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Tucked away Kelowna's north end, a tired, old warehouse sprang to life today. The building is the perfect backdrop for an independent film that's being shot right here in the Okanagan. It's a dark crime thriller about a boy, who keeps a grown man captive. The award-winning screenplay is the work of Director Titus Heckle. It's a great story, but the story about the film production is also compelling. Because if it wasn't for the belief in this film on the part of the crew members, it wouldn't likely have made it this far.
We spoke with Producer Rachelle Chartrand about the movie and the back story.
"It was a situation where we had all our financing in place on paper, but there was something that the bank wasn't approving," said Chartrand. When the producers shared the problem with the crew, and how they might have to halt production, the reaction was incredible. "They said 'we're not going to let that happen', so everybody was super supportive, nobody jumped ship." And together they found a way. Belief in the production saved it. "Some came forward with some loan agreements against one of our broadcast deals and some actually came forward as investors," she said. "Very literally, the crew saved this film."
Among other awards, the screenplay for Chained won an international co-production and pitching competition held at the 2018 Berlin International Film Festival.
The film is about a troubled 13-year-old and the strange friendship that develops after he finds a criminal chained-up in an abandoned warehouse. Shooting for the film has taken place in Penticton, Kaleden and now in an old warehouse in the industrial section of Kelowna's north end.
The movie stars Vancouver Aleks Paunovic and Marlon Kazadi. The producers are Vancouver-based, but most of the crew, the extras and key supporting roles are filled by locals, including Kelowna teen Leia Madu, who plays the role of the love-interest of the lead.
"It's pretty exciting," said Madu. "Everyone is really nice and welcoming and yeah, it's been a really good experience overall." She sees it as a big opportunity. "I definitely want to continue to be an actress so I think this is the start."
Chartrand said the local talent has been great and she credits Jon Summerland of the Okanagan Film Commission for making it happen."He was definitely integral in us being able to come here," she said.
The Producers hope to have the film ready for independent film festivals for the Summer of 2020.
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