TIFF ’17: Wildling Pictures set to unveil its debut features

Three years after meeting at the Toronto fest, the prodco's co-owners Matt Code and Kristy Neville are returning for the world premieres of Cardinals and Mary Goes Round.

When producers Matt Code and Kristy Neville first met at TIFF ’14, they didn’t imagine that three years later they would arrive at the festival as co-owners of a production company and with a pair of world-premiering feature films.

Code had established the prodco in question, Wildling Pictures, in 2014, not long before entering the CFC’s film producers’ lab. He spent the earlier part of his career cutting his teeth as a TV producer on series such as CBC’s The Best Laid Plans (PDM Entertainment). Neville, meanwhile, had been establishing herself as an editor and short-film producer of note, with projects such as Benjamin Petrie’s Her Friend Adam, which premiered at Sundance last year.

Following their first meeting, Neville and Code went on to work together in various capacities on short films, including Jason Jeffrey’s A Teachable Moment. As their partnership developed, Neville joined Wildling Pictures on a temporary basis in early 2016 before the pair formalized the pact later that year, with Neville becoming a co-owner in the company.

Neville brought with her to the company a feature project, Cardinals (pictured), co-directed by Grayson Moore and Aidan Shipley, while Code had been developing another feature, Mary Goes Round, with filmmaker Molly McGlynn. The two Telefilm micro-budget projects would go on to become Wildling’s first feature-length projects. Cardinals makes its world premiere on Friday (Sept. 8) and Mary Goes Round the following day (Sept. 9). Both are featured in TIFF’s Discovery program, while Neville and Code are together nominated for the CMPA’s emerging producer award for their work on the films.

Code became involved with Mary Goes Round following his stint in the 2015 CFC producers’ lab, which he completed at the same time as McGlynn was completing the CFC’s writers’ lab. Upon graduating, Code, who said he was drawn to the project because it perfectly encapsulated McGlynn’s filmmaking style, approached her about producing Mary Goes Round as a micro-budget feature. The film, shot in Toronto and Niagara in November 2016, stars Aya Cash (You’re the Worst) as a substance abuse counselor with a drinking problem. It’s already been picked up by New York-based sales agent The Film Sales Company, which is repping the film internationally.

Cardinals meanwhile was a project Neville became involved with a producing partner, Marianna Margaret. Penned by co-director Moore, the project stars Sheila McCarthy as a woman returning home after years in prison for an apparent drunk driving accident. The project shot in April 2016 and also stars Katie Boland and Grace Glowicki. Dubai-based sales agent Cermacon is repping the film globally

Service work has also been a crucial component for the prodco in terms of maintaining a steady cash flow and finding projects that enable Wildling to build its contacts list within the industry, said Code. One of the projects the prodco line produced this year was LoCo Motion Pictures’ How to Buy a Baby (CBC). “That helped keep the lights on for the post-production phase of both Cardinals and Mary Goes Round,” said Code. Wildling is also line producing an as-yet-untitled A24 film, directed by Pippa Bianco, with Code also serving as a coproducer on the project.

As for what comes after TIFF, Neville said Wildling has a number of projects in the works, both in film and television, including a feature-length project, Be My Eyes, with screenwriter Adam Yorke. In June the project was selected for Whistler Film Festival’s 2017 feature lab project. As well, Code said production is set to begin in the coming weeks on the Christy Garland-directed documentary What Walaa Wants (Murmur Media), about a woman who is determined to survive bootcamp in order to become one of the few women on the Palestinian Security Forces.

Image courtesy of TIFF