Snitch Pictures and Hawkeye Pictures Option “Women of the Klondike”

Posted by:Kate Melville on Sep - 14 - 2017 - Filed under: Snitch Pictures -


Media Contact: Cynthia Amsden
Tel: +1 416 910 7740


Toronto, ON. September 14, 2017 — Toronto-based production company Snitch Pictures, in association with Hawkeye Pictures, has acquired the option to Frances Backhouse’s narrative history, Women of the Klondike(Whitecap Books). Hawkeye Pictures’ Aeschylus Poulos (Sleeping Giant, Mary Goes Round) will produce. Award-winning writer-director Kate Melville(Picture Day) will adapt the book into what she describes as a “feminist western.”

Kate Melville“I travelled to Whitehorse years ago and was fascinated by stories of dance halls in the Yukon Gold Rush,” said writer-director Melville. “By the time the police arrived in Dawson, there was already an established network of prostitutes, and most of them worked as independent agents. I thought there was a feminist twist on the Western there, in the clash between one of these female entrepreneurs and a police detective trying to instil law and order.”

“Women of the Klondike is bursting with characters so vividly drawn, I was up all night reading it like a novel,” said Melville. “Many different women lived in Dawson: Salvation Army missionaries, vaudeville performers, cooks, laundresses, women who panned for gold themselves, Tagish and Tlingit locals, society wives and nuns. Reading about these bold, adventurous characters, I wondered what their version of ‘frontier justice’ might look like. I’ve always loved Westerns, and these forgotten women from Gold Rush history deserve a movie of their own.”

Women of the KlondikeFrances Backhouse’s Women of the Klondike was published by Whitecap Books in 1995 and quickly became a bestseller. Known for her intimate and entertaining Canadian histories, Frances Backhouse was recently a featured speaker at IdeaCity 2017.

Snitch Pictures is known for Kate Melville’s directorial debut feature Picture Day, starring Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black, Stronger at TIFF17). Picture Day premiered at TIFF in 2012, won the Borsos Prize for Best Feature at Whistler, and a 2013 ACTRA award for Maslany.

Hawkeye Pictures is a Toronto-based production company working with some of Canada’s most exciting talents. Its latest feature, Mary Goes Round (produced by Wildling Pictures in association with Hawkeye Pictures) premiered at TIFF17.

Bell Media’s Harold Greenberg Fund is supporting the project through the Script Development Program. Frances Backhouse is represented by Carolyn Swayze Literary Agency and Intellectual Property Group. Aeschylus Poulos negotiated the deal on behalf of Hawkeye and Snitch.


Media Contact: Cynthia Amsden
Tel: +1 416 910 7740

Photo credit for Kate Melville’s headshot: Johnny Vong

Be the first one to comment

       Snitch Pictures

Latest from blog