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Les Filles Du Roi

A Musical Film by Corey Payette

Produced by Urban Ink, in association with Raven Theatre & The Cultch

Now screening in person, see below for a screening near you


 “Corey Payette’s “Les Filles du Roi” blossoms from stage to screen” – The Georgia Straight



Adapted from the award-winning musical by Corey Payette and Julie McIsaac, Les Filles du Roi (The King’s Daughters) tells the powerful story of a young girl, Kateri and her brother Jean-Baptiste whose lives are disrupted upon the arrival of les filles du roi in ‘New France’ (now Montreal) in 1665. They forge an unlikely relationship with the young fille Marie-Jean Lespérance—whose dream of a new life is more complicated than she could have imagined. Over the course of a year, Mohawk, French and English journeys collide, setting the stage for the Canada we know today.

This musical epic, told in English, French and Kanien’Kéha (Mohawk), had its theatrical premiere in 2018 at The Cultch’s York Theatre to stellar reviews, with critics calling it “a work of monumental importance” and a “sumptuous reimagining of our history.”

Filmed in 2022-2023 on xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səl’ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), and Kanienkehà:ka (Mohawk) territories.


Directed by Corey Payette
Written by Corey Payette & Julie McIsaac
Music by Corey Payette
Lyrics by Corey Payette & Julie McIsaac
Directors of Photography: Ian Mrozewski & Parham Banafsheh
Edited by Christian Díaz Durán
Production Designer: Anna Shearing

Kateri: Kaitlyn Yott
Marie-Jeanne Lespérance: Julie McIsaac
Jean-Baptiste: Raes Calvert
Clan Mother: Chelsea Rose
Clarke: Sean Patrick Sonier
Madam Savoie: Claire Johnstone
Lisa-Anne: Kayla Dunbar
Mother: Cecilly Day
Chorus: Merewyn Comeau
Priest: Andrew Wheeler
Chorus: Synthia Yusuf
Chorus: Lisa Goebel
Nun: Jennifer Lines
Chorus: Nathan Kay
Chorus: Jason Sakaki
Chorus: Victor Dolhai
Chorus: Oliver Castillo
Woman of the Longhouse: Taninli Wright
Woman of the Longhouse: Olivia Lucas
Man of the Longhouse: Asivak Koostachin
People of the Longhouse: Nakuset
People of the Longhouse: Mahkisis
People of the Longhouse: Mahihkan
People of the Longhouse: Jessica Carmichael
People of the Longhouse: Calla Adubofour-poku
Mother: Cathy Wilmot
Mother: Sue Newman
Mother: Laura Di Cicco
New Fille: Laura Ross
New Fille: Pippa Mackie
Sailor: Cate Richardson
New Fille: Christine Quintana

Creative Team
Executive Producer: Corey Payette
Executive Producer: Julie McIsaac
Executive Producer: Melissa Tsang
Producer: Garrett VanDusen
Associate Producer: Marijka Asbeek Brusse
Associate Producer: Jayce Barreiro
Post Production Producer: Fabian Aspell Morales
Post Production Producer: Debbie Courchene
Operations Manager: Amy Cornish
1st AD: Iman Javadi
2nd AD: Rob Guthrie
Script Supervisor: Shay Scholes
1st AC: Sam Lin
2nd AC: Ross Branch

Choreography: Lisa Goebel
Drone Operator: Kirsten Oakes
Set Decorator: Stephanie Lafreniere
Set Decorator Assistant: Maria Alejandra Molano Beltran
Property Master: Maria A. Molano
Set Dressers: Kayla Zabot, Ana Pflug, Alli Deleo, Kennadee Wilkie, Felicia Courturier, Cammy Wakefield, Vilma Pettersson
Costume Supervisor: Alaia Hamer
Costume Assistants: Donne Tejani, Stevie Hale-Jones, Sarah Sosick
Hair & Makeup Artist: Alison Jeffreys
Hair & Makeup Artist: Kaeko Fujiyana
Fight Coordinator: Mike Kovac
Water Stunt Coordinators: Shaun McGee, Richard Van Liempt
Intimacy Coordinator: Lisa Goebel
Technical Director: Jeff Harrison
Key Grip: Lisa Ouabbache
Gaffer: Nikolas Bradfield
LX: Vivek Nipani
Sound Editor: Yegor Irodov
Recording Engineer: Derek L’Hirondelle
Dialogue Editor: Doug Paterson
Craft Services Coordinator: Reine Wong
Transport Coordinator: Marijka Asbeek Brusse
Locations Manager: Nathan Carriere
Locations Manager: Dylan Kacho
Production Assistant: Jessica Pleich
Production Assistant: Jaela Kacho
Production Assistant: Liam Ducharme
Production Assistant: Corey Murguly
Production Assistant: Ben D’Agnillo
Production Assistant: Catherine Gagnon

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When I first learned about the historical filles du roi, I was in Grade 8 at L’École Saint-Joseph in Penetanguishene, Ontario. I felt a fierce kinship with these girls, likely because I was the same age as many of them would have been when they left France to become young wives (and mothers) in the “new world”. I’ve never stopped wondering about these girls; why they went, what they left behind, and what really happened when they arrived. The documented history is narrow, paternalistic, wholly unsatisfying. Statistics are available –passenger manifests, marriage certificates, census records – but what about the lived experiences of these women? Yes, they were population-boosting possessions of the patriarchy. But what did they themselves think, dream, feel? 

This gap in the narrative is what prompted me to talk to Laura Di Cicco about a show that would give voice to les filles. At the same time, I knew there were/are other perspectives missing from accounts of our nation’s history. These young women arrived as products (and agents) of a system, a system that was bent on destroying the way of life of the Indigenous people of this continent, a system that has resulted in centuries of oppression, violence, erasure. A system that is ongoing, and will continue to harm, unbalance and separate us – unless we take action, together. 

As I grappled with this, and Laura asked me about potential collaborators, I knew that I needed to talk to Corey Payette. I am so grateful that Corey was inspired to take part, and in such a significant way. And I’m thankful for all that this show has taught us, both artistically and personally. We’ve uncovered parts of our own identities, family histories we might never have known if not for the pull of the questions at the heart of this piece. I am fortunate to have grown up surrounded by the strong, vivacious and tenacious women of my French-Canadian family: my Mémère Simone, my mother Jeanne, and my eight ma tantes Marie, Irène, Avela, Madeleine, Anne, Gisèle, Yvette and Bonita. Now, I know that all of us are descended from fille du roi Marguerite Bulté, who married in 1670, and lived to be 95 years old.

What if my ancestor only survived because of the kindness and generosity of Corey’s ancestors? What if settlers had allowed themselves to be changed by genuinely listening to, and learning from, the Indigenous people of this land? What if we settlers committed to doing this now? What if Western European patriarchy wasn’t our default modality? What if it went without saying that women’s voices and bodies are to be honoured, revered and respected?

On behalf of Corey and I – Nia:wen (Thank-you) to all the people who have believed in this work. 

Julie McIsaac

Co-Writer, Book/Lyrics

My Great Grandmother Mabel moved from Caughnawaga (Kahnawake) Mohawk Territory on the south shore of the St.Lawrence river, across from Montreal, to Northern Ontario in the early 1900s. She spoke English and French but Kanien’kéha (Mohawk) was her first language. She was discriminated against for being Indigenous and never taught Kanien’kéha to her children, and the language was lost in our family. In fact, she shared very little with them about their own language or culture. Now with the support of the Native American Travelling College in Akwesasne we not only received the teaching of the Kanien’kéha language but also some of the worldview that is embedded within this complex language. With only two generations between my great grandmother and I, I feel like this reclaiming of Indigenous language through Les Filles du Roi is part of a larger story that will resonate with many young Indigenous peoples who are on this same path.

We are using this musical film as a vehicle to tell the story through the perspective of generations of silenced Indigenous peoples whose stories have gone unheard by the mainstream. It challenges the history we’ve been told and asks us to reconsider the narrative. Stories are powerful, they shift how we see the world, and our history has been shaped through a predominantly white male perspective. Much of our work in Les Filles is about Indigenizing the narrative because these perspectives are missing.

In addition to the Indigenous perspective being missing, we found few perspectives of les filles who had come over. Our work has been about feminizing this history through the eyes of these women. It has been 358 years since the time our story is set, and in that time we have experienced the loss of matriarchy, which was the way of governance in the Kanien’kehá:ka nation at the time of our story. All women have felt the impacts of the loss of this Indigenous worldview. I hope it serves as a reminder of what was once present on this land and of what we could be.

I never met my Great Grandmother Mabel, but I know she would be proud that we are reclaiming Kanien’kéha in this way. We will speak our language again, language will bring songs again, songs will bring dances again, and even if we have to create the story anew, these stories will remind us of who we have always been.

Corey Payette
Director, Composer, and Co-Writer

Native North American Travelling College, Druolers-tsilonhlakwutz Longhouse, Great Northern Way Scene Shop, Kidd Pivot, Maria Zarrillo, Big Picture Content, NOVUS Productions, Cecelia King, Darren Bonaparte, Iawenta’s Mabel White, JoAnn Swamp, Kahentawaks Perkins, Kahniehtiio Horn, Kathy Herne, Michel Cadieux, Pascal Perron, Sue Ann Swamp, Tekonwakwenni Nanticoke, Patrice Bowler, Alex Schoen, Anita Rochon, Anna Kuman, Andrew Cohen, Caitlyn Hayes, Jessica Hood, Cate Richardson, Dawn Brennan, Deneh’Cho Thompson, Elliot Vaughan, Estelle Shook, Evan Frayne, Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa, Geneva Perkins, Heather Redfern, JD Derbyshire, Jeff Gladstone, Jesse Martyn, Julie Trépanier, Karliana DeWolff, John Kastelic, Emilie Leclerc, Kevin Loring, Martin Reisle, Laura Ross, Lindsay Warnock, Lucy Sim, Mara Gottler, Maria Jose Herrera, Ashley Noyes, Melanie Thompson, Michael Creber, Nicole McLuckie, Kyra Soko, Robyn Wallis, Sidney Klips, Yawen Wang.

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Canadian Heritage Logo
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UBCP Actra logo
Vancouver Civic Theatres logo
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Leo Award Nominee graphic
Best Motion Picture
Best Direction – Corey Payette
Best Editing – Christian Díaz Durán
Best Musical Score – Corey Payette & Julie McIsaac
Best Production Design – Anna Shearing
Best Costume Design – Alaia Hamer & Marshall McMahen
Best Lead Performance – Julie McIsaac
Best Lead Performance – Kaitlyn Yott

14 film festival awards laurels graphics


Book a Screening

Please contact Cheyenne Scott, Producer – Community and Outreach –  cheyenne@urbanink.ca

Upcoming Screenings

Past Screenings

About Urban Ink

For over 20 years, Urban Ink, and its circle of artists have broken barriers, through stimulating story, performance, and media. As we look ahead to the next 20 years to come, we strive to continue an Indigenized practice that centres Indigenous and diverse voices, making space for our communities across Turtle Island.

Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge and pay our respects to the territory that we travel through and share our stories on. In particular we acknowledge and pay our respects to the sovereign peoples of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səl’ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) on whose unceded land Urban Ink is based.

Always was, always will be, sacred Indigenous land.