Principal photography began September 3 on "When Calls the Heart," a feature length television movie from California-based Believe Pictures and Edmonton's Jordan Films Inc.
When Calls the Heart stars Maggie Grace ("Lost," The Fog"), Peter Coyote ("E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial," A Walk to Remember) and Stephen Amell ("Closing the Ring") and is based on the novel by best-selling author and pioneer of inspirational fiction Janette Oke (author of the Love Comes Softly Series). The screenplay was written by Michael Landon Jr., who is also directing the movie. Filming will continue in and around the Calgary area through October 9.
"When Calls the Heart" tells the story of Elizabeth Thatcher (Maggie Grace), a cultured, young Toronto schoolteacher who in 1910 bids farewell to her father (Peter Coyote) to take a teaching position out west in the hardscrabble Alberta prairie. Despite the many hardships of her new frontier life, she cares deeply for her schoolchildren. But she has closed her heart to love - until she meets Wynn Delaney (Stephen Amell), a member of the Royal North-West Mounted Police.
"When Calls the Heart" is being produced by Brian Bird (Touched By An Angel), Michael Landon Jr. (Love Comes Softly) and Laurette Bourassa (Moondance Alexander) and co-produced by John Bauman. The production designer is Michael Bolton ("Runaway Vacation," "Romeo Must Die"), the director of photography is James L. Carter ("My Dog Skip," "Tuck Everlasting"), costume design is by Wendy Partridge ("Hellboy") and the editor is Bridget Durnford ("45 RPM").
The film will be broadcast on television in 2009 in the United States and in Canada. It is being distributed by Starz Media, along with home video distribution by Anchor Bay Entertainment and international distribution by Vision Films. "When Calls the Heart" is being produced with the financial participation of Los Angeles-based Family 1 Films, Starz Media and Anchor Bay Entertainment, as well as The Alberta Film Development Fund and the Canadian Production Services Tax Credit Program.
Believe Pictures was founded in 2005 by partners Michael Landon Jr., and Brian Bird. The company's mission is to develop and produce high-quality, life-and family-affirming films and television. In 2006 and 2007, it produced adaptations of the best-selling faith-based novels, The Last Sin Eater and Saving Sarah Cain for Twentieth Century Fox.
Jordan Films is a Canadian-based production company also founded in 2005. Besides international co-productions, Jordan Films has numerous films and television projects in development, including additional productions with Believe Pictures.