HGF supports buzzy slate of in-development film titles

Jay Baruchel, Mina Shum, Clement Virgo, Jamie M. Dagg and both Brandon and David Cronenberg received funding through the 2019/2020 script development program.

Harold Greenberg Fund (HGF)’s latest announcement is a trove of in-development gems from some of the most notable Canadian filmmakers and producers of recent decades.

The film funder on Tuesday announced 27 projects supported through four separate streams under its 2019/2020 script development program, including titles from the likes of Jay Baruchel, Sherry White, Clement Virgo, Bruce McDonald, Mina Shum, Jamie M. Dagg, Des McAnuff and both Brandon and David Cronenberg.

Akash ShermanStory option stream

In the story option stream, HGF backed Akash Sherman’s Nostalgia (produced by Barbara Willis’ Artemis Productions), Mariko Tamaki’s Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me (Wildling Pictures), Mark Leiren-Young’s Bar Mitzvah Boy (Middle Child Films) and screenwriter Meredith Vuchnich’s Blamed and Broken (EMAfilms).

As well, a new project from Charles Officer, Son of a Smaller Hero, received support through the story option stream, with Martin Katz’ Prospero Pictures producing. A new project from Markham Street Films, Your Life is Mine, is also among the selections. Danishka Esterhazy and Naben Ruthnum are penning a script based on Nathan Ripley’s book of the same name, with Esterhazy set to direct.

david cronenbergPolish and packaging

At the polish and packaging stage, funding recipients included director Jamie M. Dagg’s The Night Knows (Ari Lantos, Dagg and Todd Brown are listed as producers, with Impossible Objects listed as the prodco), David Cronenberg’s Crimes of the Future (produced by Robert Lantos’ Serendipity Point Films), Clement Virgo’s Jamaica Farewell (Conquering Lion Pictures), Sherry White’s Armstrong’s War (produced by Solo Productions, with White attached to direct and written by Colleen Murphy), Ed Gass-Donnelly’s Pivot (3 Legged Dog Films) and Tony Elliott’s Rush the Dark (New Real Films).

Also selected at the polish and packaging stage are: Jordan Canning’s Oddly Flowers (Shut Up & Colour Pictures); director Robert Budreau’s Sleeping Dog Lie (penned by Thomas Michael and Paolo Mancini and produced by Darius Films); North of Normal (Independent Edge Films), directed by Carly Stone and written by Alexandra Weir); and Eric Johnson and Brett Sullivan’s S.O.S (Sosome Canada).

Jay BaruchelSecond to third draft

At the second to third draft stage, HGF backed a new Jay Baruchel title, Justice. Produced by Cedarvale Pictures, the project is penned by Baruchel and Don Young, with Baruchel set to direct. Robert Budreau also picked up funding for his in-development film Delia’s Gone, produced through his production banner Lumanity Productions. Out of the Barren, penned by Kathleen Hepburn and directed by Trevor Mack, also caught HGF’s eye. Screen Siren Pictures is producing the project, with Trish Dolman and Jennifer Podemski listed as producers.

Elsewhere in the funding stream, HGF backed Jen Westcott’s Throwback Thursday (Elgin Road Productions), Kaare Andrews’ Gone Upriver (Raven Banner Releasing), Pat Mills’ Heidegger (Motel Pictures), William Carne’s Relapse (Earth Orbit Productions) and Tarique Qayumi’s The Letter Aquatinter Films.

Andrew Cividino pictureFirst to second draft

Christina Jennings’ Shaftesbury is in development on an adaptation of King Lear, with the Stratford Festival’s former artistic director Des McAnuff attached to write and direct. Filmmaker Andrew Cividino is getting to work on a new feature, Cutblock, produced through Film Forge Productions, which Cividino heads up with Karen Harnisch.

Cividino and Harnisch’s company is also producing Brandon Cronenberg’s Infinity Pool, which also received support through the latest round of HGF funding. Kim Nguyen and Montreal’s Item 7 are working together again, with the filmmaker working with Pierre Even’s prodco on Hellraft. Mina Shum’s Winners and Losers (Thoughts from the Asylum Productions) and Jeremy LaLonde’s How and When (Neophyte Productions) also received a share of the financing.

Other projects funded through the first to second draft stream were Emily Southwood’s Prude (Vroom Productions), Amita Zamaan’s Weather Woman (Blue Couch Productions Producers), James Fanizza’s In Vein (MacKinlay Media), Andrew Berzins’ Lunar Rogue (Gorgeous Mistake Productions), Glen Matthews’ Teething (Seagulls and Starfish Productions), Gillian McKercher’s Lucky Star (Kino Sum Productions), Linda Eskeland’s No Forwarding Address (Circle Blue Films), Anne Wheeler’s Rude Awakening (Lily Pictures) and director Cazhhmere’s Blue Blood (Waterford Valley Pictures).

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