Western Canada Wrapup: 8/28/17


Here’s what’s happening on the Canadian prairies: the biweekly update from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba!


♦ Big news for emerging Saskatchewan filmmakers: Creative Saskatchewan has announced two new grants. The Web Series Production Grant offers up to $10k per project for short-form web content, while the Micro Budget Feature Film Grant offers up to $50k per project on quality low-budget feature films. After the provincial government cut the filmmaker tax credit program, the future of Saskatchewan film seemed uncertain, but the tenacious and talented indie filmmakers of the province have found creative ways to get their projects made, and these grants can provide an even better avenue for their endeavours.

♦ The Calgary International Film Festival has begun to announce its programming schedule for it’s 2017 Sept 10 – Oct 1st event. Starting things off, they have announced that 68 short films — including 11 from Alberta — will play, as well as 10 films as part of their first wave of features. For tickets and other information, visit their website: https://www.calgaryfilm.com/

John Ware

♦  The National Film Board of Canada is beginning work on a documentary film entitled John Ware: Reclaimed, written and directed by Cheryl Foggo. The production will follow the life of John Ware, a freed slave that massively contributed to building the ranching industry in Western Canada, as well as contributing to the iconic cowboy imagery we know and love today. He will be portrayed by rodeo star Fred Whitfield and shot on Ware’s former ranch in Southern Alberta.

♦ Come September, the Winnipeg Film Group will welcome back producer Greg Klymkiw as its executive director. The group is a charitable organization run by artists, for artists, and Klymkiw is excited at the chance to work with the new generation of Manitoba filmmakers aspiring to make it in his home city.

The Cast of Detour

♦ Film and television production has kept the prairies rolling this summer. Calgary will be the host for the third season of roadtrip comedy The Detour (casting by Jackie Lind) and feature film El Chicano (casting by Sean Milliken). Newcomer western series Damnation and long-standing Heartland, both cast by Rhonda Fisekci, will continue production on their respective first and eleventh seasons until late in the year. Post-apocalyptic road trip movie How it Ends will continue shooting until September in and around Winnipeg (with Canadian casting by Clark & Page), and all throughout the prairies, indie films have begun to stir…

There’s way more than cows and tumbleweeds throughout our great Canadian prairies! Check back for biweekly updates on the wild and free talent to be found throughout Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

By Meagan Hotz


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