Micro-Budget Moment: Northern-Shot Film Gets Funding

The Sun at Midnight, a Northwest Territories film project, is one of 15 finalists this year in the Telefilm Canada micro-budget production program.

“It’s a big win,” said producer Amos Scott, producer of the acclaimed Dene A Journey series, and co­founder with writer-director Kirsten Carthew of Jill and Jackfish Productions.

“It’s an important first step that can open the door for more northern feature films telling northern stories with northern actors and crews,” said Carthew.

Telefilm’s micro­-budget program supports emerging filmmakers in Canada seeking to produce their first feature-­length films. Budgets must not exceed $250,000.

The program will cover about half the total cost. The remainder will be made up with contributions from the territorial government and other sources that Scott and Carthew hope to tap before filming starts.

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“It is only made possible with the tremendous support of both the NWT Film Commission and Telefilm Canada,” said Scott.

Carthew, who is directing the film, said it will be shot in the North later this summer.

“We want to create a film for local and global audiences that Northerners can be proud of,” Carthew said Tuesday.

The project was nominated by Western Arctic Moving Pictures and has been approved for funding from the department of Industry, Tourism and Investment’s newly launched Pilot Rebate Program.

Carthew wrote and has been developing The Sun At Midnight since 2010 with the support and collaboration of the Gwich’in Social and Cultural Institute.

The adventure­/drama tells the story of Lia, a troubled teenager from Montreal who is sent to live with her grandmother in Ft. McPherson. Desperate to get back to the city, she flees into the wilderness and finds a world of danger and vulnerability.

She meets Alfred, a solitary hunter, who reluctantly takes her under his wing. When Alfred is severely wounded in a bear attack, their roles reverse and Lia must fight to save both their lives.

Producers Scott and Carthew will be looking to hire as many cast and crew for the film from the NWT as possible.

“This is a great opportunity for northerners interested in acting and working in film to get involved,” they said.

“There are few films created by northerners and also shot here. We are excited to share this good news with the entire NWT film community.”

Actors can visit NWT Casting on Facebook and Twitter to learn more.

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