Northern Shade – Director Christopher Rucinski

Operation Enduring Freedom Army veteran Justin McLaughlin (Jesse Gavin), lives a life of solitude on his boat in Connecticut, working a menial job and avoiding his past. When his estranged brother Charlie (Joseph Poliquin), “Project Power”), goes missing, Justin is forced from isolation and teams up with a private investigator named Frankie to track him down. Together, they discover Charlie’s been recruited by an extremist militia planning an unknown attack. Justin must decide how much of his Army past he’s willing to expose to extract Charlie from the clutches of their paramilitary leader, Billy, while reconciling his own sense of purpose and regaining his brother’s trust. Set during the Covid-19 pandemic, NORTHERN SHADE focuses on purpose and redemption in an age of heightened anxiety and isolation. Director, producer and co-writer Christopher Rucinski joins us for a conversation on the inspiration for this relevant tale of social disenchantment and fractured family, as well as the challenges of making a first feature film in the midst of a pandemic, an ambitious shooting schedule and working with a terrific cast that includes Jesse Gavin (The Burial, Loki) and Joseph Poliquin (Greyhound).


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About the filmmaker – Christopher Rucinski, who makes his feature film directorial debut, is a sought-after feature film editor in the Motion Picture Editors Guild; credits include Ford V Ferrari, The Adam Project, and War for the Planet of the Apes; he’s also proud of the fact that 35% of the cast and crew of NORTHERN SHADE are military veterans. The thriller also stars Titania Galliher (Dinner With Schwartzey), Alejandro Bravo (Cicada Song, Suicide Watch), Romano Orzari (NBC’s “Taken”, Assassin’s Creed Lineage, White House Down, “Marvel’s The Punisher: War Zone”), and Rose Marie Guess (“Recruiters: Mission First”), and the final sound mix was supervised by Oscar-winner Don Sylvester, who captured Best Sound for Ford V Ferrari.

Best Narrative Feature – Fargo Film Festival (2023)
Best Drama Feature – Legacy Theatre Film Festival (2022)
Best Actor (Jesse Gavin) – Legacy Theatre Film Festival (2022)
Best Feature 2nd Runner Up – Woods Hole Film Festival (2022)
Best Screenplay I Phoenix Film Festival (2022)
Best Feature I Poppy Jasper Film Festival (2022)
Best Actor I DTLA Film Festival (2022)