Crazy Canucks subject of feature film airing February 2


Crazy Canucks subject of feature film airing February 2{mosimage}They became Canadian heroes who rose to fame in the 1970s, carving themselves into the history books as they took the World Cup Downhill Ski Circuit by storm. Now, CTV invites Canadians to relive some of the most groundbreaking moments in skiing history when it premieres Crazy Canucks, an original and timely CTV movie produced by Calgary-based Alberta Filmworks Inc., airing Wednesday, February 2, 2005 from 9 to 11 p.m. ET (check local listings).

The movie’s broadcast date is timely on two fronts. First, Crazy Canucks produced and directed by Alberta Filmworks’ Randy Bradshaw (Agent of Influence, The Song Spinner) has just received the Audience Award for Best Feature Film at the Whistler Film Festival last month, the latest in a series of film festival debuts. And second, the broadcast date follows on the heels of Canada’s latest Alpine success story. On Dec. 21, 2004, 32-year-old Canmore, Alberta native Thomas Grandi tallied his second World Cup win in three days, stringing together giant slalom victories in Italy and Austria to become the first Canadian man ever to win a World Cup Giant Slalom race.

Crazy Canucks is based on the book ‘White Circus’ by Ken Read and Matthew Fisher, Crazy Canucks chronicles the incredible achievements of Read, ‘Jungle’ Jim Hunter, Dave Irwin, Dave Murray and Steve Podborski, who together rose to become Canadian heroes and worldwide superstars. This film is inspired by the true story of the World Cup Downhill Circuit during the
1974-1976 seasons, when the Canadian Men’s Alpine Team faced head-on the challenge of cracking the Euro-dominated world of competitive downhill skiing. This sports drama relives groundbreaking moments in Canadian skiing history, and celebrates the achievements of these five world-famous athletes.

Ken Read is played by Lucas Bryant (An American in Canada, Queer as Folk), Jim Hunter by Sandy Robson (Twice in a Lifetime, The Impossible Elephant), Steve Podborski by Curtis Harrison (Undressed, Queer as Folk), Dave Murray by Kyle Labine (DaVinci’s Inquest, Dead Man’s Gun) and Dave Irwin by Robert Tinkler (Relic Hunter, The Blobheads). The role of coach Scott Henderson is played by Gabriel Hogan (The Associates, Stolen Miracle) and the assistant coach by Joe Norman Shaw (Burn, The Investigation).

The movie opens in Europe, 1974, where after a disappointing season, the Canadian Men’s Alpine Team is back for another shot. With the daunting task of unseating Austrian ski legend Franz Klammer, tension rises among the fiercely ambitious young men. ‘Jungle’ Jim Hunter has already set the bar high by winning an Olympic Bronze in Sapporo, and struggles with the pressure of expectations while seasoned teammate Dave Irwin and rookies Ken Read and Steve Podborski strive to set the new standard. Dave Murray, the eternal peacemaker, adds to the dynamic, while Scott Henderson, the youngest coach on the circuit, works hard to bring out the best in his boys and keep them from coming to blows.

Their relentless charging of the toughest courses inspires the resurrection of the nickname ‘Crazy Canucks’ and a bold win by Ken Read is headlined by French journalist Serge Lange, launching the team into the spotlight.
Proving they belong there is the other half of the story but in the end, their wild ride to the top is legendary in the annals of Canadian sport history.

Bradshaw’s Alberta Filmworks partner, Doug MacLeod (Tom Stone, North of 60), is the film’s executive producer. The screenplay was adapted by Don Truckey (Net Worth, Lonesome Dove) and Graeme Manson (The Eleventh Hour, Lucky Girl). Lesley Grant is CTV’s production executive for the movie. Bill Mustos is Senior-Vice President of Dramatic Programming for CTV. Susanne Boyce is CTV’s President of Programming and Chair of the CTV Media Group.

Crazy Canucks was developed with financial support from CTV, Telefilm, the Telus TV Development Fund and the CFRN Production Fund. Production financing partners include CTV, the Canadian Television Fund (Equity Investment Program & License Fee Program), the Alberta Foundation for the Arts Film Development Program, Alliance Atlantis Communications, Cine Tirol, the COGECO Program Development Fund and the CanWest Western Independent Producers Fund.

In its 15-year history, Alberta Filmworks has produced over 150 hours of high quality dramatic television programming. Alberta Filmworks movies and series have been broadcast and distributed throughout the world and have garnered over 100 Canadian and international nominations and awards. Alberta Filmworks has produced and co-produced dramatic programming for CBS, Lifetime, USA Network, Court TV, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Showcase, CTV and Global Television among others.

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