New TV Movie on CTV: Luna, Spirit of the Whale, May 13

Adam Beach Stars in CTV Original Movie Luna: Spirit of the Whale, May 13

Toronto, ON (April 17, 2007) – Acclaimed actor Adam Beach (Flags of Our Fathers, Law & Order: SVU) stars in the poignant CTV Original Movie Luna: Spirit of the Whale, premiering on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 13 at 7 p.m. ET on CTV and in High Definition on CTV HD East / West (visit to confirm local listings).

— Graham Greene, Tantoo Cardinal and Jason Priestley co-star in film for all ages about B.C.’s famous stray orca.

Inspired by the true story of Luna, an orca whale who received international attention when he appeared in the harbour of a small aboriginal village off Vancouver Island in 2001, Luna: Spirit of the Whale premieres in Toronto this week at the Sprockets International Film Festival. Shot entirely in British Columbia, the movie for all ages also stars Graham Greene (Spirit Bear, Transamerica), Tantoo Cardinal (Unnatural and Accidental, Indian Summer: The Oka Crisis) and Jason Priestley (Shades of Black, Beverly Hills 90210).

Luna: Spirit of the Whale dramatizes the plight of a lone orca whale and how he impacts the life of a man searching for his place in the world. When Mike Maquinna (Adam Beach) comes home to his estranged father’s funeral, a stray orca named Luna suddenly appears in the village harbour. Like his father and grandfather before him, Mike is destined to become Chief of his village, but it’s a task he feels would be better handled by a more suitable elder (Graham Greene). Mike’s people, the Mowachaht -Muchalaht, along with his mother Gloria (Tantoo Cardinal), believe that Luna is the embodied spirit of his late father, who has come to be Mike’s spiritual guide. But Mike, a man separated from his culture, is disbelieving.

Luna soon becomes the center of a spiritual and political controversy when government official Ted Jefferies (Jason Priestley) announces plans to transport the whale overland to reunite him with his pod. Luna’s plight motivates Mike to face his fears and to fight for his people’s beliefs in an emotional struggle that rouses his entire community. Along the way, Mike’s journey inspires a troubled teen (Aaron Miko, Catwoman) to embrace his past and forces a passionate Fisheries officer (Erin Karpluk, Godiva’s) to question her own ideals.

“As he prepares for a brand-new lead role in Law & Order: SVU, Adam Beach delivers a terrific performance as a man searching for his destiny,” said Susanne Boyce, CTV President of Programming and Chair of the CTV Media Group.

“While Luna is inspired by a true story, it was necessary to dramatize certain events to tell Luna’s tale,” said Executive Producer Trish Dolman. “In order to properly represent Luna and the people he touched most, we consulted the Mowachaht-Muchalaht and had their support and participation throughout the production.”

Luna: Spirit of the Whale is a CTV Original Movie produced by Screen Siren Pictures in association with CTV. The Executive Producer/Producer for the film is award-winner Trish Dolman, (Flower and Garnet, The Score). Anne Marie La Traverse (Playing House, Hunt for Justice: The Louise Arbour Story) is the Consulting Producer and Lori Lozinski (The Score) is the Associate Producer. Luna: Spirit of the Whale is directed by Don McBrearty (Terry, The Interrogation of Michael Crow, Chasing Freedom), with a script by Beth Stewart (Falcon Beach, Tagged: The Jonathan Wamback Story). Jan Kiesser (Fido, Beowulf & Grendel) is the Director of Photography and Matthew Budgeon is Production Designer (Godiva’s, Miss Texas). CTV’s production executives are Robin Johnston and Louise Clark. Tecca Crosby is Acting Senior Vice-President, Dramatic Programming for CTV. Susanne Boyce is President of Programming and Chair of the CTV Media Group.

Luna: Spirit of the Whale is the ninth original movie from CTV’s “Heroes, Champions and Villains” production strand that focuses on remarkable Canadian personalities, characters and stories. The strand, part of the BCE-CTV Benefits, is responsible for this year’s In God’s Country, starring Kelly Rowan, which delivered a record 1.6 million* viewers on its way to becoming the most watched movie (U.S or Canadian) to air on any Canadian network in 2006-2007. Previous HCV titles that have enjoyed critical and ratings success on CTV include the two-part mini-series Lives of the Saints, Terry, The Man Who Lost Himself, Eight Days to Live and Shades of Black, about the rise and fall of media mogul Conrad Black. Elijah, the story of Elijah Harper, one of the earliest First Nations people to enter Canadian politics, is the next HCV title slated for broadcast on CTV.

CTV, Canada’s largest private broadcaster, offers a wide range of quality news, sports, information, and entertainment programming. It has the number-one national newscast, CTV National News With Lloyd Robertson, and is the number-one choice for prime-time viewing. CTV owns 21 conventional television stations across Canada and has interests in 15 specialty channels, including the number-one Canadian specialty channel, TSN. CTV is owned by CTVglobemedia, Canada’s premier multi-media company. More information about CTV may be found on the company Web site at

About the author