96 minutes – Drama
Festival release date: September 22, 2023 (Cinéfest Sudbury, Gala Presentation)
Release date: TBA
Production companies: Lumanity Productions, JoBro Productions, Undisputed Pictures
Canadian distributor: Photon Films
Based on the memoir “The Boy in the Woods: A True Story of Survival During the Second World War” by Maxwell Smart, who serves as one of the Executive Producers, Rebecca Snow’s first narrative film is a remarkable, true-life Holocaust survival story set during the Polish deportation of 1943. Shot in North Bay, Ontario on the fall of 2022, the feature tells the story of Max (Jett Klyne), a Jewish boy hiding in the forests of Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe. Max is an aspiring artist who escapes death when his selfless mother tells him to run away from the Nazi trucks which they are about to board. He befriends a farmer, Jasko (Richard Armitage), and his family, who take him in. But with mounting pressure from the police and fear for his own family’s life, Jasko is forced to turn Max away.
Maxwell Smart survived the Holocaust and eventually immigrated to Montreal in 1948. He lost his only sibling and 62 members of his extended family.