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Irene Bedard to Produce Native American Classic ‘Two Old Women’ for the Big Screen

Irene Bedard to Produce Native American Classic 'Two Old Women' for the Big Screen

Golden Globe-winning actress Irene Bedard will shepherd a movie adaptation of the Native American publishing sensation “Two Old Women: An Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage, and Survival.” 

Best known for voicing the lead role in Disney’s “Pocahontas” and her appearances in “Smoke Signals” and “The New World,” the Inupiaq Bedard is the president of Sleeping Lady Films, a media company dedicated to telling Native American stories. 

“Two Old Women,” written by the Gwich’in author Velma Wallis, is the survival tale of two elderly women abandoned by their tribe in the midst of a harrowing Alaskan winter. Published in 1993, it has reportedly sold 1.5 million copies. 

“I love the excitement around ‘Two Old Women,'” commented Bedard. “I love the ownership of this story. It’s an international story and it’s so Alaskan.”

“We’d like to shoot two versions, one in English, one in Gwich’in,” added her producing partner Thom Denomme. “Everyone acting in it is going to be Alaskan.”

Here’s the book synopsis of “Two Old Women”: 

Based on an Athabascan legend passed along from mother to daughter for many generations on the upper Yukon River in Alaska, this is the tragic and shocking story — with a surprise ending — of two elderly women abandoned by a migrating tribe that faces starvation brought on by unusually harsh Arctic weather and a shortage of fish and game. The story of survival is told with suspense by Velma Wallis, whose subject matter challenges the taboos of her past. Yet, her themes are modern — empowerment of women, the graying of America, Native American ways. 

[via Alaska Dispatch News]

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