Casting Call: Native American & First Nations Talent
Project Type: Feature Film
Shoot Dates: May 30-July 10, 2019 (these roles work 1-5 days in June 2019)
Rate: Principals - SAG Low Budget Scale (~$630/day), plus travel expenses if applicable.
Auditions: Self-Tapes Only
Callback Dates: Week of 5/20. Pacific Northwest locals will audition in person, non-locals will do a video callback.
Shoot City: Portland OR and surrounding areas
Tom Putnam - BURN, THE UNITED STATES OF INSTANITY
Oregon Casting Director
Rachel Mossey - WEEBLE MOUNTAIN
The Dark Divide tells the story of Dr. Robert Pyle’s trek through America’s largest undeveloped wilderness and his encounters with its legendary inhabitant bigfoot, all set against the backdrop of the battle between environmentalists and the logging companies who want to harvest the forest's old growth timber.
These are PRINCIPAL, SPEAKING ROLES.
NATIVE AMERICAN OR FIRST NATIONS TALENT ONLY. NO EXCEPTIONS.
Billy / Male / Native American / 14-21
An athletic and determined young Native American man, Billy nearly kills Pyle when he stumbles into the family's camp, but eventually welcomes him as a friend. Billy refuses to become jaded like his father and fights to preserve the memory of their people - and their belief in Bigfoot
TERESA / Female / Native American / 30-50
This Native American woman is a bit skeptical of Pyle after he scares them on accident, but eventually welcomes him her at their campfire and they share a good conversation.
Grandmother / Female / Native American / 65+
This Native American woman asks Pyle some questions when he joins her family for a meal - she is educated and wise, catching him off guard, but the two find a mutual respect for each other.
We know that Hollywood has not traditionally been thoughtful in their representation of Native peoples. We are committed to casting through a lens of equity and empowerment, and we would love to engage in a dialogue with you about this film’s inclusion of Native American characters wherever there are questions.
This film is an independently-produced narrative fiction set in the Pacific Northwest wilderness in 1995. The reason these roles call for Natives is so the scene can provide an indigenous perspective on Dy. Pyle’s experiences encounters with the political struggles over the land and the local bigfoot mythology.
The filmmakers care deeply about portraying these roles with the utmost precision, and not defaulting to harmful stereotypes or potentially problematic portrayals. We are happy to provide examples of the relevant scenes upon request, and answer any questions about the film’s treatment of these roles.
FULL Film SYNOPSIS:
It’s 1995. Nature writer Robert Pyle is struggling to finish his next book...and help his wife Thea navigate her final days from ovarian cancer. Their relationship is an odd balance: he’s a quiet introvert and she’s a daredevil. Even on her deathbed, Thea never stops pushing her husband to be a better man, take control of his life, get out of the classroom and into the forests he loves to write about but seldom visits.
It’s not until Thea dies that Pyle finally, reluctantly accepts her challenge — spending a month hiking across Washington’s Gifford Pinchot National Forest, from Mount Rainer to the Columbia Gorge, in search of new species of butterflies.
Named for John Dark, a 19th Century gold prospector, “The Dark Divide” is comprised of 76,000 acres of wilderness, making it one of the largest undeveloped and unexplored areas in the United States.
It’s also ground zero for one of history’s most heated battles between environmentalists and big business, where a rare species of spotted owl inhabit old growth timber up to 200 years old. Trees that the multi-billion dollar logging industry would love to harvest.
Dr. Pyle’s journey takes him through the heart of that battle. Along the way, he encounters proponents from both sides, as well as a new generation of female Forest Service workers, naturalists, and backpackers. A family from the Yakama tribe teach Pyle about the importance of the forest to their culture and challenge him to become a part of this world instead of just an observer.
But Pyle is no Bear Grylls. The ill-equipped biologist nearly falls to his death on his very first day out. He lights his tent on fire. (Twice.) Is nearly drowned by his own pack. Almost gets shot. Encounters bears, angers loggers. Gets lost in lava tunnels deep beneath the earth.
And he encounters something else along the way. The Dark Divide is infamous for having more Bigfoot sightings than anywhere else in the world. As he begins to glimpse...something... in the night, or through the trees, one of the world’s foremost biologists turns his considerable skills toward solving the mystery of whether Sasquatch truly exists.
Yet he keeps going. Pushed on by his grief and need to prove what he’s made of to himself and Thea.
As he overcomes each hurdle, the smiling, affable academic slowly comes to terms with his wife’s death. He’s finding a new appreciation for Thea, and an understanding of how much she brought to his life. As he stumbles and struggles through the journey, Pyle begins to take control of his life and his destiny.
In the end, Robert Pyle realizes he’s blossoming into the man his wife always encouraged him to be. He takes the first steps toward embracing his grief instead of avoiding it.
Equal parts Jack London, Heart of Darkness and science fiction, Pyle’s true- life journey leads him to discover a few things about the notorious ape-man, and a lot about the need for wilderness in our lives. How it can help us reconnect with what’s important, help us heal, and help us become our best selves.