Published October 8, 2019
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Director Shane McSauby (Ottawa) announced a casting call for his latest film, “Happy Thanksgiving” that will be filmed in Grand Rapids, Michigan between November 25 through December 4, 2019.
“Happy Thanksgiving,” written and directed by McSauby, is a satirical dark comedy that follows an Anishinaabe man who takes a malicious “Happy Thanksgiving” wish from a bank teller so personally, his rage drives him to a bizarre revenge plan.
Casting for the three main characters are as follows:
1. JOHNNY LOON (25-35 year old Native/First Nations, Anishinaabe preferred, man) a punk rocker, activist, shy, self conscious and neurotic, will obsess over what he should’ve said for weeks after an argument, knows how to hold a grudge, blames all of his problems on colonialism. Once described as “if George Costanza was an AIMster gangster.” [Lead Role]
2. SHANOODIN (Mid-twenties, Native/First Nations, mixed with African/Black ancestry preferred, woman) currently earning her Masters in ecology and studies Anishinaabemowin. She’s community driven, strong willed and passionate about social justice. She believes in fighting the system from the inside. [Supporting role]
3. GRANDMA (55-70 years old Native/First Nations, Anishinaabe preferred, woman) the matriarch of the family, always makes more food than needed in case anyone drops by. She is so gentle and sweet but is not afraid to size up anyone that crosses her or her family in the wrong way. [Supporting Role]
McSauby is enrolled in the Grad Film program at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, one of the most prestigious film schools in the world.
“The goal of our second year is to write and direct one ten minute short film, which is expected to be produced in a very professional manner. NYU second year films are the crown jewel of the prestigious filmmaking program, and every year a number of them get to screen at worldly-renowned festivals like Sundance, Toronto, Cannes, and even the Academy Awards,” says McSauby.
Shane McSauby is a citizen of the Gichi Wiikwedong Odawa Anishinaabek (Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians.) He was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan and received a Bachelor’s Degree in filmmaking at Grand Valley State University in December of 2015.
In 2016, McSauby became the first Sundance Institute & Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Fellow for his script Mino Bimaadiziwin which included participating in the Sundance Institute’s Native Filmmakers Lab in Santa Fe, NM. Shane completed his short film Mino Bimaadiziwin in October of 2017. Mino Bimaadiziwin has screened at film festivals such as Vancouver International Film Festival and Traverse City Film Festival and has been nominated for Best Short Film and Best Direction at the Eclipse Awards.
McSauby is currently in his second year of the MFA program in Writing/Directing at NYU Tisch School of the Arts.
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