Painted Land: In Search of the Group of Seven

“The most important thing a painter can do is find a good place to sit.” – J.E.H. MacDonald

One would think The Group of Seven needs no introduction. One hundred years since the creation of Canada’s most iconic paintings, through their works have been seen by millions, little is known about the artists themselves. Why did they choose locations in the remote, rugged wilderness of northern Ontario?

Does anyone know precisely where they went? Past meets present creating a film that is evocative in approach, energized by breathtaking cinematography and sound design and offers a new and articulate voice to the artists who were the Group of Seven. Their journey informs our story throughout the film. Featuring Colm Feore, Eric Peterson, R.H. Thompson, and Paul Gross as the voices of the Group of Seven, Painted Land weaves seamlessly the experiences and history of these artists – Lawren Harris, J.E.H. MacDonald, AY Jackson, Frank Johnston, Arthur Lismer, Franklin Carmichael and AJ Casson – with the adventures of three modern day sleuths, historian Michael Burtch, and the writer and photographer team of Gary and Joanie McGuffin, who are determined to track down the precise locations of these famous paintings. Archival film, letters, journals and photographs of the artists – some of which have never been seen in public – take the viewers back in time. Stunning cinematography woven together with the artist’s paintings takes viewers up mountains, down canyons, to rivers and over portages with our trio, as they try to achieve their own personal quest: to actually ‘walk in the artist’s footsteps’?

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