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Ella Hope Ballentine
July 18, 2001
Ella Ballentine (born July 18, 2001) is a Canadian television, film and stage actress.
Ballentine started her acting career in the 2011 Toronto stage production of The Railway Children, directed by Damian Cruden. She attended Mirvish Productions' open call audition at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, which attracted hundreds of children. The production was staged at the Roundhouse Park, a National Historic Site. Ballentine played the role of Francis Perks, the youngest child. She continued her stage career as Felicia, the lead role in Numbers, a 2012 Toronto Fringe Festival play for which she received rave reviews. In 2013 she returned to Mirvish Productions to play the role of Little Cosette / Young Eponine in the highly acclaimed 25th Anniversary production of Les Miserables.
Ballentine's film acting debut was Baby's First Christmas for Hallmark Channel in 2012 in which she played Karen, a primary character. The TV movie was directed by Jonathan Wright, and featured Casper Van Dien, Rachel Wilson, Natalie Lisinska (who she reunited with in the Good Stars), and Noah Cappe. This movie was followed in 2013 by the role of Jennifer in Atom Egoyan's feature, The Captive, an official selection for the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. The same year Ella shared the screen with Susan Sarandon, Gil Bellows and Christopher Heyerdahl, in The Calling, a feature film directed by Jason Stone. Ballentine played Kate alongside co-stars Emmanuelle Vaugier, Richard Ruccolo, and Eva Link in the 2013 Lifetime movie, Clara's Deadly Secret, directed by Andrew C. Erin.
In her first feature lead, Ballentine co-starred with Laurence Fishburne and Thomas Jane in writer Adam Alleca's directorial debut, Standoff. The movie was shot on a farm in rural Ontario in 2014, and was released in 2015. The same year Ballentine played the co-lead in a family feature, Against the Wild 2: Survive the Serengeti, directed by Richard Boddington. The movie was originally intended for Direct-to-video release but it opened in theatres across the United States.
Ballentine was cast as Anne Shirley in a 2015 Television film adaptation of the classic Canadian novel Anne of Green Gables written by Lucy Maud Montgomery. The first instalment, L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables, previewed in Canada February 15, 2016 on YTV. PBS purchased the rights of the movie for the United States. The movie also received distribution deals across Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. Subsequently, YTV ordered two more episodes (The Good Stars, and Fire & Dew) that were both shot in 2016 with Ballentine as Anne, Martin Sheen as Matthew Cuthbert, Sara Botsford as Marilla Cuthbert, Julia Lalonde as Diana Barry, and Drew Haytaoglu as Gilbert Blyth. All three episodes were directed by John Kent Harrison.
In 2015 Ella also landed the role of Lizzy in writer/director, Bryan Bertino's horror film, The Monster. Ella co-starred with Zoe Kazan, and Scott Speedman, with whom she had already worked in The Captive. The Monster became an independent success with many award nominations for both the film and Ballentine herself.
In 2013 Ella was invited to the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction Gala as one of the "renowned Canadian performers enlivened the evening with dramatic readings of the five prize-nominated titles."
In 2015, Ballentine costarred in Standoff with Laurence Fishburne and Thomas Jane. Although the movie received mixed reviews, Ballentine's performance was praised by several media publications. Rene S. Garcia, JR. of Workingauthor.com wrote "And let’s not forget Ella Ballentine. I typically have no faith in child actors, but Ella strikes the perfect tone with her burgeoning independence, but emotional and physical dependency." Eoin Friel from ActionElite felt that "Ella Ballentine almost steals the movie as Bird, the girl being pursued by Sade. The poor thing goes through an absolute nightmare and manages to never be the "annoying kid" in the film; she brings genuine heart to proceedings and is essential for Carter's redemption." According to in an interview on Collider, co-Lead, Thomas Jane "[Ella] was pretty wonderful. She was fun, too."
Ballentine received critical acclaim. for her portrayal of the classic character, Anne Shirley in a new 3 part TV movie adaptation of the classic Canadian novel, Anne of Green Gables. L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables was the first instalment, followed by The Good Stars. "Ballentine is charming as Anne" wrote Francesca Rudkin in the New Zealand Herald, while Louise Keller in Urbancinefile states "[Ballentine] is outstanding. Wide-eyed and innocent, she proffers just the right amount of worldliness as the orphan who asks for just two things as she prays for the first time. That is a lovely scene." "I was absolutely delighted by actress Ella Ballentine’s portrayal of Anne Shirley. She was a worthy Anne." wrote Sarah M Miduski. Martin Sheen also has high opinion of Ballentine. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Sheen said "I adore [Ella]...She’s an extraordinary talent...She’s remarkable. And she’s very funny as well. We have great fun on the set and she’s got a great sense of humor. She’s a joy to work with."
According to critics, in the horror movie, The Monster "the spooky-good Ella Ballentine" came up as "a minor revelation. She’s terrific as the child forced to grow up much faster than she’d like due to her negligent mother.", "a young actress chock-full of pure talent, Ella Ballentine gives an ... stunning performance as Lizzy". According to the Los Angeles Times’ Justin Chang "Ballentine gives a fine, fierce performance as a child wise beyond her years and unafraid of confrontation.", and Matt Donato from We Got This Covered writes "Ballentine rolls with the punches well for an actress her age, and this shouldn’t be understated". The Monster ended up on many websites top horror list for 2016, and Ballentine gained a few suggestions for award considerations and a couple of award nominations, such us Fangoria Magazine's 2017 Fangoria Chainsaw Awards nomination for Best Supporting Actress. "If horror movie performances were given Oscars, [Kazan] would be a shoo-in. Same with Ballentine. These two are so believable," wrote Staci Layne Wilson in Dread Central. Bloody Disgusting, an American horror genre website, called Ballentine "The Most Badass Horror Hero of 2016".
|2012||The Intergalactic Space Adventures of Cleo and Anouk||Anouk|
|The Calling||Rose Batten|
|2016||Against the Wild 2: Survive the Serengeti||Emma Croft|
|The Monster||Lizzy||aka. There Are Monsters|
|2018||Black Conflux on IMDb|
|2012||Baby's First Christmas||Karen Pendrell||Television film|
|2013||Clara's Deadly Secret||Kate|
|Time Tremors||Medie Reno||S1 E1-7'|
|2014||Reign||Voland Girl||TV Series, Episode:The Plague on IMDb|
|Saving Hope||Rachel Stewart||TV Series, Episode:The Other Side of Midnight on IMDb|
|2016||L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables||Anne Shirley||Television film|
|2017||Anne of Green Gables: The Good Stars|
|Anne of Green Gables: Fire & Dew|
|2018||The Detail on IMDb||Annabelle||TV Series, Episode: It Takes a Village on IMDb|
|2013||Time Tremors||Medie Reno|
|2011||The Railway Children||Francis Perks||Roundhouse Theatre|
|2013–2014||Les Misérables||Little Cosette / Young Eponine||Princess of Wales Theatre|
Awards and nominations
|2014||Dora Mavor Moore Award||Outstanding Performance - Ensemble in a Musical||Les Miserables||Nominated|
|2016||Joey Awards||Young Actress - MOW||L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables||Won|
|2017||Fangoria Chainsaw Awards||Best Supporting Actress||The Monster||Nominated|
|2018||Canadian Screen Awards||Canadian Screen Award for Best Performance in a Children's or Youth Program or Series||L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables: Fire & Dew||Won|
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