Film fund attracts Hollywood production

While big Hollywood names are the draw for many this summer as the Hollywood movie Cut Bank shoots in the Edmonton area, it is the Edmonton Filmed Entertainment Fund that is behind the success.

Launched in March 2012, the fund is a partnership between Edmonton Economic Development Corporation and Kilburn Media of Los Angeles. EEDC manages Edmonton’s investment in the fund, which was financed by the City of Edmonton and approved by City Council in 2011.

Bringing new productions to Edmonton benefits the regional economy through increased year-round work for film crews, covering such areas as camera, lighting, set design/build, technicians, costuming, accommodations, catering, and transportation.

“The goal of any production is to employ the best people in every position. With Cut Bank, we’ve been able to find the majority of the crew from Edmonton and area, ranging from department heads to trainees to actors.  It allows our local talent world-wide exposure, and proves that Edmonton can compete in the international marketplace of film and television production,” says Edmonton’s Doug Steeden, production manager on Cut Bank. Up to 70 people are currently employed in the production.

The Edmonton Filmed Entertainment Fund raises awareness of Edmonton and enhances the city’s reputation as an industry-friendly filming destination. It seeks to make a profit by investing equity in projects that have a sales and distribution deal in place. Profits from EEDC’s investment in productions are rolled back into the fund, ensuring the fund’s sustainability and viability. Potential film and television productions are reviewed case by case and recommended by Kilburn Media. The financials of those projects are scrutinized by an Edmonton-based business team before EEDC agrees to take part.

Production for Cut Bank is being managed from Edmonton’s Film Alberta Studio with shooting taking place around the city and region. The crime thriller features Billy Bob Thornton, John Malkovich, Liam Helmsworth, Bruce Dern, Oliver Platt, Michael Suhlbarg and Teresa Palmer. Matt Shakman, the film’s director received the 2012 Los Angeles Drama Critic Circle Award for career or special achievement in direction.

Cut Bank is the second feature film brought to Edmonton by the Edmonton Filmed Entertainment Fund. “Freezer,” starring Dylan McDermott and Peter Facinelli, wrapped shooting in Edmonton in January and is in the final stages of post-production before its release later this year.