125 minutes – Drama
Festival release date: August 2020 (Beijing International Film Festival)
Release date: April 2, 2021 (Montréal)
Production company: Productions Avenida
Canadian distributor: Les Films Opale
Set in a boarding school for boys in Charlevoix, Québec, it is Christmas 1948. Frère Jean (Sébastien Ricard) is very popular with his young students but not so much with his superiors. With his students, Frère Jean launches a play that explores the hypothesis that Canada was first visited by Vikings in 1000 AD not discovered by Jacques Cartier in 1534. Warned that his ideas run contrary to the official version approved by the Catholic Church, Frère Jean continues to push his theory, convinced that the mythical Vinland, as described by Icelandic explorer Leif Erikson would be located on the Charlevoix coast. He enlists his students, creating Le Club Vinland (The Vinland Club) in a project to locate archaeological evidence of the ancient Norse settlement.
Originally slated for release on April 17, 2020, it had its world premiere at the Beijing International Film Festival in August 2020, before having its North American premiere at the Abitibi-Témiscamingue International Film Festival on October 31, 2020. Sébastien Ricard was given the Best Actor award at the 22nd Quebec Cinema Awards on June 6, 2021.