Hallmark Movies and Mysteries’ first Miracles of Christmas movie, “We Need a Little Christmas,” premieres on Saturday, October 22, at 10 p.m. Eastern/9 p.m. Central. The movie stars Erica Durance, Lynn Whitfield, and Patrick Sabongui. Here’s everything you need to know about where it was filmed and the cast involved.
‘We Need a Little Christmas’ Was Filmed in Kelowna, British Columbia
Azriel Dalman, who plays Gavin in the movie, has shared a few behind-the-scenes pictures with the hashtag #KelownaFilm and #VancouverTalent, revealing where “We Need a Little Christmas” was filmed.
Castanet.com also reported about a movie being shot in the Kelowna region that sounds like this one, noting: “The name of the film is unknown at this time, but a female actress was spotted with a young actor who appeared to be about 10 years of age.”
The movie was shot in May 2022, right before it got really warm in the region.
Dalman also wrote in a different post: “Another huge shoutout to the team in Kelowna that made this film possible ❤️🎬!”
“Looks like we have a date for We Need A Little Christmas!” he posted later.
The Okanagan, where Kelowna is located, has become an increasingly popular filming location.
Kelowna Capital News reported: “A bi-annual update was provided to media by the region’s film commissioner on Wednesday, June 29, outlining that a total of 16 movies have been shot in the Okanagan so far in 2022, with bigger budget films and television projects already slated for the second half of this year.”
Meet the Cast of ‘We Need a Little Christmas’
Hallmark’s synopsis of the movie reads:
Irene (Whitfield) is a vivacious, elderly woman who had been alone in her home for over a decade before Julie (Durance) moved in next door with her young son Gavin (Azriel Dalman, “Moonfall”). Julie lost her husband and partner in their architectural design firm a year ago and is trying to juggle her new role as sole owner of the business, being a single mother to a grieving child, and facing the first Christmas without her husband. Widowed and retired from work life, Irene spends her days volunteering in various capacities, still shovels her own driveway and keeps herself incredibly busy. Julie, overwhelmed with work and the holidays, sends Gavin to a Christmas day camp where he strikes up an unlikely friendship with Irene, who is one of the volunteers. Before long, Julie and Irene begin to share their experiences – both widowed, one with a grown grandson she raised who is now a military doctor, and one with a young child she is determined to make the holidays special for this year. While Irene helps move Julie toward balancing her personal and professional lives, Julie plans a Christmas surprise for Irene in the hope she can repay her for her kindness.
Erica Durance plays Julie. According to her bio, the Canadian actress has been in a number of TV movies for networks such as Lifetime and Hallmark Channel. She most recently appeared in Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’ “Color My World with Love” and “North to Home,” as well as Hallmark’s “Open by Christmas.” She also had a lead part in New Line Cinema’s “Butterfly Effect II.”
Erica wrote on Instagram: “So much fun working on this movie. Wonderful cast and crew.“
Lynn Whitfield plays the role of Irene. According to her bio, she received both an Emmy and a Golden Globe nomination for her performance as Josephine Baker in “The Josephine Baker Story,” which aired on HBO. Whitfield obtained her BFA from Howard University and joined the D.C. Black Repertory Theater. She eventually relocated to New York City and was in various off-Broadway productions.
She recently celebrated 25 years of Eve’s Bayou with members and director Kasi Lemmons.
Patrick Sabongui portrays Peter. According to his bio, he was born in Montreal and grew up in a trilingual family, speaking French, English, and Arabic. His bio notes: “He is a devoted advocate for diversity and equality in the arts and media.” He portrayed Foster Bryant in the World Premiere of “Inside the Seed,” and starred in the Canadian premiere of Ayad Akhtar’s “Disgraced.” His many other credits include “300,” “Watchman,” “Drone,” “Godzilla,” “Shameless,” “Firefly Lane,” and more.
He recently shared an Instagram post about the Hallmark movie, writing: ”You know what you need this Saturday… actually, what we all need? #WeNeedaLittleChristmas on @hallmarkmovie.”
Back in July, he also won an award for Best Supporting Performance Male in a Drama for “Firefly Lane.” His wife accepted the award in his name.
Also starring in the movie are:
- Angelica Clarissa Lo (Ryan)
- Kaitlyn Santa Juana (Nadine)
- Rick Worall (Veteran’s Hall Volunteer)
- Ryhs Cawley (Fire Chief)
- Tara Whatley (Volunteer)
- Toby Marks (Female Clerk)
- Brenda Lee Howard (Mrs. Olsen)
- Scott Brown (Mr. Olsen)
- Byron Wilson (M.C.)
Other showtimes if you miss the premiere include:
- Sunday, October 23 6/5c
- Tuesday, October 25 8/7c
- Saturday, October 29 4/3c
- Friday, November 4 12/11c
- Saturday, November 12 8/7c
- Thursday, November 17 12a/11c
- Sunday, November 27 6/5c