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Spotlight on: Cinema 902

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

TV mini-series Cinema 902 produced by Winter Light Productions, featuring four Nova Scotian directors telling unique stories linked and inspired by a common theme and location.

Cinema 902 will feature four 90 minute episodes that will celebrate the spirit of storytelling through film. We caught up with writer and director Paul Kimball to learn more about the production.

Tell us about this production
Nova Scotia has been home to some of the most innovative and daring filmmakers in Canada for the past thirty years with a spirit that emphasizes great storytelling above everything else. Cinema 902 is an anthology-style mini-series that celebrates that spirit, and builds on those achievements. In each cycle of four 90 minute episodes, directors will tell unique stories linked and inspired by a common theme and location (in the same way used by classic anthology series like The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits). The first cycle will feature science fiction stories about individual survival set in a dystopian near future. A couple are a bit more action-oriented, and a couple a bit more high concept, but the great thing is that each filmmaker will be able to bring their own spin to the stories, which will be like looking at the genre through a different set of eyes each time out.

It’s being made for Eastlink TV, and will premiere in January 2018.

What can you share with us about the team you are working with on this production?
First up in terms of directing are Dillon Garland, Chelsea Comeau, Michael Ray Fox, and yours truly, because like Captain Kirk, I would never send someone down to a planet if I haven't gone first (in this case, to work out the kinks and perfect the filmmaking system we’ll be using). Dillon and Michael each have an indie feature under their belts – “Afraid to Speak” for Dillon, which he made for less than $10,000, and “Roaming” for Michael, which was made under the groundbreaking First Feature program. This is the first feature film for Chelsea, which is very exciting for her – she’s done several great short films and music videos, though, so she’s definitely ready to take the next step.

Dillon Garland and Paul Kimball on set of Paul's 2013 film, The Cuckoo in the Clock 

What goes into filming a production like this?
A lot of heart and soul. We all get the chance to tell what we hope will be unique and engaging stories, and that’s the kind of thing that keeps you going during the long hours. Everyone will be pitching in on everyone else’s film as well, which really helps us build a team mentality, almost like a family. For example, besides directing his own film, Dillon will be acting as the director of photography on mine, and Chelsea will be acting as director of photography on his, and so on. These are such talented young people that it’s going to be great fun working together.

Chelsea Comeau working on set of Paul's 2014 film, Roundabout. 

On a personal note- what is your favorite thing about this production?
When I began my career in film & television, it was as the Program Administrator for the Nova Scotia Film Development Corporation back in the late 1990s. I took the "development" part seriously, and worked hard to make sure the next generation of Nova Scotia creative talent would have the opportunity to make films here.

When I moved to the private sector and began producing and directing, I took that firm commitment to the next generation with me. Over the years, I've been happy to give early career work to young people in various roles who have gone on to fine. As the senior programmer for the Atlantic Film Festival for many years, my good friend and colleague Ron Foley Macdonald, who is producing Cinema 902, did the same thing in terms of opportunities for people to have their work screened.

So Ron and I sat down over coffee last year and put our thinking caps on, and asked ourselves how we could go about creating a production that would continue to give those kinds of opportunities to our independent filmmakers and storytellers again.

The end result is Cinema 902. Honestly, it’s probably the most rewarding thing I’ve done in my twenty year career – the opportunity to give something back to the film community, and to nurture the next generation of filmmakers, is something both Ron and I will always cherish.

Where can we learn more?
The best place to look is at the website for Ron’s production company's website Winter Light Productions, where we’ll be posting regular updates as we work our way through the process. 

Cinema 902 is qualified to receive funding through the Nova Scotia Film & Television Production Incentive Fund. Learn more about filming in Nova Scotia and accessing the Nova Scotia Film & Television Production Incentive Fund.

Use our Film Fund Estimator tool to estimate funding available for your Nova Scotia production.