Among the ceremonies and official events that will recognize 100 years since the Winnipeg General Strike in 2019, one local artist is realizing a dream.
Danny Schur – best known for the hit 2005 musical Strike! – will see his work on the big screen, in the feature film adaptation of the play.
Retitled “Stand!” in the film version, Schur’s musical is a love story set in the midst of one of the city’s defining events, and he says it’s a way to share Winnipeg’s story with the world.
READ MORE: Winnipeg actors: get ready to ‘Strike’!
“Back when we were younger, it wasn’t cool to stay in Winnipeg if you were an artist,” Schur told 680 CJOB Tuesday. “You just left. That’s not the case anymore.
“I chose to stay here, and even in Los Angeles, people have told me they have no idea how it could be possible that a movie musical like this one could ever be made the way it was.
“It was made by us, funded by us, it’s a story about us … and we’re taking it to the world because it’s a worldwide story.”
The film, which features primarily Winnipeg actors and was shot in the city, took nineteen days to shoot.
Schur said the teaser trailer, which hit the Internet Nov. 21, was a sign that his pet project was finally, officially heading to the screen.
“I was the most relieved person on the planet when I saw that trailer,” he said. “You just never know when you’re shooting a movie, if there’s any good stuff… and oh my goodness, I cried like a baby.
“It’s a very emotional teaser trailer. Just wait until you see the whole movie.”
Although Stand! is set in 1919 Winnipeg, Schur said a large part of its appeal comes from the way 100-year-old social issues are still universally relevant today.
“You don’t do period flicks or plays just because you want to put people in costumes,” he said. “You do it because it’s got something to say about today.
“If you watch the story, you forget quickly that it’s a period thing and you’re watching today. The issues about immigrant rights, specifically nativisim and who gets to say who comes into a country, it’s huge issue.
“That’s the story being told here, so it’s way, way bigger than the story of the strike.”
Although the official details of Stand!’s release remain to be determined, Schur said it’ll be shown at film festivals in the spring and that Winnipeggers should – fittingly – anticipate a red carpet event at the Centennial Concert Hall on Labour Day long weekend in 2019.
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