Calgary horror film chosen for prestigious Cannes Film Market


A Calgary film is set to appear at the prestigious Cannes Film Market, the commercial counterpart to the Cannes Film Festival in May.

gloomy nature, a horror film about a weekend retreat in the Rockies gone wrong, has been selected as one of Fantastic 7 – seven promising genre films from around the world.

Calgarian Berkley Brady wrote and directed the film, which is her feature debut. She said she was thrilled to share the success of the occasion with the cast, crew, family and friends who supported the making of the film.

“It’s like we work really hard to make good projects and it takes a lot of years. To be able to get to this point and have it recognized on the world stage is really, really exciting,” Brady said.

Berkley Brady writer and director of Dark Nature (Submitted by Berkley Brady)

The Fantastic 7 is a collaboration between seven film festivals, including the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), which has highlighted dark nature as his submission. The event shines a light on the notable movies coming out this year for movie industry heavyweights and insiders.

“You get that kind of affirmation, you also get more reviews from other major film festivals and also, from a market perspective, you have a better chance of selling your film,” said the producer Michael Peterson.

Connection in Calgary

Brady, who grew up in Calgary, attended Columbia University film school in New York. As graduation approached, she considered staying in the United States to find work.

“I think a lot of film artists have to at least make the decision to move to Vancouver or Toronto or LA or New York, and those are all amazing places, but your home is your home,” he said. she declared.

A screenshot from the film Dark Nature, which follows a group on a wilderness retreat in the Rockies gone wrong. (Submitted by Berkley Brady)

“I just feel like a prairie person, being Métis and from here…I feel very, very connected to this place and I love living here. It made me really sad to think: “I can’t have the career I want if I live here.'”

When Brady returned to Calgary to shoot her thesis film, she fell in love and eventually married her cinematographer from that project. He convinced her to stay in Calgary and work on her screenplay.

Local talent needs more opportunities in key roles

Producer Michael Peterson, who helped Brady develop the project, is committed to doing quality work with the Calgary filmmakers.

“I’m a big believer in mentoring and supporting people in the community here,” he said.

For Peterson, dark nature appearance at the Marché du Film is just another example of the “world-class” work that can be produced by Alberta creators.

Photos from the set of the FX miniseries Under The Banner of Heaven, filming in downtown Calgary in December. Berkley and Peterson say that even though productions shot in Calgary are made by locals, they rarely get opportunities in key creative roles. (Ose Irete/CBC)

“You’ll often come into this conversation where someone says, ‘We’re going to get the person from the bigger city because they’re obviously better off because they live in a bigger city’… [but] there are people here who are just as good as any of these other people they might want to bring in from elsewhere.”

Calgary is a hotbed of growth for the film industry with big-budget productions like The last of us and FX Under the banner of heaven, shot in the city. However, local talent still struggles to step into key creative roles.

“We want to be here and known for also being the creative force behind projects, not just staffing them,” Brady said.

The landscape an advantage for local filmmakers

dark nature was filmed in the Kananaskis Country. The landscape is more than a background for Brady who grew up camping and on the land with his family. She thinks local filmmakers can offer a deeper portrayal of the land without being intimidated by it.

Director Berkley Brady talks to cast members on set of Dark Nature. (Spencer Eastbrooks)

“I want to go and bring the beauty of this landscape to the screen and show characters who feel comfortable there. I think that’s something I can do and local filmmakers can do. interior.”

“It’s not just a beautiful landscape. It’s like something you interact with and there’s a relationship with the land,” she added.

Continued investment in artists is needed

The film was partially funded by grants from Calgary Arts Development, Telefilm and other organizations. Brady said she has benefited from grants and opportunities throughout her career in Alberta. She believes this kind of support helps filmmakers grow and also benefits the community financially.

“These investments in local artists are really helping us take the next step.”

“I would have to crunch the numbers, but I’m sure the money that was earned from the tax base of everyone who was hired on this project alone would pay back…all the grants I received while I lived here,” she added.

She hopes that the success of this project will be “one more stone in the path” of Alberta filmmakers.

“There’s no reason the best filmmaker in the world shouldn’t be like, Drumheller, you know?”

Cast and crew members work on set during the filming of Dark Nature. (Spencer Eastbrooks)


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