April 17, 2023
– The six-part limited drama debuts on Friday, May 26 on Crave and APTN lumi –
– LITTLE BIRD recently took home the coveted Audience Award at the 2023 SERIES MANIA Festival –
– A special companion documentary, COMING HOME, premieres June 30 on Crave and APTN lumi–
(L-R Darla Contois and Lisa Edelstein)
TORONTO, Ont. — Crave and APTN premiere their much-anticipated original limited series, LITTLE BIRD, Friday, May 26, which follows an inspirational journey of self-discovery and truth. From Crave, APTN, Rezolution Pictures,OP Little Bird, and in partnership with global producer and distributor Fremantle, the six-part, one-hour limited series explores universal themes of resilience in the face of trauma and loss. It follows Bezhig Little Bird (Darla Contois) as she embarks on a path to find her birth family and uncover the hidden truth of her family history. The series streams on Friday, May 26 on Crave and APTN lumi, in English and French, with subsequent episodes dropping Fridays.
Removed from her home in Long Pine Reserve in Saskatchewan, Bezhig Little Bird is adopted into a Montréal Jewish family at age five, becoming Esther Rosenblum. Now in her 20s, Bezhig longs for the family she lost and is willing to sacrifice everything to find them. Her search lands her in the Canadian Prairies, worlds apart from everything she knows. As she begins to track down her siblings, she unravels the mystery behind her adoption and discovers that her apprehension was connected to a racist government policy, now known as the Sixties Scoop. Bezhig’s sense of identity shatters, and she is forced to reckon with who she is and who she wants to become.
Led by Contois, the character-driven drama features a talented cast of Indigenous actors, including: Ellyn Jade; Osawa Muskwa; Joshua Odjick; Imajyn Cardinal; Braeden Clarke; Eric Schweig; and Michelle Thrush. Rounding out the cast is Lisa Edelstein (HOUSE) who plays Esther’s adoptive mother, Golda Rosenblum.
The recent winner of the Audience Award Prize at the 2023 SERIES MANIA Festival in Lille, France, LITTLE BIRD was filmed in and around Winnipeg and Brokenhead Ojibway Nation on Treaty 1 territory and in Sioux Valley Dakota Nation territory. LITTLE BIRD showrunner Jennifer Podemski was also recently presented with an Academy Board Of Directors’ Tribute Award at the 2023 Canadian Screen Awards.
Alongside the final episode on June 30, Crave and APTN lumi are making available COMING HOME, a 90-minute companion documentary providing historical context, about the Sixties Scoop. Directed by Erica Daniels (Run as One), COMING HOME explores the connections between the ground-breaking movement for Indigenous narrative sovereignty and the impact of the child welfare system as experienced through the LITTLE BIRD series’ Indigenous creatives, crew, and Sixties Scoop advisors. COMING HOME provides a structuring through-line, interwoven with interviews with cast, crew, and community members revealing personal connections to the Sixties Scoop.
Additional information, assets, and the series trailer for LITTLE BIRD are available on The Lede. Click HERE to access them.
LITTLE BIRD is a co-production from Crave and APTN, produced by Rezolution Pictures and OP Little Bird with the participation of the Canada Media Fund (CMF), Manitoba Film and Music, the Rogers Cable Network Fund, the Bell Fund, and the COGECO Independent Production Fund. Additional training funding is provided by Bell Media, the Indigenous Screen Office, REEL Canada and the Director’s Guild of Canada (DGC). Fremantle is distributing the series globally.
Led by an Indigenous creative team, LITTLE BIRD is developed by showrunner Jennifer Podemski and Rezolution Pictures, and created by Podemski and head writer Hannah Moscovitch. The creative team includes directors Zoe Hopkins and Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and was written by Hopkins and Moscovitch. The series is executive produced by Christina Fon, Ernest Webb, Catherine Bainbridge, Linda Ludwick (Rezolution Pictures), Kim Todd, Nicholas Hirst (Original Pictures), Jennifer Podemski, Hannah Moscovitch, Zoe Hopkins, Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Jeremy Podeswa, along with Christian Vesper and Dante Di Loreto (Fremantle). Producers are Tanya Brunel and Jessica Dunn (OP Little Bird), Claire MacKinnon and Philippe Chabot (Rezolution Pictures) and Lori Lozinski and Ellen Rutter.
For Bell Media, Alison Korogyi is Development Executive; Rachel Goldstein-Couto is Head of Development, Original Programming; Mitch Geddes is Production Executive; Sarah Fowlie is Head of Production, Original Programming; Carlyn Klebuc is General Manager, Original Programming; Pat DiVittorio is Vice-President, CTV and Specialty Programming; Justin Stockman is Vice-President, Content Development & Programming; and Karine Moses is Senior Vice-President, Content Development & News, Bell Media and Vice Chair, Québec, Bell.
For APTN, Adam Garnet Jones is Director of TV Content and Special Events, Danelle Granger is Executive in charge of Development and Scripted Content, and Lisa Ducharme is Director of Online Content and Deliverables.
As previously announced, the production of LITTLE BIRD featured a training program that included opportunities for emerging and mid-career level Indigenous creators and crew, as well as for entry-level individuals, to gain practical on-set experience leading to subsequent employment in the industry. Built with the understanding that training, skill building, and professional development are integral to building capacity and sustainability in the Indigenous screen sector, the program was made possible via partnerships with the Indigenous Screen Office, Bell Media, REEL Canada, DGC, and DGC Manitoba.
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Crave is Canada’s prestige entertainment offering, delivering more Oscar®-nominated and Emmy® Award-winning programming than any other service, with HBO, HBO Max Originals, SHOWTIME®, STARZ, Hollywood-hit movies, and boasts a robust slate of English and French original series. It is a bilingual TV and streaming service, with thousands of hours of exclusive French-language content. Crave is available directly to all Canadians with access to the Internet at Crave.ca, via iOS and Android, and other platforms such as Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, select LG Smart TVs, PlayStation, Roku, select Samsung Smart TVs, and Xbox One, and through participating service providers across ten, 24-hour High Definition linear and on demand channels.
About Bell Media Original Programming
Bell Media has commissioned some of Canada’s most-watched and most-acclaimed original programming, working with the best Canadian independent producers in the country. Hit series commissioned by CTV include #1 Canadian drama TRANSPLANT; record-breaking Canadian format THE AMAZING RACE CANADA; comedy series CHILDREN RUIN EVERYTHING; new dramas THE SPENCER SISTERS and SULLIVAN’S CROSSING; competition series CROSS COUNTRY CAKE OFF; and the upcoming unscripted dating series FARMING FOR LOVE. Among the original series on Bell Media specialty and streaming platforms are CTV Life Channel’s culinary series MARY MAKES IT EASY with Mary Berg, and the upcoming food, travel, and adventure series EVOLVING VEGAN; CTV Comedy Channel’s ROAST BATTLE CANADA and the scripted series ACTING GOOD. Crave Originals include hit series LETTERKENNY and its official spinoff series SHORESY, CANADA’S DRAG RACE, and WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE (EVEN JAY BARUCHEL), and the upcoming LITTLE BIRD; docuseries DARK SIDE OF THE RING; and acclaimed documentaries including KINGS OF COKE. Discovery is home to Bell Media’s hit factual series and franchises HIGHWAY THRU HELL, HEAVY RESCUE: 401, the upcoming EAST HARBOUR HEROES, and Animal Planet’s PETS & PICKERS. Bell Media is part of BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company. Learn more at www.BellMedia.ca.
About APTN and APTN lumi
APTN launched in 1999 as the first national Indigenous broadcaster in the world. A respected non-profit and charitable broadcaster, APTN shares authentic stories in English, French and a variety of Indigenous languages with nearly 10 million Canadian households. In 2019, the network launched APTN lumi, the first Indigenous-focused streaming service in Canada. Available on a monthly subscription basis, the platform offers an extensive catalogue of original programming, documentaries, kids’ shows and much more—all told from Indigenous perspectives.
About Rezolution Pictures
Rezolution Pictures is an award-winning production company that’s changing the narrative when it comes to diversity and representation in the entertainment landscape. They have established original Indigenous content within mainstream media and sold programming around the world in major markets to broadcasters including GEM, APTN, Superchannel, OMNI, TVO, CBC, RDI, ARTV, Télé-Québec, FNX, Vision Maker and internationally with PBS, Peacock +, ARTE. The Emmy-nominated Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World has won awards at Sundance, Hot Docs and the CSAs and the Gemini- and Peabody-winning Reel Injun has been inducted into the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Museum.
About OP Little Bird
OP Little Bird, is a Winnipeg-based company, majority-owned by Manitoba independent producer Tanya Brunel, Métis from the Red River region and member of the Manitoba Métis Federation. The other shareholders are Original Pictures Manitoba, a company controlled by producer Jessica Dunn and Original Pictures Inc. a boutique production company with offices in Winnipeg, Toronto and Calgary, founded by its president Emmy-award winner Kim Todd (The Handmaid’s Tale, Brave New World, Falcon Beach).
Fremantle is one of the world’s largest and most successful creators, producers and distributors of Entertainment, Drama & Film and Documentaries. Operating in 27 territories we are a proudly independent group of content creators. We produce and deliver high-quality multi-genre IP including some of the biggest entertainment formats, most watched international dramas, award winning films and hard-hitting documentaries, amplifying local stories on a global scale. From Idols to The Mosquito Coast, The Price is Right to The Hand of God, The Farmer Wants A Wife to Arctic Drift, Family Feud to My Brilliant Friend and Bones & All to Planet Sex our focus is simple – we create and deliver irresistible entertainment. We are also a world leader in digital and branded entertainment with more than 470 million fans across 2,000 social channels and over 34 billion views per year across all platforms. Fremantle is part of RTL Group, a global leader across broadcast, content and digital, itself a division of the international media giant Bertelsmann. For more information, please visit www.fremantle.com, follow us on Twitter @FremantleHQ and Instagram @fremantle or visit our LinkedIn page.
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