NEW GLASGOW, N.S. – The success of the movie adaptation of the best-selling novel Neither Wolf Nor Dog
defies logic – Hollywood logic that is.
Scottish director, Steven Lewis Simpson, turned award-winning author, Kent Nerburn’s 20-year dream into reality. It was audience-financed and shot in only 18 shoot days between the Dakotas by a tiny crew with a 95-year-old star. The self-distributed release unconventionally debuted in small towns and has since outperformed Hollywood blockbusters in numerous multiplexes. The film has had a longer theatrical run than any other U.S. film released in the past decade.
The movie will play at Glasgow Square Theatre in New Glasgow tonight, April 11, at 7 p.m. as one of three Nova Scotia theatres to play the film.
Speaking with The News about the Nova Scotia release, Simpson said he chose the route of self-distribution because he felt it was the best chance of success.
“The reality is that most films get made and not seen,” he said.
He knew if he left it to the fate of Hollywood, the odds of his movie being as success were slim.
“I knew we had an audience and I knew that the industry would struggle to find them,” Simpson said.
The film has steadily rolled out through North America, passing over the 196th theater mark within only 15 per cent of the U.S. and slowly working through provinces in Canada. In Vancouver, Washington the film out-grossed 11 of the 12 summer blockbusters playing in town. It was their second-best performing film of the year. In addition, film critic Louis Fowler named Neither Wolf Nor Dog his Top Film of 2017.
As much as he believed in the film and the actors, Simpson said this film has surpassed even his greatest expectations.
“It’s pretty wild the support we’ve had,” he said.
Neither Wolf Nor Dog takes audiences on a road trip through contemporary and historical Lakota life and culture. Its humor is wry and pulls no punches, introducing deep characters and poignant vignettes that challenge the viewer to see the world a bit differently. Dave Bald Eagle, who starred in the film, died at the age of 97 before the film was released but his performance is credited with much of its success.
Simpson said he’s thankful that through the film, Dave Bald Eagle will continue to move people.