by Vernon Oickle, published on May 21, 2003|
COUNTY - Acclaimed Nova Scotia writer-director Daniel MacIvor will shoot his second feature film on the South Shore and there is a Lunenburg County connection.
Award-winning film maker, Camelia Frieberg, who lives near Bridgewater, will produce Wilby Wonderful, a dark comedy about truth, transformation and the difficulty of finding a quiet place to kill yourself.
The film is set in the small fictional Nova Scotian town of Wilby. Over the course of one day, the story follows the lives of several characters as they attempt to maintain business as usual in the face of a very unusual business.
Carol French, the local realtor, is trying to sell the mayor a house that happens to belong to her cranky mother-in-law. Her police officer husband, Buddy, is in the middle of an investigation into the town's deviant underbelly. It seems that Buddy is also about to begin a love affair with the wrong-side-of-the-tracks, just-back-in-town Sandra Anderson.
Meanwhile, Sandra's daughter Emily might very well be an underbelly deviant herself, judging by the company she keeps. Add to the mix the apparently dyslexic sign painter Duck MacDonald, and MacKenzie Fisher, the mayor's algebra-challenged young daughter, and it's just another Thursday in Wilby.
But why is Dan Jarvis trying to kill himself in all the wrong places? Where are all the drugs suddenly coming from? And what is Carol French going to do about that body in the closet?
Wilby Wonderful is the second feature from the team who collaborated on Past Perfect, producers Camelia Frieberg and Sherrie Johnson and the Cape Breton-born MacIvor.
Shooting will take place entirely in and around Shelburne in July and August and will make use of the Shelburne Film Production Centre and its extensive studio facility as a home base for cast and crew.
Potential cast includes Sandra Oh (The Red Violin, Princess Diaries, Last Night), Paul Gross (Men with Brooms, Due South), Callum Keith Rennie (Double Happiness, Due South, Flower and Garnet), Rebecca Jenkins (Past Perfect, Marion Bridge, Bye Bye Blues), Ellen Page (Marion Bridge, Pit Pony), James Allodi (Men with Brooms, Glitter), Maury Chaykin (Nero Wolfe, The Adjuster, The Sweet Hereafter) and Daniel MacIvor (The Five Senses, Twitch City).
Mr. MacIvor is known for his critically acclaimed international stage hits In On It, Here Lies Henry and Monster. As an actor he can be seen in Don McKellar's series Twitch City, Jeremy Podeswa's The Five Senses and Thom Fitzgerald's Beefcake. He is also the award-winning writer of Marion Bridge and the writer-director of Past Perfect.
Ms Frieberg's films (The Sweet Hereafter, The Five Senses, Exotica, The Adjuster, Eclipse and Masala) have won international recognition, including Oscar nominations and numerous awards from the Cannes Film Festival and Canada's Genie Awards.
The film is financed by Telefilm Canada, NSFDC, the Harold Greenberg Fund, South West Shore Regional Development Authority with pre-sales to CITY TV, TMN, Movie Central and CBC, and will be distributed in Canada by Mongrel Media.