Smokebomb goes Darken

Production on the digital prodco's first feature film is underway, and will be preceded by a 20-part YouTube series.
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Filming is underway in Toronto on Smokebomb’s first feature film, Darken.

Directed by Audrey Cummings (Berkshire County), the sci-fi thriller is set for release both theatrically (through A71 Entertainment in Canada) and digitally (via digital distribution platform VHX, where it can be pre-ordered for $4.99). Both the theatrical and digital releases are planned for 2017, though the exact rollout for the film has not yet been announced.

Darken‘s release will be preceded by a 20-part web series built as an origin story, which will launch free on YouTube and serve as an introduction to the world of the film.

“Building global fandom around the digital and social content in advance will help to inform our efforts and activities around the film’s theatrical release,” said Shaftesbury/Smokebomb’s SVP of creative and innovation Jay Bennett in a statement.

One of Smokebomb’s driving business strategies is to build fandoms and female-skewing millennial audiences around its properties, as seen with web series Carmilla and V Morgan is Dead.

Featuring Bea Santos (Murdoch MysteriesWorld Away) in the lead role, the film is set in a prison-like world in which inhabitants must fight for survival against a god-figure called Mother Darken.

Written by R. J. Lackie and produced by Bennett, Darken is shooting in Toronto’s Liberty Village until July 29. Executive producers on the project are Christina Jennings, Scott Garvie, and Svet Rouskov are executive producers, while James Luscombe serves as consulting producer. Shaftesbury Sales Company holds the international sales rights for the film.

Other cast members include Oluniké Adeliyi (Republic of Doyle, Flashpoint), Ari Millen (Orphan Black, Rupture), Zoë Belkin (CarrieDegrassi: The Next Generation), Christine Horne (Murdoch Mysteries), Jon McLaren (HeartlandRace), Dmitry Chepovetsky (Orphan BlackKilljoys), Zehra Leverman (X-Men: Apocalypse), and Paul Amos (Lost Girl).

Two weeks previously, Smokebomb launched its latest web series, 33-part supernatural drama called Inhuman Conditionvia its YouTube channel KindaTV.