Although its native name is N’Haatik, most people know the supposed sea serpent that lives in Okanagan Lake as Ogopogo.
Named in song in 1924 at a Rotary Club luncheon in Vernon, Ogopogo is now the star of an award-winning independent film, The Beast of Bottomless Lake, which will receive a theatrical release at three cinemas throughout the Okanagan this week.
The Beast of Bottomless Lake follows cryptozoologist Dr. Paul Moran as he leads a team of dedicated and not-so-dedicated adventurers on an expedition to Okanagan Lake to prove the existence of the legendary lake serpent, the Ogopogo.
The film won the People’s Choice Award at the 2010 Okanagan International Film Festival, playing there to a sold-out house. Interest was so high, a second screening was added.
Starting Sept. 9, Okanagan residents have a chance to see the film, which was shot in the valley, in its limited time run at the Landmark Theatres in Penticton, West Kelowna and Kelowna.
The film has also screened at the Mississauga Independent Film Festival (Vistek Best Feature), VCON and the Olamot Festival in Tel Aviv.
“We have built up an international following through using social media,” said producer C.S. John. “People all over the world are clamouring to see our film. Audience demand to see the film on the big screen in the Okanagan has been high.”
Featured in the cast are David Nykl (Dr. Zelenka on Stargate: Atlantis), Leanne Jijian-Hume (The L-Word), Bronwen Smith (Gunless) and Roger Haskett (Smallville).
Beast was originally conceived by author Keith Provost, who was a prominent actor in the Kelowna theatre scene in his youth, and who went on to a career in Vancouver as a writer and actor in film, TV and theatre.
In 2001, Provost died suddenly after a tragic bicycle accident. After his death, writers Craig March and Kennedy Goodkey carried their friend’s idea to fruition in his memory.
For more information on the film and screening, visit www.provostpictures.com.