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Telefilm Canada to fund the production of 14 English-language films for a total of $8.1 million

28 July 2015

Featuring such international stars as Tatiana Maslany, Catherine Keener, Jason Priestley and Dane DeHaan

Montreal, July 28, 2015—Telefilm Canada is pleased to announce its most recent 2014-2015 funding decisions. Through the Canada Feature Film Fund, Telefilm will support the production of 14 English-language films for a total investment of $8.1 million. The projects selected for funding are Away from Everywhere (Justin S. Simms), Chokeslam (Robert Cuffley), Coconut Hero (Florian Cossen), Destroyer (Kevan Funk),The Education of William Bowman (Ken Finkleman),Grand Unified Theory(David Ray),The Sabbatical (Brian Stockton), The Saver (Wiebke von Carolsfeld), The Second Time Around (Leon Marr), Todd & The Book of Pure Evil: The End of the End (Craig David Wallace), Two Lovers and a Bear (Kim Nguyen), Unless (Alan Gilsenan), The Unseen (Geoff Redknap) and Your Money or Your Wife (Iain Macleod).

“I’m delighted to see the variety of genres and stories represented by these new productions, which truly reflect the diversity, scope and originality of Canadian filmmaking,” said Carolle Brabant, Executive Director of Telefilm Canada. “This selection includes dramas, comedies and thrillers from across the country—from Atlantic Canada to the West. Debut features are in the line-up alongside those from seasoned filmmakers such as the Oscar-nominated Kim Nguyen. Three of the titles are also coproductions—with Germany, Ireland and Switzerland—proof that our industry can attract the world’s best talent.”

Telefilm’s most recent English-language funding decisions were announced on May 6, 2015 and December 22, 2014.

Atlantic Region

Away from Everywhere*
Director: Justin S. Simms (Down to the Dirt)
Screenwriter: Mark Hoffe
Production: Morag Loves Company, Mad Mummer Media, Quiet Revolution Pictures
Genre: Drama
Confirmed talent: Jason Priestley (Call Me Fitz, Beverly Hills, 90210), Shawn Doyle, Joanne Kelly
Release: Fall 2015

Nearing 35, Owen Collins is plagued by childhood demons, the ghosts of failed relationships, and a pernicious sense that his life lacks meaning. Destitute and fresh out of rehab, Owen accepts his brother Alex’s invitation to stay with his wife and family following a long estrangement caused by their father’s mental illness and mother’s tragic death. What feels like a new beginning becomes one last wrong turn when Owen begins an affair with Hannah, Alex’s wife, and suffers devastating consequences. Abandoned and isolated in his father’s cabin in rural Newfoundland, Owen is left to face a final heartbreaking revelation.

Your Money or Your Wife*
Director: Iain Macleod
Screenwriter: Iain Macleod
Production: Shut Up and Deal Films
Genre: Comedy
Confirmed talent: Craig Brown, Meredith MacNeill, Annie Valentina, Brian MacQuarrie, Mark Owen, Josh MacDonald, Antonio Parsons, Taylor Olson, Lisa Rose Snow

When, one night out of the blue, his girlfriend dumps him, the normally cautious Lionel goes drinking and ends up the victim of mistaken identity. This leads to his participation, as an unwilling robber, in an incompetent home invasion where he meets and falls for the plucky homeowner, Annie. But when the real robber, whose identity he’s been forced to assume, shows up, Lionel must learn to accept spontaneity if he wants the girl…and his freedom.

Ontario and Nunavut Region

Coconut Hero (majority Canadian coproduction with Germany)
Director: Florian Cossen (The Day I Was Not Born)
Screenwriters: Elena von Saucken, Daniel Schachter
Production: Six Island Productions, UFA Fiction
Distribution: Search Engine Films (Canada), Majestic Film Verleih (Germany)
Genre: Comedy
Confirmed talent: Alex Ozerov, Bea Santos, Krista Bridges, Sebastian Schipper, Udo Kier (Melancholia, Blade)

Sixteen-year-old Mike hates his crappy life in the sticks. He wants out… permanently! So he spends his time devising ways to do himself in. When the doctor informs him he has a fatal brain tumour, his prayers are seemingly answered. But everything changes when he meets a girl and falls in love for the first time.

The Education of William Bowman*
Director: Ken Finkleman (The Newsroom, Good Dog)
Screenwriter: Ken Finkleman
Production: Shaftesbury
Distribution: A71 Productions
Genre: Drama
Confirmed talent: Jake Croker, Ted Whittall, Derek McGrath, Diana Bentley, Jason Weinberg, Natalie Radford

A cheerfully gullible college graduate embarks on a journey into adulthood that whisks him into the insanity of 21st-century America, where he is beset by a parade of oversexed women, gun-crazed zealots, paranoid government agents, fundamentalist preachers and reality-TV hucksters.

The Second Time Around*
Director: Leon Marr (Dancing in the Dark [1986])
Screenwriters: Leon Marr, Sherry Soules
Production: The Second Time Around
Distribution: Sancor
Genre: Drama
Confirmed talent: Linda Thorson (The Other Sister, The Avengers [1961]), Stuart Margolin (Arbitrage, The Rockford Files), Louis Del Grande, Jayne Eastwood, Paul Soles

In this heart-warming story full of hope, dreams and second chances, two seniors meet and discover that it’s never too late to fall in love again. Katherine Mitchell wasn’t looking for love a second time, not at her age, and certainly not with cranky Isaac Shapiro. Despite the nosey bunch of seniors in the residence where Katherine convalesces after breaking her hip, she and Isaac warm to each other over their shared love of music. But family problems and unforeseen illness threaten both their blossoming relationship and Katherine’s lifelong dream of going to the opera in Milan.

Todd & The Book of Pure Evil: The End of the End*
Director: Craig David Wallace (Todd & The Book of Pure Evil)
Screenwriters: Craig David Wallace, Charles Picco
Production: Aircraft Pictures, Corvid Pictures, Frantic Films, Smiley Guy Studios
Distribution: Raven Banner Entertainment
Genre: Comedy
Confirmed talent: Original cast of Todd & The Book of Pure Evil TV series (Alex House, Chris Leavins, Maggie Castle, Melanie Leishman, Bill Turnbull, Jason Mewes [Clerks, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back])
Release: Summer 2016

The story of Todd and the Book of Pure Evil continues as Todd and his friends face the return of the Book of Pure Evil to Crowley Heights and learn that a new Pure Evil One has risen to challenge Todd. Atticus returns from the land beyond the Book to win back the gang’s trust, and together they discover the truth about Hannah’s mysterious death and resurrection. Completing the story started in the Todd & the Book of Pure Evil TV series (which relaunches July 15 in the U.S. on NBCUniversal’s Chiller channel), the film resolves the epic cliff-hanger and starts Todd and the gang on a new kick-ass adventure.


Unless (majority Canadian coproduction with Ireland)
Director: Alan Gilsenan
Screenwriter: Alan Gilsenan
Production: Sienna Films, Subotica (Ireland)
Distribution: Mongrel International
Genre: Drama
Confirmed talent: Catherine Keener (Being John Malkovich, Capote, The 40-Year-Old Virgin), Matt Craven, Hannah Gross, Chloe Rose, Abigail Winter, Brendan Coyle (Downton Abbey), Hanna Schygulla (The Marriage of Maria Braun)

Reta Winters has many reasons to be happy. Suddenly, all the quiet satisfactions of her well-lived life disappear in a moment when her eldest daughter, Norah, inexplicably drops out of college and is found on a Toronto street corner, panhandling and refusing to speak, holding a cardboard sign reading “Goodness.” For Reta and her family, life changes completely. Based on the celebrated final novel by Carol Shields.

Quebec Region

The Saver*
Director: Wiebke von Carolsfeld (Marion Bridge, Stay)
Screenwriter: Wiebke von Carolsfeld
Production: Prospector Films
Genre: Drama
Confirmed talent: Imajyn Cardinal, Pascale Bussières (Ma vie en cinémascope, When Night Is Falling), Brandon Oakes, Hamidou Savadogo, Alexandre Landry (Gabrielle), Monia Chokri (Laurence Anyways, Heartbeats)
Release: Spring 2016

The Saver tells the story of Fern, a teenaged girl who finds herself orphaned in the middle of a harsh Montreal winter. Determined to avoid her mother’s tragic fate, Fern sets out to build a new life for herself. When Youth Protection comes looking, she bolts. At one of her mother’s cleaning jobs, she finds the book 50 Ways to Become a Millionaire. “All you need to do is save,” it promises. Fern decides to do just that, replacing her grief with the quest to become a millionaire.

Two Lovers and a Bear
Director: Kim Nguyen (Rebelle)
Writer: Kim Nguyen
Production: Max Films, JoBro Productions, North Creative
Distribution: Les Films Séville
Genre: Drama
Confirmed talent: Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black, Cas & Dylan), Dane DeHaan (The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Chronicle)
Release: Spring 2016

We are in the Great North, in a modern town where about 200 souls live precariously in -50 weather and where roads lead to nowhere but to the endless white. Lucy and Roman are in love, but tragedies in Lucy’s past haunt her, forcing her to leave. In a week, she will be gone. Roman can’t follow her south or all hell will break loose, and he can’t deal with Lucy’s departure. Together, they will make a leap for life, a leap for inner peace.

Western Region

Director: Robert Cuffley (Ferocious, Turning Paige)
Screenwriters: Robert Cuffley, Jason Long
Production: CHAOS a film company, Karma Film
Genre: Romantic comedy
Confirmed talent: Chris Marquette, Michael Eklund, Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart
Release: June 2016

Corey, a mild-mannered deli clerk, is good at hiding his unhappiness. This all changes when Sheena, his first love and now a notorious, world-renowned wrestler, flies into town for their reunion. But Sheena’s career has become a downward slide of steroids and reality television appearances. Former classmates taunt her, revelling in her misfortune. Watching as Sheena pummels these sorry men into unconsciousness, Corey becomes aware of one thing… He’s not over her. Not even close.

Director: Kevan Funk
Screenwriter: Kevan Funk
Production: Tabula Dada Productions, Domogeneous
Genre: Drama
Release: Fall 2016

A young junior hockey player’s life is shattered by an in-game act of violence. In an instant his life is abruptly turned upside down; torn from the fraternity of the team and the coinciding position of prominence, he is cast as a pariah and ostracized by the community. As he struggles with the repercussions of the event, desperate to find a means of reconciliation and a sense of identity, his personal journey ends up illuminating troubling systemic issues around violence.

Grand Unified Theory*
Director: David Ray (Fetching Cody)
Screenwriter: David Ray
Production: Second Chance Productions
Genre: Comedy/Drama
Confirmed talent: Kendall Cross, Gabrielle Rose, Emma Grabinsky, Scott Bellis, Maxwell Haynes, Andrew McNee, Niki Wipf
Release: Spring 2016

During one fateful weekend, the family of brilliant astrophysicist Albert James has a complete meltdown, setting in motion a raucous and hilarious series of events that mirror his radical theories of the behaviour of the universe.

The Sabbatical*
Director: Brian Stockton (Saskatchewan)
Screenwriters: Brian Stockton, James Whittingham
Production: Autumn Productions
Genre: Comedy
Confirmed talent: James Whittingham, Laura Abramsen, Burnadette Mullen
Release: Fall 2015

James Pittman is a middle-aged photography professor at a small Prairie university. He’s feeling old, tired and disconnected from the youth he teaches. The perfect remedy is the year-long sabbatical he’s been looking forward to for years. But his loose schedule gets turfed by the dean, who needs him to publish a follow-up to his only successful book from years ago. He’s not feeling inspired until he meets Lucy, a young artist who reconnects him to his youthful exuberance.

The Unseen*
Director: Geoff Redknap
Screenwriter: Geoff Redknap
Production: Goonworks Films
Genre: Thriller
Confirmed talent: Aden Young, Camille Sullivan, Julia Sarah Stone (TIFF Rising Star 2014), Ben Cotton, Alison Araya
Release: Spring 2016

Bob Langmore is becoming invisible. Eight years ago, he abruptly left his wife and daughter, and isolated himself in a small northern town to protect them. Bob isn’t a classic “Invisible Man,” as his fading away is part of an irregular, random and progressive condition. Bob hides his advancing problem from the world, but when his wife pleads with him, he returns to the city for one last chance to reconnect with his daughter. When she goes missing, Bob risks everything to find her, including exposing the fact he is becoming invisible.

*Lower-budget feature films


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