Rossif Sutherland on 'Hyena Road,' storytelling and staying in the moment

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Rossif Sutherland

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Film synopsis

Trailer here.

IMDB here. 

Paul Gross (Passchendaele) directs and co-stars in this taut war drama about Canadian troops in Afghanistan weathering Taliban attacks while struggling to complete construction on a crucial highway link.

Writer-director-star Paul Gross' new film portrays the heroic duties undertaken by Canadian armed forces in Afghanistan with the same gut-wrenching immediacy that Gross brought to the blood-soaked Belgian battlefields of the First World War in his epic PasschendaeleHyena Road is a masterful examination of modern warfare that drops viewers straight into the belly of the beast.

Depicting an embattled Canadian-American initiative to increase safe transport across Afghanistan, Hyena Road is a group portrait of men and women at work in a dangerous and often confounding conflict zone.

We meet a sniper (Rossif Sutherland who becomes precariously implicated in the life of one of his targets -- as well as the life of an alluring colleague (Christine Horne). There's an intelligence officer whose customary world-weary wisecracks -- "Even the dirt is hostile" -- veil a fundamental belief in the ethics of war.

And the film introduces us to a legendary former mujahid known as The Ghost (Neamat Arghandabi) who, for mysterious reasons, is lured back into the battle zone to assist the Canadian forces.

All these characters' trajectories collide in ways that illustrate the triumphs and frustrations that occur amid the moral uncertainty of war. Alternating between relatively tranquil scenes of life at the base and adrenalized sequences that thrust us into the heat of battle, Gross orchestrates a cinematic symphony of soldiering: the highs and lows, the brotherhood and barbarity.

Hyena Road does what great war movies can do: it carefully examines the plight of a few so as to speak to the experience of many.


Rossif Sutherland, an established performer in Music, Film and Television has developed an extensive resume.

Film credits include Big Muddy directed by Jefferson Moneo, I'm Yours opposite Karine Vanasse, Gary Yates' feature film High Life opposite Timothy Olyphant and Joe Anderson for which received a Genie nomination, and the critically acclaimed Clement Virgo feature Poor Boy's Game opposite Danny Glover all of which premiered The Toronto International Film Festival. Others include Timeline, a Paramount feature directed by Richard Donner as well as the independent feature film Red Doors directed by Georgia Lee. Most recently he just completed filming a supporting role in Back Country opposite Joel Kinnaman and the starring role in River directed by Jamie Dagg which shot in Laos. 

In television, Sutherland has had recurring guest spots on shows such as NBCs Crossing Lines and BBCA's Copper with other guest-starring roles in TMN's Living In Your Car; Monk and Being Erica and Cracked for CBC as well as a recurring role in season 10 of NBC's hit show ER. He's been series regular on Showcase's King and the hit show Reign for the CW. When he's not acting, he is busy recording his music.

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