Cameras Roll on Smokebomb’s First Feature Film, a Sci-Fi Thriller Starring An Ensemble Cast Including Bea Santos, Oluniké Adeliyi, and Ari Millen
Now available for pre-order, Darken’s release strategy will include all platforms and an origin-story web series
TORONTO, July 18, 2016 – Principal photography is underway on feature film Darken (wt), a sci-fi thriller directed by award-winning horror director Audrey Cummings (Berkshire County), produced by Shaftesbury/Smokebomb. The genre-busting film stars Bea Santos (Murdoch Mysteries, World Away) as Eve, a young woman who, following a chance encounter, finds herself thrust into a viciously violent otherworld where she must fight for her own survival. Filming will run until July 29 in Toronto, Ontario.
Darken is slated for release in 2017; the film will be distributed in Canada by A71 Entertainment. The thriller is now available domestically and internationally for pre-order for $4.99 CDN at VHX, with new pricing models and packages to come. The film’s marketing campaign will feature a robust social media engagement strategy and a 20-part origin-story series to be released on YouTube in advance of the film’s release date to enable viewers to immerse themselves in the world of Darken.
“With Darken, we want to reach a very specific audience and create a sci-fi film for women, about women. Based on our experience with hit series like Carmilla, we know that this audience is smart, savvy, and loyal – and our strategy around Darken is built with that in mind to not only attract viewers, but to engage them and empower them to help us shape the story. Building a global fandom around the digital and social content in advance will help to inform our efforts and activities around the film’s theatrical release,” said Jay Bennett, SVP, Creative & Innovation, Shaftesbury/Smokebomb.
In addition to Santos, Darken’s talented ensemble cast also includes Oluniké Adeliyi (Republic of Doyle, Flashpoint), Ari Millen (Orphan Black, Rupture), Zoë Belkin (Carrie, Degrassi: The Next Generation), Christine Horne (Murdoch Mysteries, Lost Girl), Jon McLaren (Heartland, Race), Dmitry Chepovetsky (Orphan Black, Killjoys, Murdoch Mysteries), Zehra Leverman (X-Men: Apocalypse, X-Men: Days of Future Past), and Paul Amos (Lost Girl, Captain Canuck).
Darken is set in a bizarre, mysterious, and violent unknown world with danger and death around every corner. After a young woman is accosted by a dying warrior in the middle of the street, a bizarre incantation propels her into the realm of Darken – a violent prison-like world of labyrinthine rooms, interconnected with no apparent rhyme or reason and no way of escape. As she fights for survival within this brutal place, she finds allies who are rebelling against the rule of a self-appointed religious despot who demands allegiance to an all-powerful god called “Mother Darken.” Eve and her allies must fight with everything they have if they are to have any hope of surviving the horrors Darken has in store for them.
Darken is produced by Shaftesbury/Smokebomb with the financial participation of Telefilm Canada (Canada Feature Film Fund) and the OMDC Feature Film Fund. The film is directed by Audrey Cummings, written by R.J. Lackie, and produced by Jay Bennett. Christina Jennings, Scott Garvie, and Svet Rouskov are executive producers; James Luscombe is consulting producer. The film will be distributed in Canada by A71 Entertainment Inc., with Shaftesbury Sales Company holding international sales rights for the film.
With offices in Toronto and Los Angeles, Shaftesbury is an award-winning creator and producer of original content for television and digital platforms. Shaftesbury’s slate includes 10 seasons of Murdoch Mysteries for CBC, UKTV, and ITV STUDIOS Global Entertainment; David Shore’s new series Houdini & Doyle for Sony Pictures Television, Corus Entertainment, ITV, and Fox; thriller series Slasher for Super Channel and NBCUniversal’s Chiller; and Kids’ CBC series The Moblees. Shaftesbury’s digital arm, Smokebomb Entertainment, produces original digital, convergent, and branded entertainment projects including the hit YouTube series Carmilla, funded by U by Kotex®; mystery series V Morgan Is Dead, brought to life by RBC; fashion comedy series MsLabelled, produced in partnership with Shaw Media and Tetley Tea; and the Slasher VR app for iOS, Android, and Oculus Rift. In June 2014, Shaftesbury/Smokebomb launched shift2, a branded entertainment agency that drives profitable engagement with millennials using scripted series, turning brands into executive producers.
About A71 Entertainment Inc.
A71 Entertainment Inc. is one of Canada’s fastest rising distribution companies. Recent releases include NUMB (2016), ACROSS THE LINE (2016), THE RAINBOW KID (2016). The company, focused on bringing high-quality critically acclaimed films to theatres, was founded by Chad Maker, David Miller and Kirk Comrie in 2013. Upcoming releases along with DARKEN include JACKIE BOY, and Ken Finkleman’s AN AMERICAN DREAM: THE EDUCATION OF WILLIAM BOWMAN. For bookings and more information contact: email@example.com
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