A story told for generations in southwestern Ontario and across Canada will begin to come to life this weekend as filming gets underway on the Black Donnellys movie.
The 80-person strong cast and crew are from southwestern Ontario and will start their filming in Napier.
“There’s a lot to do in a short amount of time,” said producer Lee Bernier. “We’re all excited, this has been a long time coming and it will be nice to start rolling film.”
Other filming locations include Lucan, Petrolia and Guelph.
“I’m a big history guy, I like preserving Canadian history, I think it’s a story that people find fascinating because how does it come to a point where a whole town turns on a family and winds up killing them all and no one is charged?” said Bernier.
Much of the funding for the project came from an Indigogo campaign. Bernier notes they’re launching another fundraising campaign next month to help cover additional costs.
The family lived near Lucan and feuded with neighbours. One of the family members, James, was involved in a land dispute and sent to prison for killing a man. Five members of the family were killed by a vigilante mob in February 1880, and no one was ever convicted in connection to the murders.
Bernier expects a short version of the film to be released for viewing in late 2017.
For updates on how the project is progressing, visit the Black Donnellys Facebook page.