Ferns, Koster in development on 1968 doc

The theatrical adaptation of the Mark Kurlansky book will be directed by Sturla Gunnarsson, with financial support by the Corus Made with Pay Fund.

Armed with financial support from the Made with Pay Fund from Corus Entertainment, filmmaker Pat Ferns is well into development on the adaptation of Mark Kurlansky’s book 1968: The Year That Rocked The World.

The copro between Victoria, B.C.-based Ferns Productions and KosterKovitz Productions has been in development for the last two years. Sturla Gunnarsson (Force of Nature: The David Suzuki Movie) is directing.

The project was inspired by Ferns’ work on TV mini-series documentary The Fifties (1997), which he enjoyed so much he wanted to do the same for the 1960s.

“There didn’t seem to be the appetite for the series, so I looked at picking a significant year, and both [Andrew] Koster and I were knocked out by Kurlansky’s book and optioned it,” Ferns tells Playback Daily.

Focusing on 1968 made the project more scalable, but still presented obstacles, he says.

“Part of the challenge is how to distill it and make it something that will not just be a trip down memory lane for Baby Boomers, but an explanation of an age to people who weren’t even born then.”

Conceived as a theatrical project, Ferns says the film’s many events – civil rights movement, Vietnam War, the Olympic Games in Mexico, to name a few – will be a blend of archive material and original footage edited chronologically, but that he is still sorting out the narrative.

The prodcos are hoping to enter production in early 2012 and are currently fielding interest from theatrical distributors. Once that’s finalized, Ferns says he’ll focus on broadcast and financing.