Ahead of its Fantasia Film Festival premiere, KC Carthew’s post-apocalyptic fantasy epic Polaris has gotten an official poster just a few days after its teaser trailer was released. The two minute long trailer reveals a little girl’s highly emotional and dangerous journey, and the poster is impactful in its capture of the girl’s emotional state: a blending of rage and revolt.
This all-female-led indie revenge-thriller is Carthew‘s second feature film after the 2016’s The Sun At Midnight, starring Duane Howard and Devery Jacobs. Polaris is a feature-length version of the filmmaker’s 10-minute short film Fish Out of Water, which also had its premiere at Fantasia in 2015.
The official synopsis for the film is as follows:
“Set in 2144 against the harsh backdrop of a frozen wasteland, Sumi, a human child raised by Mama Polar Bear, narrowly escapes capture from a brutal Morad hunting party and sets out across the vast winter landscape. When Sumi stumbles across Frozen Girl, an unlikely friendship is forged, and together they race ahead of the vindictive hunters towards the only guiding light Sumi knows, the Polaris star.”
The poster for the 90-minute-long film is quite simple, but poignantly so. It features a close-up of Sumi’s face, twisted like a predator’s, in what we can interpret to be a sign of revolt. She looks like she’s screaming, her expression so intense that it feels like we can almost hear her. On her head, she wears a helmet which denotes her intention to fight back. From what we can observe in the trailer, her anger is all but justified.
Polaris has a snowy post-apocalyptic backdrop, which has been described as “Mad Max in the artic” instead of in the desert. Granted, we do not notice the kind of eccentric machinery present in Mad Max in Polaris’ trailer, but there’s something about the overall ferocious tone that is highly reminiscent of it. Perhaps one of the most remarkable aspects of this film is that it features a wholly new language which is not accompanied by subtitles. This ensures the audience will focus on the emotion displayed rather than the words spoken.
13-year-old Korean-Canadian actress Viva Lee leads the cast as Sumi. Other members of the cast include Khamisa Wilsher, Muriel Dutil, and Kara Wooten. Polaris is a pan-Canadian co-production between Yukon, Quebec, and Ontario. The film was produced by Carthew and Max Fraser, Paul Cadieux, and Alyson Richards.
The post-apocalyptic film with a strong presence of themes triggered by the current climate crisis will be premiering in Fantasia on July 14. It will later be theatrically released in Canada. Check out the poster below: