Nadda, Iron ready Gale thriller

Telefilm Canada and its Canada Feature Film Fund have opened its development coffers to 83 English-language movies including the latest by filmmakers Ruba Nadda, Don Shebib, and the Oscar-nominated team behind Madame Tutli Putli.

Writer-director Nadda is re-teaming with her Cairo Time producer Danny Iron on the thriller An October Gale — and will swap such exotic locales as Egypt for Georgian Bay in northern Ontario, where production is slated to begin this fall.

Iron, who is currently filming the copro The Bang Bang Club, starring Ryan Phillippe and Malin Akerman in South Africa, says pre-production is well underway on Gale.

‘The script is finished… we’re just putting together financing and casting,’ he tells Playback Daily on the phone from Johannesburg. Iron, who produces through his Toronto shingle Foundry Films (Away from Her), says Bang Bang Club will wrap on May 3 in South Africa’s largest city, where it’s ‘like shooting a movie in Canada but with less rules.’

A story with a connection to the famous 1969 John Lennon and Yoko Ono ‘Bed In For Peace’ in Montreal also garnered money for producer Jacques Bonin (Nez Rouge), who will shoot All We Are Saying next summer.

The contemporary drama, from an original script by Jacques Savoie (Les Lavigueur) follows a young Canadian soldier, who upon his return from duty in Afghanistan, is arrested during a peaceful demonstration in Montreal. His father, who was part of the Bed In, reappears in his life to set him on the right path.

‘There will be links to the Bed In,’ in the movie, says Bonin, ‘but ultimately it’s a father and son story.’

Meanwhile, Montreal animators Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski, co-creators on the Oscar-nominated short Madame Tutli Putli, obtained Telefilm cash for their next project, the live-action feature White Circus.

Also getting a boost is producer Lynne Wilson’s The Colony of Unrequited Dreams, with Justin Simms (Down in the Dirt) attached as screenwriter. The film is based on the 1998 bestseller by Wayne Johnston about the love-hate relationship between Joey Smallwood — Newfoundland’s first premier — and a fictitious, hard-drinking newspaper reporter.

Another adaptation, of Mordedai Richler’s Barney’s Version, is in the works at Serendipity Point Films with screenwriter Michael Konyves.

Other notable recipients include Toronto’s Copperheart Entertainment for two features including Hungry Girl and The Lost Girls, penned by Katherine Collins and Andrew Piper, respectively, and Shaftesbury Films’ Sea Witches, from writer Malcolm MacRury (Deadwood, Republic of Doyle).

Western Canada-based beneficiaries include: Aaron Woodley (Rhinoceros Eyes), who is working on The Visitor for Vancouver’s Creative Engine Pictures; the writing team for sequel FUBAR II, including Paul Spence, David Lawrence and Mike Dowse; and Jeff Richards for the comic book film noir Invaders from Mars.

Projects getting a boost through Telefilm’s Writers First program include Don Shebib for Goin’ Down the Road, Again — a sequel to 1970′s Goin’ Down the Road, which Shebib co-wrote and directed.

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WIFT-T Crystal Awards 2014

WIFT-T Crystal Awards 2014 - Sally Catto accepts her Creative Excellence Award at the 2014 WIFT-T Crystals. Credit: Yani Macute