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P.E.I.-made movie Wharf Rats getting international attention

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — A feature-length film shot completely in North Rustico, P.E.I., in 2018 has been launched not solely in Canada however has additionally discovered distribution in america.

Wharf Rats encompasses a solid and crew principally from P.E.I. and stars Robbie Carruthers, Dennis Trainor, Jonathan Torrens, Susan Kent, Annie Briggs, Daniel Lillford and the late Invoice McFadden.

It was initially conceived as a comedy net sequence however was finally edited right into a 90-minute movie. It’s set on the planet of the imaginary fishing village of Cut up Lip Cove, P.E.I., and revolves round two small-minded brothers, Hughie and Martin Hackett, who’ve large goals of turning into wealthy and well-known fishermen, with out the work, brains or boat wanted.

SaltWire Community spoke to director and co-creator Jason Arsenault and producer Jenna MacMillan on Feb. 28 about the way it all got here collectively.

Annie Briggs, left, and Robbie Carruthers are pictured in a scene from the P.E.I. movie Wharf Rats, which was just released in Canada and has been picked up for distribution in the United States. - Levelfilm photo
Annie Briggs, left, and Robbie Carruthers are pictured in a scene from the P.E.I. film Wharf Rats, which was simply launched in Canada and has been picked up for distribution in america. – Levelfilm picture

“Robbie, Dennis and I have been kind of sitting round simply on the lookout for one thing to make that didn’t take any cash,” Arsenault mentioned, including that the film has been within the works since 2013.

Wharf Rats started as a sketch entered in a nationwide competitors in 2014 known as CBC Comedy Coup, the place it completed within the high 5 out of greater than 300 entries.

The manufacturing obtained $400,000 by Telefilm, the Unbiased Manufacturing Fund, the Bell Fund and the P.E.I. Movie Manufacturing Fund, by way of Innovation P.E.I.

Arsenault mentioned it was shot as an online sequence however had the story and form of a film so it was reduce as a feature-length movie for the 2020 Atlantic Movie Competition.

Annie Briggs and the late Bill McFadden are shown in a scene from the P.E.I.-made movie, Wharf Rats. - Levelfilm photo
Annie Briggs and the late Invoice McFadden are proven in a scene from the P.E.I.-made film, Wharf Rats. – Levelfilm picture

MacMillan mentioned it was so effectively obtained there that it picked up a Canadian distributor, Levelfilm.

“It’s fairly cool,” mentioned MacMillan. “I’ve been working with a gaggle of individuals, Jason included, making an attempt to create extra initiatives and create a viable trade (right here in P.E.I.). Wharf Rats was the primary challenge that went by the early iteration of the P.E.I. Movie Fund so it allowed us to usher in established heads of departments, who then skilled our native crew.

“That crew now has the movie bug and now nearly all of them are nonetheless working and honing their abilities. For me, (Wharf Rats) is a hit in that manner as a result of we have been in a position to prepare the subsequent crop of filmmakers.”

Watch it

Following are the platforms the film Wharf Rats is on the market on:

  • In Canada: iTunes, Vimeo, Cineplex, Google Play.
  • Within the Unites States (finish of March): Cable and satellite tv for pc companies in addition to video on demand.
  • On Facebook.

Jonathan Torrens plays a lawyer in the comedy movie Wharf Rats which has just been released in Canada with a U.S. release to follow. - Levelfilm photo
Jonathan Torrens performs a lawyer within the comedy film Wharf Rats which has simply been launched in Canada with a U.S. launch to observe. – Levelfilm picture

MacMillan mentioned even the inside photographs, scenes inside houses and the bowling alley, have been additionally shot within the city. The manufacturing workplace was within the native fireplace corridor. MacMillan shared an workplace with the hearth chief.

“It was actually cool,” she laughed.

As for what’s subsequent for Arsenault and MacMillan, a thriller they made in 2019, A Small Fortune, is about to be launched, with an announcement anticipated quickly.

Taking pictures for a romantic comedy known as Who’s Your Father begins this summer time. Each films have been shot in P.E.I.

Daniel Lillford plays a bit of a villain in the movie Wharf Rats which has just been released in Canada. - Levelfilm photo
Daniel Lillford performs a little bit of a villain within the film Wharf Rats which has simply been launched in Canada. – Levelfilm picture

Arsenault mentioned capturing in North Rustico can be an enormous a part of why the film garnered a lot curiosity from Canadian and U.S. distributors.

“We have been actually fortunate in that not solely is North Rustico a wonderful place however there may be the closeness of the entire areas (in the neighborhood),” the director mentioned. “It actually felt like we have been capturing in a studio fairly than on actual areas. We actually didn’t have to maneuver too removed from set to set so it kind of felt like every thing was at hand and that allowed us to kind of hold that character of the city.”

Dave Stewart is a tradition reporter with the SaltWire Community in Prince Edward Island.


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