A film based on Carol Shields’ award-winning final novel Unless has commenced principal photography in Toronto, Canada.

An Irish-Canadian co-production between Subotica Entertainment and Sienna Films, Unless was adapted and will be directed by Alan Gilsenan and stars Catherine Keener. The cast also features Matt Craven, Hannah Gross, Chloe Rose, Abigail Winter, Martha Henry and Hanna Schygulla. Jennifer Kawaja and Julia Sereny will produce for Sienna Films and Tristan Orpen Lynch and Aoife O’Sullivan for Subotica.

Unless tells the story of a writer and translator called Reta Winters (Keener) whose comfortable Toronto existence is shaken when she discovers her college bound daughter Norah (Gross) has been discovered panhandling on a street corner, now apparently mute.

Director Gilsenan commented: “Carol Shields Unless is her surprising, moving and angry swan-song, a book both for our time and very much of our time. It is a real honour and delight to be finally bringing it to the cinema screen with such an extraordinary cast.”

The film rights option agreement between Subotica and the Carol Shields Literary Estate was negotiated by Conrad Williams of Blake Friedmann and Aoife O’Sullivan of Subotica.