Screened as part of NZIFF 2008

Frozen River 2007

Directed by Courtney Hunt

A nerve-wracking thriller about two women trafficking illegal immigrants across a frozen river. Winner Grand Jury Prize (Best Dramatic Feature), Sundance Festival.

USA In English and French with English subtitles
97 minutes 35mm

Director, Screenplay


Reed Morano


Kate Williams


Peter Golub
Shahad Ismaily


Melissa Leo
Misty Upham
Charlie McDermott
Mark Boone Jr
Michael O'Keefe
Jay Klaitz
Bernie Littlewolf
Dylan Carusona


Sundance 2008


Grand Jury Prize (Dramatic), Sundance Film Festival 2008


First-time director Courtney Hunt took the Grand Jury Prize for Best Dramatic Feature at this year's Sundance Festival for her nerve-wracking thriller. The finely etched anti-heroines are two matter-of-fact, desperate women who traffic illegal immigrants across the frozen St. Lawrence River into the US. One woman is white, the other Native American, and they have more in common than their ingrained mutual distrust will allow them to admit. The precariousness of their hard lives, bringing up young families without support, is sharply observed and compellingly played out in the mounting danger of their nightly excursions over thawing ice.

"Riveting... Melissa Leo gives the performance of a lifetime, but she also receives great support. The artful trinity of Leo, co-star Misty Upham and Hunt leads to independent moviemaking at its best; telling real-life, off the grid stories with compassion, skill and honesty." — Steve Ramos, indieWIRE