Danny Thebeau is the screenplay writer, producer, director, and lead actor in 'Délivrance,' a tale of oppression and the great courage that resulted from it in the time of the Acadian expulsion at Fort Beauséjour.
The one-hour film, which has been produced through a partnership with Red Leaf Productions and Thebeau, will debut on CBC Maritimes on August 20 at 8 p.m. Another screening of the film will be shown on Societe Radio Canada at an undecided date.
Thebeau, who is of Acadian descent, says that his inspiration in producing the film came from a desire to demonstrate the great courage and bravery that many Acadians displayed at the time of deportations.
He believes that the Acadian people are too often depicted as victims and sufferers.
This was something he wanted to change.
"We were so used to hearing the stories of the martyr of the Acadians, and the poor Acadians," says Thebeau. "We wanted to tell the story of those who fought back, those who are our heroes. We're telling the story of our people."
Although the film's story is fictional, it is based on what Thebeau believes are true events.
"We try to stay true to the era. We wanted to make it a true New Brunswick film about our people; we incorporate Colonel Monckton as a character in our film. It tells a story about our history, but it's not to be tied to the reality of things, because it is a fiction."
The premise of the film revolves around Pierre-Henri Surette, one of the many Acadians deported at Fort Beausejour. Surette takes it upon himself to free him and his fellow townsmen from their incarceration.
In the film, he does this by winning over the trust of the British commander in charge of the fort. A demonstration of Surette's tremendous courage, as well as the hint of a love interest, blossom as the film progresses.
Thebeau says the film has been an ongoing project since its initial debut at the Silverwave Film Festival in Fredericton last year. An 18-minute version of the project was shown to audiences at the film festival last November. The film swept several awards at the festival, including Best Actor in a Drama, Most Unique Film, and Best Picture Edit.
The first act of the film was shot a year and a half ago, and the second part began shooting on May 14 and concluded on May 23. The film was shot in Fort Beauséjour, Memramcook, Hillsborough, and Beaumont.