Eight-year-old Windsor actress makes big screen debut

She’s just getting started in third grade and now, eight-year-old River Price-Maenpaa is wading into the festival circuit – starring in “North of Normal”, which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this month.

“I just kind of grew up acting,” she says with a sweet smile.

Price-Maenpaa got her start in the industry when she was four, with a role in an episode of Amazon’s Tales from the Loop.

She’s since amassed five credits to her name on IMDb, with her latest role taking her to the TIFF red carpet last week – but she didn’t get to watch with everyone else.

“I couldn’t, it’s a grown up movie,” she says.

She did however get to come into the theater after the screening. She says that was pretty cool.

“People have told me it was a great job and they really liked it,” says Price-Maenpaa.

“I saw a lot of people had tears in their eyes.”

“North of Normal” is the movie adaptation of Canadian writer/model Cea Sunrise Person’s 2014 memoir of the same name.

It tells the story of her unconventional upbringing in the western Canadian wilderness in the 1970s.

Price-Maenpaa plays a young Person, while Amanda Fix plays her as a teen.

The film also starts Robert Carlyle and Janet Porter as Person’s grandparents and Sarah Gadon as her mother.

“They were really fun to work with,” the eight-year-old says.

She says they have more experience than she does.

Price-Maenpaa isn’t sure yet what her dream is, but she does want to be an actress when she grows up.

She doesn’t have her next acting job lined up yet – focused instead on school, dance class and hanging out with her brother.

Next week her movie will come to her hometown with “TIFF on Tour” bringing the festival to Windsor for one night only on Wednesday, Sept. 28.

“North of Normal” will also screen in the city as part of the Windsor International Film Festival in October.

Price-Maenpaa says she hopes people like it, but she unfortunately won’t be able to see the film then either.

“You have to be 18, and I’m not 18, I’m eight,” she explains.

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