Movie producer seeks idea pitches
Budding screenwriters and fledgling filmmakers across the province are excited at the prospect of a new production company starting up in Edmonton, and it’s announcing its arrival with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity taking place tomorrow.
River Valley Films is the brainchild of Avi Federgreen, the producer behind such recent Canadian gems as High Life, One Week and Score: A Hockey Musical. He was born in Alberta but, like so many other people in the film industry, he ended up having to go where the action is and that meant moving east.
He’s hoping to change all of this with his new company. He says there is a wealth of untapped talent here, akin to an oilfield with no drills available to extract it.
“Ever since I was nine years old I wanted to be in the film business,” he says in explaining his long career path moving through working in movie theatres to trying to get into film school and eventually getting a gig as a location production assistant on the Antonio Banderas and Rebecca de Mornay movie Never Talk to Strangers, a position he calls “the dead bottom.”
He started producing his own movies five years ago and also has his own distribution company called IndieCan Entertainment. Federgreen understands well the challenges of filmmaking in this country and this province, and he believes he can make it easier.
“I know a lot of people here, filmmakers who aspire to make movies here, but 90 per cent of the production that happens here is non-indigenous. It’s projects that come here from other places and shoot. I’m seeing all of these people not being able to get their own films made.”
“I said, ‘I just can’t watch this anymore.’ We have really great talented people here. Edmonton doesn't get used as a filming destination nearly enough. I hope to change all that. I want to help Alberta filmmakers get their chance to make films that can be seen across this great country and around the world.”
With typical creative ingenuity, he is ushering in River Valley Films as a tie-in with another of his films. Tonight and tomorrow, Moon Point will be screened at Metro Cinema in the Garneau Theatre. Attendees are encouraged to save their ticket stubs and hang around after the Sunday matinee to meet with Federgreen himself and pitch him on their story or screenplay ideas.
Aspiring filmmakers are encouraged to bring a one-page synopsis of a film that they would like to make that needs a producer. Pitchers can also bring screeners of completed projects that need a distributor.
Federgreen has done this once before, in Toronto, and said the experience had a good turnout and he accepted a script. He explained that anybody could make a pitch.
“It all starts with a really great idea. If you have a great idea, then the world is your oyster. It’s about whether or not you have the desire, the passion and the drive.”
The pitching will take place tomorrow from 2:30 to 5 p.m. at Hudson’s Campus located at 11113 87 Avenue, two blocks west of the Garneau Theatre.
For additional information about the screening or IndieCan’s Pitchfest, email email@example.com.