From a modern-day gold rush to the uncertainty of an open-pit mine development, A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE is a feature-length documentary about the remote gold mining community of Red Lake, Ontario. Traveling through the daily operations of Canada’s most prolific gold mining region, including Canada’s largest underground gold mine, the film follows the production of gold from 7000ft underground to the surface as a tight-knit community weighs the cost of living on top of a gold mine.
Put on the map with a major gold discovery in 1926, Red Lake is one of Canada's longest producing mining towns. Today, the community’s primary employer – Goldcorp Inc’s Red Lake Gold Mine – is known for extracting some of the highest-grade gold in the world. Located in the northwest corner of Ontario, the municipality of Red Lake is made up of six small mining villages: Red Lake, Balmertown, Cochenour, McKenzie Island, Madsen and Starrett Olson. The area is home to approximately 5000 people, all of whom are connected to the mining industry.
I was raised in Red Lake. My mother (pictured above) originally worked as a hoist operator at the former Dickenson Mine in Balmertown. There she worked on the surface and 2-miles underground for the first 16 years of my life. In the mid 1990s a 4-year long labour dispute took its toll on the community, and like many others, our family left Red Lake. After the union broke and the strike ended, one of Red Lake's most important gold discoveries would be made. It launched the current gold rush, and mining activities in the area have since been at a fever pitch. Goldcorp Inc., now the second largest gold producer in the world, bought out and amalgamated the existing producing mines. In 2009, as gold prices pushed toward $2000/oz, Goldcorp began open-pit feasibility testing in Balmertown. Exploration drills invaded streets and front lawns. Once again, old questions resurfaced. Would an open-pit be developed? Would the town be relocated? It was these questions that brought me back home after 13 years, but it was the unique determination of all those who call Red Lake home that inspired me to stay and make this film.
Over the past 3 years I've made four separate 4000 km road trips up to Red Lake, shot over 90 hours of footage, interviewed over forty local miners and families, and assembled over 100 minutes of the documentary. As I come to the final stages of the project, please join me by contributing to the $20,000 needed to complete the film. Your contribution will help pay for the following costs:
- POST PRODUCTION for SOUND & PICTURE
- PACKAGING & PROMOTION for FILM FESTIVALS and DISTRIBUTORS
Handmade in Red Lake exclusively for this campaign, local artist JENNIFER GLOBUSH has created a series of five stunning SILKSCREEN PRINTS based on images from the film (pictured above). Each limited edition of 12 is signed and numbered by the artist. Framing not included, choose from any one of the following large 20” x 30” prints:
Other rewards include a signed Film Postcard, an official Film Poster, a pre-release Online Digital Copy of the film, or your choice of a signed pre-release DVD or Blu-ray. Premium rewards include a Thank You Credit, an IMDb qualifying Associate Producer Credit, or a Sponsorship Credit (for organizations or individuals) in the end credits of the film.
From the editor of MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES and WATERMARK to the award-winning music composer of THE BASTARD SINGS THE SWEETEST SONG and DURHAM COUNTY, I've been fortunate to work with an amazingly talented group of filmmakers on this project. It is because of their collaboration & hard work, and the support of so many others in the community of Red Lake, that we have come this far. Please join our team of:
- Cliff Caines, Director, Producer
- Lynne Kamm, Producer
- Christine Lucy Latimer, Associate Producer
- Ryan A. Randall, Director of Photography
- Sean Van Delft, Sound Recordist
- Roland Schlimme, Supervising Editor
- Tom Third, Music Composer
... and support the completion of this film!
Risks and challenges
Throughout the making of this project, we have already accomplished incredible feats. From spending weeks of production in -35 degree weather, to filming 7000 feet underground in a fully-operational gold mine, we have succeeded in documenting a never-before-seen contemporary gold rush in the Canadian north.
With your contribution we will complete this film by February 2014, and begin submitting it to international film festivals across the globe. Please join us in bringing this unique portrait of the people of Red Lake, Ontario to cinema screens around the world!
Make a contribution today and help us spread the word about our campaign:Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)