Swan Song

Swan Song

26th TIDF: Greek Premiere

Winking at the cinematic legacy of Frederick Wiseman (whose emblematic Ballet changed the way cinema converses with classical dance) Chelsea McMullan’s intimate process documentary immerses us in the National Ballet of Canada’s 2022 monumental and legacy-defining new production of Swan Lake, directed by ballet icon Karen Kain as she bids farewell to the company she’s become synonymous with (as she famously debuted in the ballet in 1971). In its attempt to present the company as an organic entity (with the performers, choreographers, and technicians pushing through physical and emotional obstacles to remake a revered work), even something as simple as Kain pushing for the dancers to abandon the pink tights of the swan costumes – thus acknowledging the diversity of skin colors onstage – turns out to have revolutionary implications.

Screening Schedule

No physical screenings scheduled.

Direction: Chelsea McMullan
Script: Chelsea McMullan, Sean O'Neill
Cinematography: Tess Girard, Shady Hanna
Editing: Brendan Mills
Actors: Karen Kain, Jurgita Dronina, Shaelynn Estrada
Production: Visitor Media, Mercury Films, Quiet Ghost
Producers: Sean O'Neill, Christina Carvalho
Format: DCP
Color: Color
Production Country: Canada
Production Year: 2023
Duration: 103'
Contact: Dogwoof
Awards/Distinctions: DGC Canadian Documentary Feature – Calgary IFF 2023

Chelsea McMullan


2009 Deadman
2011 Derailments (short) 
2013 My Prairie Home
2022 Crystal Pite: Angels' Atlas
2023 Swan Song