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Telefilm Canada to fund the production of five English-language films for $2.6 million

06 October 2015

Coming-of-age dramas, absurdist comedies and psychological thrillers starring Rachelle Lefevre, Tom Holland, Joel Kinnaman, Dermot Mulroney and Fanny Mallette

Montreal, October 6, 2015—Telefilm Canada announces its support, through the Canada Feature Film Fund, of the production of five English-language films for a total investment of just over $2.6 million. The projects selected for funding are Beyond the Pale (Rob Connolly), Birdland (Peter Lynch), Boost (Darren Curtis), The Death and Life of Carl Naardlinger (Katherine Schlemmer) and Lavender (Ed Gass-Donnelly).

Telefilm’s most recent funding decisions for English-language projects were announced on July 28, 2015.

Quebec region

Director: Darren Curtis (Who Is KK Downey?)
Screenwriter: Darren Curtis
Production: Bunbury Films
Distribution: Filmoption international
Genre: Drama
Confirmed talent: Jahmil French, Fanny Mallette (Les 7 jours du talion), Nabil Rajo
Release: Fall 2016

Hakeem is the teenage son of east African immigrant parents living in Montreal’s tough Parc-Ex neighbourhood. Along with his best friend ‘A-Mac’, Hakeem works at his uncle’s car wash ’spotting’ luxury sports cars for a local crime syndicate to make extra money. A-Mac eventually persuades Hakeem to boost a car on their own leading to dire consequences and forcing Hakeem to make a life altering decision and define the type of man he will become.

Ontario and Nunavut region

Director: Peter Lynch (Project Grizzly)
Screenwriters: Peter Lynch, Lee Gowan
Production: Acqua Films, Ultra 8 Pictures
Distribution: 108 Media Corp
Genre: Mystery/Crime
Confirmed talent: Kathleen Munroe, Benjamin Ayres, David Alpay, Joris Jarsky, Cara Gee (Empire of Dirt), Melanie Scrofano, Stephen McHattie (Maurice Richard)
Release: Fall 2016

Sheila Hood is an ex-cop whose marriage is on the rocks. Her husband, Tom, is under arrest for the murders of his lover, Merle James, and Merle’s boyfriend, Ray Starling, a charismatic hotel owner. As Hood is interrogated by her former partner, Calvin, the real story unfurls, and Hood’s preoccupation with her husband’s infidelity comes to light. Upon learning of his affair with Merle, Hood chooses not to confront Tom. Rather, she surveils her failing marriage, becoming a voyeur of her own life. When Merle ends up dead, and Starling is murdered in his own hotel, all signs seem to point to Tom as the guilty party. Hood’s surveillance tapes form the backbone of a police investigation that threatens to incriminate her and destroy her marriage.

The Death and Life of Carl Naardlinger*
Director: Katherine Schlemmer
Screenwriter: Katherine Schlemmer
Production: Cinéman Films
Genre: Comedy
Confirmed talent: Matt Baram, Grace Lynn Kung, Mark Forward

On his birthday, Carl Naardlinger discovers that a man with the same name as his has gone missing in the Toronto ravines. This strange coincidence is only one of many that eventually prompts him to search—with help from his unusual friends—for the missing man. There’s no logical explanation for the things that Carl experiences, and as he searches for the other Carl he struggles to find a reason. When he comes face-to-face with a man who looks identical to the missing man, the mystery deepens. This absurdist comedy asks the question: What does the universe want from us? And how much meaning (if any) can we ascribe to random events?

Western region

Beyond the Pale (working title)
Director: Rob Connolly
Screenwriter: Kyle Mann
Production: Independent Edge Films
Genre: Psychological thriller
Confirmed talent: Joel Kinnaman (Suicide Squad, RoboCop), Tom Holland (The Impossible, Spider-Man [2017]), Percy Hynes White, Rachelle Lefevre (Twilight, Omertà), Shiloh Fernandez, Rossif Sutherland (Hyena Road, Poor Boy’s Game)
Release: Spring 2016

When two brothers are stranded by a treacherous winter storm with an unpredictable father they barely know, they begin to suspect their supposed protector may be their biggest threat.

Director: Ed Gass-Donnelly (Small Town Murder Songs)
Screenwriters: Ed Gass-Donnelly, Colin Frizzell
Production: 3 Legged Dog Films, South Creek Pictures
Distribution: Pacific Northwest Pictures
Genre: Thriller
Confirmed talent: Abbie Cornish (Sucker Punch), Dermot Mulroney (My Best Friend’s Wedding), Justin Long (Live Free or Die Hard), Diego Klattenhoff
Release: 2016

Jane has always been obsessed with photographing old, abandoned farmhouses. She’s made a career as an artist, systematically scouring Grey County to find one particular house that is etched in her memory. She doesn’t know where the house is or why it’s important, but she is deeply compelled to find it. Then one day she does. And her life begins to unravel.

* Lower-budget feature films

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Created in 1967, Telefilm is dedicated to the cultural, commercial and industrial success of Canada’s audiovisual industry. Through its various funding and promotion programs, Telefilm supports dynamic companies and creative talent here at home and around the world. Telefilm also makes recommendations regarding the certification of audiovisual treaty coproductions to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, and administers the programs of the Canada Media Fund and the Talent Fund, a private donation initiative. Visit and follow us on Twitter at and on Facebook at


Media enquiries:
Françoise Lapointe, Advisor, External Communications, Telefilm Canada
(514) 283-0838, ext. 2028 or 1-800-567-0890