Into the Woods
filming the northwoods fairytale ‘North Passage’
North Passage combines the talents of four friends from the west coast: Kevin Pontuti (director) and his wife Mimi French (producer), Jay Collins (composer) and his wife Charis Collins (writer). Kevin and Mimi hail from Los Angeles. They and their daughter moved to Menomonie when Kevin accepted a teaching position with UW Stout’s Art Department. Charis and Jay moved from Portland to a farm north of Colfax. The four are using their new surroundings as fuel for their creative fire.
The film features a young girl named Frea (played by Kevin and Mimi’s daughter), whose family escapes a worldwide economic meltdown, and takes shelter on Frea’s eccentric, survivalist grandfather’s farm. It is there that she mysteriously crosses paths with her regional ancestors in a subtle blending of time periods for a northwoods fairytale of sorts. The film explores environmental, economic, and social issues that relate to contemporary life. As we ourselves pioneer the coming decades, Frea and her family must learn to be pioneers in a new and difficult life.
“We’re hoping to deliver a provocative and entertaining film that explores some basic and universal themes,” Kevin explained.
The team is working very hard to make this dream a reality. Their main goals are to create an entertaining film that demonstrates the talents of their team and to promote independent filmmaking in Northwestern Wisconsin. When the project is finished, they plan to submit North Passage to both local and international film festivals. At the top of their submission list are the Stockholm Film Festival, Wisconsin Film Festival, Topanga Film Festival (California), Tampere Film Festival (Finland), and Sundance Film Festival (Utah).