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(Credit: Jason Persse)

Film

Carrie Brownstein to direct 'Witness Protection'

Carrie Brownstein is spearheading Witness Protection, a comedy-drama written by Rupinder Gill and David West Read, who serve as co-producers with Schitt’s Creek’s Annie Murphy. Becky Sloviter and Elysa Dutton and Leslie Morgenstein also serve as producers. Murphy will also star in the film, as well as work behind the scenes.

MRC Film has provided the following synopsis for the film: “Witness Protection centres on a woman who has always defined herself by her romantic relationships, but when she is forced to enter witness protection, she must try to figure out who she really is for the first time while maintaining her cover and keeping the criminals at bay.”

Carrie Brownstein, best known for her music, serves as the project’s creative patron, giving context and life to the work as a whole. Her band, Sleater-Kinney, released their most recent album, Path of Wellness, in 2021.

Path of Wellness was their first self-produced album, and the first in over a quarter of a century not to feature drummer Janet Weiss. Sleater-Kinney are currently working on a re-make of Dig Me Out, featuring contributions from St. Vincent, Wilco, and other artists. The album aims to honour the intentions and integrity of the original but also aims to put its own stamp on the record.

Brownstein developed the critically acclaimed sketch-comedy series Portlandia with Toast of Tinseltown‘s Fred Armisen, a sitcom set in and around the region of Portland, which ran for eight series from 2011 to 2018.
Portlandia featured such luminaries as Kirsten Dunst, Steve Buscemi, Claire Danes, Kristen Wiig, Rose Byrne, and Johnny Marr.

Portlandia won an Emmy Award in 2011 for Outstanding Costumes for a Variety Program. Armisen was subsequently nominated for Best Supporting Actor. The show had its fans, as Seinfield’s Jerry Seinfield called it one of the best shows on television. Saturday Night Live mainstay Lorne Michaels was one of the producers of the show, and helped to give the show certain respectability it might not otherwise have had. Witness Protection is Brownstein’s return to the world of satirical comedy.