Making a difference! Shania Twain is back in film, lending her voice to the upcoming documentary, For Love. The five-time Grammy winner narrates the doc, which brings attention to the injustices of the Canadian child welfare system.
A year in the making, filming for For Love began before the pandemic and then continued on and off for several months across Canada. The production company, Carrier Sekani Family Services & Walk Tall Productions, and the crew of producers and directors visited various communities to document Indigenous communities sharing their “heartbreaking stories” of the “humanitarian crisis,” as referred to by the Minister of Indigenous Affairs.
“We really wanted to showcase not just the traumatic history of Canada with regards to a number of issues, but really also like the title, For Love, it’s really for love of the children and to really showcase the beautiful resilience of the culture and the beauty of the culture itself too,” director Matt Smiley tells Us Weekly.
Produced by both Smiley and Mary Teegee — both of whom worked on Highway of Tears together — and executive produced by Warner Adam and Lindsay Eberts, For Love was filmed before Shania Twain hopped on board.
“Once we had a good cut of film and shared it with her, she was very, very deeply touched. [It was] really in alignment with everything that she’s been doing and it just seemed like a really perfect fit and she jumped in,” Smiley says. “It’s really admirable to see her use her voice, which she’s also been pretty public about refinding that voice as well, and I think leading up to her now doing her shows in Vegas, but also using her actual voice to really catapult this on an international level.”
The “That Don’t Impress Me Much” singer, 56, was “on the top of the list from the very beginning” to be chosen as the narrator — not only because of her powerful voice, but also her former involvement in working with the most vulnerable children throughout the United States. In 2010, she launched the Shania Kids Can Foundation to help young children in schools deal with poverty and challenges in their personal lives.
“Before her career really catapulted to superstardom, she’s always put children first,” Smiley tells Us. “Even with her own siblings in terms of being their guardian and taking care of them. She’s always displayed that even throughout her process that she’s gone through. She really understands a lot of the issues almost firsthand as far as what Indigenous communities go through and especially with where she grew up [in the small town of Timmins, Ontario].”
He continues, “And so it was also very important for Mary and myself to have a female voice and somebody who really is not just a narrator, but somebody who’s really going to go to bat and has gone to bat for kids. She’s really displaying that with action because every day she’s devoting her time and energy to really improving kids’ education and basic human needs for children, which is an admirable trait. So it goes far beyond the traditional narrator route.”
For Love will have its world premiere on September 30, a day marking Truth and Reconciliation in Canada, at a private screening at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Additional screenings in Los Angeles, Ottawa and Montreal will be announced in the future.
“It was something that was important to us with this film, in particular — to not have it just be, you know, one news cycle and people forget it. There is a big thing leading up to September 30, as far as truth and reconciliation, to make sure that that dialogue continues and that people really see that beauty and the importance of making sure that children have all the resources that they need for a positive future,” Smiley adds.
For more information on the film and to watch the trailer, visit forlovefilm.com.
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