Lisa Edelstein is headed to Canada to star in a homegrown indigenous drama, Little Bird, for local streamer Crave.
Edelstein, best known for playing Dr. Lisa Cuddy on House and more recently starring in Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce, will play Golda Rosenblum, the adoptive mother of the Little Bird series’ main character, Esther Rosenblum, played by newcomer Darla Contois.
As a powerful Jewish matriarch in Montreal, Golda eventually discovers the truth behind Esther’s adoption, that as 5-year-old Bezhig Little Bird she was forcibly taken from her birth-family on the Long Pine Reserve in Saskatchewan by the Canadian government. That journey leads to emotionally charged encounters between adoptive mother and daughter, where Golda slowly understands Esther, now in her 20s, longs for the family she lost and is led back to the Canadian prairies to rediscover her indigenous roots.
The six-part series is created and showrun by Jennifer Podemski, has Hannah Moscovitch as head writer and also stars Ellyn Jade, Joshua Odjick, Michelle Thrush and Blackstone star Eric Schweig. The drama is being shot in and around Winnipeg, with episodes directed by Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Zoe Hopkins, who also writes three of the episodes.
Little Bird also comes in the wake of a national reckoning in Canada about historical residential schools for native Canadians run by the Catholic Church until the 1990s and funded by the Canadian state. That debate only grew after the discovery of unmarked graves for indigenous children across the country forced to attend the former residential schools after being removed from their families to erase their indigenous roots.
Crave is producing Little Bird in association with Rezolution Pictures, APTN and OP Little Bird, and Fremantle will handle international distribution. The producer credits are shared by Tanya Brunel, Jessica Dunn, Philippe Chabot and Ellen Rutter.
The series is executive produced by Ernest Webb, Catherine Bainbridge, Christina Fon, Linda Ludwick, Kim Todd, Nicholas Hirst, Jeremy Podeswa, Podemski, Moscovitch, Christian Vesper and Dante Di Loreto.