In Brief: Sadaf Foroughi feature wins at KVIFF

Plus: William F. White International acquires the U.K.'s PKE Lighting, Nelvana bolsters distribution team with promotion, four Canadian feature films are set for Jerusalem Film Festival, and more.

M ontreal-based filmmaker Sadaf Foroughi won a top prize at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (KVIFF) in the Czech Republic for the feature Summer with Hope (pictured). Foroughi, who wrote and directed the film, won the KVIFF Grand Prix – Crystal Globe – award at the festival last weekend.

Produced by Kiarash Anvari, Christina Piovesan, and Jennifer Shin, Summer with Hope features a collusion between two competitive swimmers in a small town in Iran. It’s Foroughi’s follow-up to her debut feature, Ava.

Edmonton director Graham Foy was awarded the First Cut+ Award, which is given to a film in post-production that took part in the festival’s First Cut programme. Foy’s feature The Maiden, produced by Toronto’s Daiva Zalnieriunas and Dan Montgomery, earned a prize of €5,000 (approximately CA$6,500).

WFW continues U.K. expansion

Equipment supplier William F. White International (WFW)’s parentco, Sunbelt Rentals, has acquired PKE Lighting of the U.K. This is the second global footprint expansion for WFW, following the acquisition of U.K. service provider Movietech Camera Rentals in May.

Established in 1991, PKE is based in Irlam, Greater Manchester, and services the film and TV industry with lighting equipment, transport options and power generators in multiple locations throughout the U.K. PKE’s existing leadership team of Mike Pollard, Matt Evans and Chris Hughes will remain in place and report to Garin Josey, WFW’s EVP and COO, according to a news release.

Nelvana bolsters distribution team with promotion

Nelvana has promoted Julia Dodge to director, global strategy and distribution to lead the Corus Entertainment-owned company’s international sales team. Formerly the digital distribution and global strategy lead, Dodge now oversees the strategy for Nelvana’s complete content slate across the global market. Dodge reports to Mellany Welsh, head of Nelvana Enterprises.

The company recently hired former Breakthrough exec Aliy Brown as digital sales and partnerships manager to lead its AVOD and FAST channels strategy.

Canadian feature films set for the Jerusalem Film Festival

Four Canadian feature films are included in this year’s Jerusalem Film Festival (JFF), which will run from July 21 to 31.

Montreal-based Monia Chokri’s French-language comedy-drama Babysitter, and Ivan Grbovic’s French-language drama Drunken Birds are part of the festival’s panorama category.

JFF’s debut category, which is also in competition for the festival’s International First Film Award, consists of Montreal-native Charlotte Le Bon’s debut feature film, Falcon Lake. The drama debuted in the Director’s Fortnight program at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, and is in the running against Manuela Martelli’s 1976, Emre Kayiş’ Anatolian Leopard, and seven other films for the award.

Toronto-based David Cronenberg’s sci-fi thriller Crimes of the Future is also included in JFF’s Masters lineup.

Future of Film Showcase announces 2022 award winners

Premium Pornography from director Simon Ruscinski has won Future of Film Showcase’s People’s Choice award.

The short was among seven award winners of the annual showcase, which took place on June 17 to 25, with films screened in-person and digitally on CBC Gem. The prize included a 1 LIFT general level membership, and free one-year subscriptions for Playback, Final Draft and ShotDeck.

Premonition: on the eve of signing Treaty 6 from director Barry Bilinsky scored Best Film; Kitra Cahana won Best Director for her short Perfecting the Art of Longing; and Best Screenwriting was given to Jess X. Snow’s Little Sky.

Other winners included Alec Lemonde for best cinematography for Body of Light; Nicolas Renaud’s Metamorphoses for Best Picture Editing; and Xavier Lucente, Harrison Casavant, and Troy Reimer, who were awarded Best Sound for their work on Srikandi.

imagineNATIVE Institute outlines two new on-set mentorship programs

The imagineNATIVE Institute has named the participants of its two new on-set mentorship programs, designed for Indigenous creatives interested in a career within the art departments of long-form productions.

The institute selected Bert Whitecrow, Morgan Spence, and Riley Assinewa for the Greater Toronto + Hamilton Area Below-the-Line Mentorship. Supported by Netflix and IATSE-873, the program is designed for one costume designer/sewer, carpenter, and set decorator to shadow and learn from industry leaders. It’s a four- to five-week paid on-set opportunity, which will begin on July 29, within the art department of Netflix’s You Are So Not Invited To My Bat Mitzvah!

Meanwhile, its Northern Ontario Below-the-Line mentorship, which is supported by Netflix, IATSE 873 and DGC Ontario, will open its applications later this year.

Photo courtesy of the Canadian Film Centre

With files from Victoria Ahearn and Kelly Townsend