Source: facebook.com/Irene.Bedard
'It's an international story and it's so Alaskan,' Bedard says of 'Two Old Women.' Source: facebook.com/Irene.Bedard

Irene Bedard Plans to Bring Gwich'in Author's 'Two Old Women' to Screen

ICTMN Staff
2/19/15

Award-winning actress Irene Bedard (Inupiat/Yup'ik/Cree)  has announced that she plans to make a film version of the 1993 novel Two Old Women through her production company Sleeping Lady Films Waking Giants Productions.

Bedard's company, which she started as Sleeping Lady Films in 2012 in partnership with Thomas Denomme, is coming off the success of its first production, the mockumentary Ron & Laura Take Back America. Released in 2014, that film won Best Comedy at the New York City International Film Festival, Best Ensemble at Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema, and four awards at the IndieFest USA International Film Festival. Waking Giants Productions is a related venture that focuses on television and new media.

Two Old Women: An Alaskan Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival was written by Gw'ichin author Velma Wallis. It won the 193 Western States Book Award for creative nonfiction. The novel tells the tale of two old women who are left behind by their Gwich'in nomadic group because the harsh winter is approaching and the tribe is too low on resources to support them. Against all odds, 75-year-old Sa' and 80-year-old Ch'idzigyaak survive the winter on their own. When the Tribe later returns to the same area and finds the women alive and well, it must confront its own shame, and reconcile with the two betrayed survivors.

"I love the excitement around Two Old Women," Bedard told Alaska Dispatch News. "I love the ownership of this story. It's an international story and it's so Alaskan."

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