Marriage gets complicated when your husband decides to kidnap you.
During the Klondike gold rush, Tagish First Nation, Skookum Jim, hid millions of dollars’ worth of gold around the Yukon. 100 years later, Amanda, a small town wife/mother, dreams of opening Rise n’ Shine bakery on the Alaska Highway in memory of her mother. When her loan application is rejected because of her husband’s gambling problem, she is spiritually crushed, and kicks Jim out. Later, when she returns to work at Dawson Peaks Resort, two armed masked men hold up the restaurant and steal the historic relic “Charlie” believing that there’s gold in its nose. Amanda recognizes the men are her husband Jim and his shady friend Randy. She volunteers herself as a hostage. After they dodge the RCMP and find a hideout, gold fever inevitably takes over, and Randy tries to steal the gold for himself. Jim and Randy fight, causing Jim to fall 100 feet into a river. Just as Randy is about to run away with the gold, Amanda catches him off guard and knocks him out. As the gold falls into the river, Amanda must choose between saving her goodhearted but flawed husband or retrieve the sinking gold.
It’s with the love, care, joy, hard work and the dedication of our community of artists who worked to give life to this story that has enabled the film to "Rise n' Shine".
This film is inspired by the Yukon, which has strong historical ties to the Klondike gold rush. The stories of 100,000 prospectors from a century ago, who came rushing to the north with a sense of hope to seek out their fortune have been passed on from generation to generation . Although the early prospectors are long gone, their hopes and dreams of striking gold have left a residual effect on the collective mentality of the people.
Our film Rise n’ Shine is a story more about the human condition rather than just a glimpse into the mind of a wife and mother, Amanda, who dreams of something more. The prospectors traveled to the Yukon in a search of Gold. Many of them spent their entire life savings, and even lost their lives. Like those prospectors, Amanda is driven by an obsession ignited by a deep yearning. For Amanda it was the loss of her mother when she was just 5 years old. By reopening her mother’s old bakery Rise n’ Shine, she is attempting to fill an emotional gap that her mother left behind. By linking the past and the present through an unlikely scenario, we show how the dream for something ‘bigger, better, and greater’ is a universal human struggle that connects us all.
The heart of the story is in the strong love that Amanda shares with her husband Jim. Jim has a gambling problem, an uncontrollable temper and isn’t financially reliable, which creates a huge obstacle for Amanda in achieving her ultimate goal of reopening her mother’s bakery. But with all his flaws, he more than makes up for in other ways. He has a big heart, he’s great with their kids and in the end, he helps show Amanda what’s really important in life.
The characters in the film were inspired by actual people we know in the Yukon, but with an extra shot of surrealism
Inspiration for Rise n’ Shine is taken primarily from the land and the people of the Yukon. The dichotomy of the environment and terrain is both beautiful and rugged at the same time. Life can be fleeting in the north, but the people are light hearted and are quick to joke and laugh which is an endearing quality that shines through in Rise n’ Shine.
The Yukon boasts a great diversity of different people, cultures and ideas. I wanted to include the belief systems of some of the indigenous cultures pertaining to objects and spirits by incorporating characters such a June (mother) and Charlie (moose). By expanding on our conventional ideas, we give life to both June and Charlie and through the experience of our protagonist Amanda, ask ourselves to reflect on how memories and the value we place on objects can influence our lives.
The land with its natural beauty creates a hauntingly romantic backdrop to this film. When outdoors you almost feel as if you’re in a time warp and can go to places that no person has walked in a hundred years. The land is rugged and unforgiving which breeds a certain heartiness to the people who call this place home. Because of the sprawled-out nature of towns in the Yukon, the long endless highways are a part of every person’s life. In the film, we engage the spirit of the land to accentuate Amanda’s detached and unconnected emotional state, which heightens her desperation. And by connecting both her conscience and subconscious to the surrounding water, mountains, wind and earth, we ignite a life changing revelation.