Regina’s Wolfcop wins inaugural CineCoup competition

Producers Bernie Hernando and Hugh Patterson and writer/director Lowell Dean must now decide whether or not to shoot in Saskatchewan, which ditched its much-needed refundable film tax credit.
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No sooner was Regina’s Wolfcop selected Monday as the winner of the inaugural CineCoup film accelerator and $1 million in financing, then the winning filmmaking team faced another hurdle.

Wolfcop will shortly go into production, though not likely in Saskatchewan, as producers Bernie Hernando and Hugh Patterson and writer/director Lowell Dean are from that province now without a refundable film tax credit.

“It’s a tough call. That’s a decision that needs to be made soon,” Dean told Playback after prevailing in the CineCoup competition, which includes a guaranteed Cineplex release in 2014 as part of the winning gains.

That decision could well be made by the Saskatchewan government, which needs to show Dean and his team support and loyalty if they want Wolfcop to be made locally.

“If they won’t (support the film), we will take this film to a more competitive province who wants this movie,” Dean said.

Wolfcop, while a favourite of the CineCoup accelerator, has been the subject of recent speculation by organizers over whether the film, which requires tax credits to fill out its financing, could be shot in Saskatchewan.

For J. Joly, CineCoup founder and CEO, the challenge is ensuring Wolfcop, as the first of his optioned films to go into production ahead of a theatrical release, impresses enough to keep his film talent discovery machine surging ahead.

“We want to make all 10 movies,” Joly insisted, referring to the  other nine optioned projects that CineCoup fortuitously marketed in front of the Banff World Media Festival on Monday.

CineCoup will continue to develop the remaining nine optioned projects to producers, studios and distributors.

Interest in acquiring the rights and going into the production on the remaining nine titles was evident on Monday in Banff.

“I see no reason why we can’t make all five films this year,” Casino Jack producer Bill Marks said in the wake of Wolfcop winning the CineCoup competition.

Marks added the fan engagement and public awareness that CineCoup has created for its films can’t be ignored by producers looking for projects to make and bring to market.

Joly is already looking ahead to the second intake for CineCoup applications at the Toronto International Film Festival in September.

And Brad Pelman, CineCoup’s head of distribution, is continuing after Cannes to look for international partners for the accelerator’s optioned projects.