'Pride' Star Ben Schnetzer to Lead 'The Grizzlies'

By Rosser, Michael | Screen International, February 18, 2016 | Go to article overview

'Pride' Star Ben Schnetzer to Lead 'The Grizzlies'


Rosser, Michael, Screen International


Ben Schnetzer (The Book Thief, Pride) has signed on to play the leading role in The Grizzlies, set to shoot in April 2016 in Iqaluit, Nunavut - a small city in the Canadian Arctic.

Producer-director Miranda de Pencier (Beginners) will make her directorial debut with this feature, having previously directed award-winning short Throat Song.

The Grizzlies is based on the true story of high school teacher Russ Sheppard (Schnetzer) who arrived in a struggling Arctic community ravaged by alcoholism, abuse, and the highest suicide rate in North America and started a lacrosse league. The sports league galvanized the town and sparked a change in the kids who transformed their lives for the better.

Fitness entrepreneur and producer Jake Steinfeld, founder of Major League Lacrosse, held the rights to Sheppard's story.

Following breakthrough roles in The Book Thief and Pride, Schnetzer will next be seen in Oliver Stone's Snowden, Duncan Jones' Warcraftand Andrew Neel's Goat, which premiered at Sundance last month. He recently wrapped production on Bronwen Hughes' Journey is the Destination.

De Pencier said: "The demands for this part are great and I found the perfect fit in Ben: intelligence, charm, depth, athleticism and strength of character. …

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