In a 50 year career as dancer and artistic director with the National Ballet of Canada, legendary dance icon Karen Kain tackle Swan Lake for her first directing role and farewell project. For Kain, the making of this ballet is a labor of love, as it launched her career to superstardom when she made her acclaimed debut in the feature role of Odette/Odile in 1971. Swan Song captures the creative process, the determination and vision in re-staging this classical ballet, which was complicated by a two year pandemic-related delay. Featuring ballet stars past, present and future, the documentary provides an intimate glimpse into the grueling physical and emotional sacrifice required to create this sumptuous, lush re-imagining. Directed by Chelsea McMullan (My Prairie Home, Crystal Pite: Angels’ Atlas, winner of VIFF’s 2022 Showcase Audience Award), Swan Song is an immersive, thrilling glimpse behind the curtain.
October 1: Q&A with director Chelsea McMullan
October 4: Q&A with producer Sean O’Neill
Sean O’Neill, Chelsea McMullan, Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier, Anna Godas, Oli Harbottle, Neve Campbell
Chelsea McMullan & Sean O’Neill
Tess Girard, Shady Hanna
Photo by Luis Mora
Chelsea McMullan is a director, writer and producer. Their work in documentary, experimental narrative, and hybrid films has often centered on leading international artists in different practices. Ever Deadly (2022), directed in collaboration with the Inuk artist, writer and musician Tanya Tagaq screened at VIFF last year. Their previous features include My Prairie Home, a musical documentary about the transgender musician Rae Spoon and the feature documentary Crystal Pite: Angels’ Atlas about the world-renowned choreographer. Both screened at VIFF and many other festivals.
Filmography: My Prairie Home (2013); Crystal Pite: Angels’ Atlas (2022); Ever Deadly (2022)
Galas & Special Presentations
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