Filming Begins on CFC Features' 'Cruel & Unusual'

Director Merlin Dervisevic on set of Cruel & Unusual
Photo by Bob Akest
Go west, young film! The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) has announced that principal photography is underway for the new feature Cruel & Unusual. Cruel & Unusual is the 21st feature to be developed and financed under CFC Features and the first feature film supported by the Canadian Film Centre to be filmed in beautiful British Colombia. Cruel & Unusual marks the feature debut of director Merlin Dervisevic and it will be released by Entertainment One in 2013. This announcement has CFC Features is a-buzzing with exciting films, since Rhymes for Young Ghouls recently commenced filming, Molly Maxwell just noted its completion, and Old Stock is hitting the festival circuit. Not to mention CFC-alum Sarah Polley scoring big in theatres with Stories We Tell!

From the CFC:

A feature debut, written and directed by Vancouver filmmaker Merlin Dervisevic (Lemonade, Over Easy and Exhuming Tyler), Cruel & Unusual is a film about a man condemned to relive a crime he believes he didn’t commit. As he navigates his way amid a strange new world, his perception is tested in his search to find the truth. The film stars David Richmond-Peck (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), Richard Harmon (Continuum), Michelle Harrison (Altitude), Michael Eklund (The Divide), and newcomer Bernadette Saquibal. The film will be produced by Matthew Cervi, through his production company Mad Samurai Productions (The Colony).

“CFC Features has been a great supporter in Merlin’s vision of the film and partner in the development of the project,” said Cervi. “With both Merlin and I being born and raised here, we really wanted to make this a “Vancouver film”. From the suppliers, to crew, to the unions, it’s a great show of local support for the independent film industry.”

The film will feature cinematography by Adam Sliwinski, production design by James Hazell, costume design by Farnaz Khaki-Sadigh and editing by Michael John Bateman. Robert Lee is acting as co-producer and line producer, and will be executive produced by Justine Whyte, Director, CFC Features. Acclaimed genre filmmaker Vincenzo Natali will provide guidance as the film’s Director Mentor, Natali made his directorial debut Cube through CFC Features in 1997, in addition to mentorship from writer Doug Taylor (Splice) and producer Raymond Massey.

“We’re very excited to be marking our first shoot on the West Coast with Cruel & Unusual,” said Justine Whyte, director/executive producer, CFC Features. “We’ve had our eye on this creative team for some time now, and this is the perfect project with several of Vancouver’s key up-and-coming filmmaking talents working behind it.”

Filming will run from October 29 to November 17 in Vancouver. Release is slated for 2013 in Canada by Entertainment One, who is also handling international sales.

Cruel & Unusual is produced through the Canadian Film Centre’s CFC Features program. CFC Features is supported by CityTV and Entertainment One, with development supported by the Government of Ontario. Cruel & Unusual is produced with the participation of Astral’s The Movie Network and Corus Entertainment’s Movie Central, with distribution of the supported by the Entertainment One Distribution Lab.

For more details about CFC, please visit cfccreates.com
For more details about Mad Samurai Productions, please visit madsamurai.ca