Three Victoria filmmakers get funding

Three Victoria filmmakers have received funding and a broadcast commitment for their new short film.

Daniel Hogg, Jeremy Lutter and Ben Rollo will receive $30,000 toward production of Gord’s Brother from the Harold Greenberg Fund, in association with The Movie Network and Movie Central premium pay television networks.

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The University of Victoria creative-writing alumni, all in their mid-30s, are one of three teams receiving funding through the Shorts-to-Features program designed to encourage rising Canadian filmmaking talent.

An additional $10,000 commitment is being made for development of the shorts into potential features.

Gord’s Brother is being produced by Hogg and directed by Lutter, the team that most recently collaborated on Floodplain.

Their new 10-minute fantasy is scripted by Ben Rollo, who wrote Joanna Makes a Friend, Lutter’s award-winning short about a lonely young girl’s friendship with a robot she makes from spare parts.

The protagonist in Gord’s Brother discovers his baby brother is a monster, forcing him to visit the City of Monsters, where lessons are learned.

The film has also been short-listed for the Hot Shot Shorts competition, sponsored by Vancouver’s Celluloid Social Club.

Meanwhile, Joanna Makes a Friend was showcased at Cannes Film Festival as part of Telefilm Canada’s Not Short on Talent program, and Rollo is currently writing the screenplay for a feature-length version.

Floodplain, which stars Victoria native Cameron Bright and Sarah Desjardins as two high-school sweethearts who take a life-changing ride across a B.C. floodplain in a raft they built, was filmed last fall at Widgon Marsh north of Port Coquitlam, in a swimming pool in Tsawwassen and in a UVic biology lab. It’s being submitted to film festivals.

Hogg is also developing and writing Rip My Heart Out, a creature feature for Movie Central, through the fund’s Script-to-Screen development program.

The two other HGF-funded projects include writer-director Marshall Axani’s Mina.Minerva, about a septuagenarian whose clash with her twin sister at a restaurant will either bring them closer together or tear them apart, and writer-director Renuka Jeyapalan’s Arranged, which focuses on an idealistic 33-year-old woman in search of true romance who gets more than she bargained for when she joins what she thinks is a dating service.

The funding reiterates HGF’s commitment to nurturing Canada’s next generation of filmmaking talent, said president John Galway.

“Gord’s Brother, Mina.Minerva and Arranged are all unique, bold projects with excellent feature potential,” said Galway, whose fund’s Industry Initiatives Program invests an additional $200,000 annually in the Canadian film and television industry.

mreid@timescolonist.com

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