Duration Director T J Martin Costume designAlysia Raycraft
CastCrispin Glover (William Foster), Clayne Crawford (William Eddy), Michele Santopietro (Amanda McCutchen), Mark Boone Junior (Franklin Graves), Christian Kane (Charles Stanton), Crispian Belfrage (Patrick Dolan) Similar moviesNecrosis (2009)
The donner party trailer
The Donner Party is a 2009 period drama film written and directed by T.J. Martin, and distributed by First Look International. It is based on the true story of the Donner Party, an 1840s westward traveling group of settlers headed for California. Becoming snowbound in the Sierra Nevada mountains, with food increasingly scarce, a small group calling themselves "The Forlorn Hope" turned to cannibalism. The Forlorn was the working title for the film.
As well as being Martin's directorial debut, it was production company Anacapa Entertainment's first feature film. It premiered at the Austin Film Festival on October 23, 2009, with a DVD release three months later on January 26. Shooting was swift, with principal photography at the Donner Pass, California taking only 12 days. Originally, the work had a higher budget, with greater use of child stars and a longer shooting schedule. The original production company pulled funding for the project, so several changes were made. The title change was a marketing choice by the distributor.
The soundtrack was done by the Aspiro Choir under Mary Amond O'Brian.
The film opens with text explaining who the Donner Party were and how they ended up in the terrible situation of passing the cutoff.