HGF supports 15 new films in fourth quarter including Arcana’s “Avner”

Sep 21, 2020

Following the news that the future of the Harold Greenberg Fund (HGF) is in question, the Canadian film funder has revealed its latest round of support, financing 15 new projects through its Script Development Program in its fourth fiscal quarter.

Representing an investment of more than $236,000, the HGF’s Script Development Program is aimed at supporting Canadian films through a variety of stages, such as story optioning, first drafts and polish and packaging.

In the Story Option stream, two projects were unveiled: Present Moment Pictures’ My Life as a Diamond and Antigravity Entertainment’s Sand & Fury: A Scream Queen Adventure.

Based on author Jenny Manzer’s children’s novel of the same name – which follows Casper “Caz” Cadman, a 10-year-old with a secret who makes the local summer baseball team, My Life as a Diamond sees producer Matthew Kowalchuk credited as a writer on the adaptation alongside Ollie Hebert. Meanwhile, Sand & Fury: A Scream Queen Adventure’s Toronto-based graphic novel author Ho Che Anderson is attached as writer/director to the project, while Owen Kelly serves as producer.

Stockholm producer Darius Films, meanwhile, is in the Second Draft section with Kitsune (writer Trevor Christie, producers Nicholas Tabarrok and Leah Jaunzems). Gearshift Films’ Glo in the Dark (writer/director Rachel Cairns, producers Maddy Falle, Borga Dorter and Jordan Barker) is also among the select few with Arcana Studio’s Avner. Notably, Arcana CEO-founder Sean O’Reilly serves as writer, producer and co-director on the project. He co-directs alongside Ran Sieradzki, while Arcana VP Michelle O’Reilly is a producer. Other projects in the HGF’s Second Draft segment are Prospector Films’ Consent (writer Doug Taylor, director Wiebke von Carolsfeld and producer Robert Vroom); and Mad Samurai Productions and Pintxo Productions’ Green (writer Graeme McRanor, producers Matthew Cervi and Ines Eisses).

Director Daniel Grou – who is up for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series at the 2020 DGC Awards – is attached to Starfall (MCP Productions) with writer Jesse Heffring and producer Marie-Claude Poulin in the Third Draft category. Babe Nation Films’ Alice, Darling (director Mary Nighy, writer Alanna Francis and producers Katie Nolan and Lindsay Tapscott) are also among the select few with Mythic Productions’ Long Ride Home, which was announced this August (writer/director/producer Sean Cisterna and producer Walkiria Barbosa); Seagull and Starfish Productions’ Teething (writer/director Glen Matthews, producers Luke Humphrey and Chantelle Kilpatrick); and Lily Pictures and Reel Girls Media’s Rude Awakening (writer/director Anne Wheeler, producers Michelle Morris and Ava Karnonen).

Finally, the HGF’s Polish & Packaging projects include: Wildling Pictures’ Suze (writers/directors Linsey Stewart and Dane Clark, producers Matt Code and Kristy Neville); Waterford Valley Pictures’ Let’s Do This (writer/producer Lora Campbell and writers Kristy LaPointe and Christopher Vandenberg); BrancSeater Productions and Shadow Shows’ Vic, Doc and Duke Go to the Store (writer Daniel Macivor, director Bruce McDonald and producers Paula Brancati and Michael Seater); Lonesome Heroes Productions’ Riceboy Sleeps (writer/director/producer Anthony Shim and producer Rebecca Steele); and Herd of 1 Media’s In Case of Fire (director Wayne Rose, writers Ken Kabatoff and Chris Shalom and producer Julian Black Antelope).

On Aug. 31, Bell Media announced that the Harold Greenberg Fund/Le Fonds Harold Greenberg will “begin transitioning following the completion of seven years of financial support.” The company announced that moving forward the funder’s French-language program will focus solely on fiction feature film production until Feb. 28, 2021, when it will close and transfer any remaining funds to another independent production fund. Meanwhile, the English-language side of the fund will continue to operate for at least the next 12 months, with Bell Media inviting additional partners to “invest in its future.”

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