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Winnipeg Free Press: “Wilderness” Movie

Thanks to Michelle for this :)

Wilderness filmmaker loved the late cold

Director Wheeler found locations to her liking

Sat, May 5, 2001

By Dinah Clarkson

LOWER FORT GARRY — Anne Wheeler, one of Canada’s most celebrated directors, is in jail.

Well, not really. The Vancouver-based filmmaker responsible for films like Better Than Chocolate and Bye Bye Blues is actually just hiding out in one of the cells in the old jailhouse at Lower Fort Garry. It’s one of the few places she can go to get a bit of peace and quiet and, if she’s lucky, 10 minutes of shut-eye during the 5:30 p.m. “lunch” break on the set of her latest film, A Wilderness Station.

Stepping outside the jail, one would think they were back at a 19th-century trading post if it weren’t for the heavy film equipment strewn about. Teepees and tents have been erected and campfire pits and pelt-filled wagons have been set up among the buildings at the national historic site — the oldest stone fur trading post still intact in North America.

A Wilderness Station is set in 1851 and though the Alice Munro short story on which the film is based is set in Upper Canada, Wheeler, who co-wrote the script, decided to set her adaptation in the exact place it’s being filmed.

“If we were going to film it in Manitoba, we were going to set it in Manitoba,” she says. “And it’s a great province to shoot in. They’re very sensitive to the arts here and there’s just a treasure trove of locations, this fort being one of them.”