July 16, 2015

Edmonton's Big Deal

In early June I attended the Banff World Media Festival. It was another round of master classes and industry networking, while saying hello to my fave woodland creatures (and Sask boys from Wolf Cop ARROOO). It was here that the CineCoup Film Accelerator announced the latest $1 Million Deal for a prospective film, but there was a twist! Two projects were selected and our hometown team behind High School Brawl was one of them! This is a BIG fucking deal!

As a CineCoup Alumni, I know how difficult this process is. My feature only made it to the Top 15 in Canada, so I was spared the nerve-wracking experience of being in a room of industry people and live-pitching my project. I have to say, really impressed with the Top 5 this year, the projects and the people behind them. It takes so much blood, sweat and tears to live the dream. Take a look at the video below to understand what these filmmakers had to go through and what was on the line:

Once again, a team from Edmonton had placed in the Top 5 so all my energy and focus was behind our local heroes. Writers/Producers Aaron KurmeyKevin Johnson and Ryan Hatt came to the scene with a unique "Lord of the Flies" project centring on teenage violence and bullying. During the entire process their cast & crew, production quality and execution of the missions continued to impress. 

What I'm really proud of is how Edmonton's filmmakers have become a competitive force in our national industry. Not only are we home to some of the best award-winning documentary filmmakers - Michael Jorgensen, Rosie Dransfeld, Niobe Thompson, Adam Scorgie - but our next generation continues to demonstrate our commercial appeal and ability to spar with the dominant industry in Vancouver and Toronto. We have the talent here - all we need is the infrastructure and support to keep our talent working in this city. Hint Hint...

So please embrace our hometown heroes who are moving forward on their feature High School Brawl, with $1M in financing and guaranteed distribution in Cineplex theatres. Like their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter and say BRAVO, we salute you, or some shit like that. It's important to know what's happening in our own backyard and to make a big deal about it. Because it's a big deal.

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