibly meticulous and so attentive to every detail, but also leaves you feeling absolutely free to explore and discover. We shot this film in a short period of time, and it was remarkable to see her consistently so fantastic and emotionally connected to the story." — Ellen Page on director Patricia Rozema

"Working with Patricia has been a joy on every level and I couldn't imagine doing this film with anyone else. She is fiercely intelligent and open to whatever suggestion you have and really respects the actor's process, especially for a film like this where you have to be so vulnerable." — Evan Rachel Wood on director Patricia Rozema

"Ellen has a rare combination of quiet power and fragility. And she's so damn cool. I never once had to cut around inauthenticity. I think she's one of the best actors of our time." — Patricia Rozema on actress Ellen Page

"Evan is fierce and urgent and entirely committed. There's one scene - I don't want to spoil it for you by saying what happens - where she screams so intensely that she broke all the capillaries around her eyes! I only did one take. And cried after I said cut." — Patricia Rozema on actress Evan Rachel Wood

Source: official press notes, courtesy of Elevation Pictures

The movie will also be screening at the 35th Atlantic Film Festival in Ellen's hometown of Halifax on September 19, 2015!


Date: 08/24/2015 - 14:26:42 Posted by Dominik
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