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Feature film to be shot in Trenton

Quinte West Council Goliath presentation

A group of young filmmakers speaks to councillors about the feature film they will be shooting in Trenton this coming July. Photo courtesy quintewest.ca [1]

By Ashley Clark [2]

BELLEVILLE – A group of Ryerson University [3] students is planning to do some feature filmmaking in Trenton this coming July.

The young filmmakers, one of whom is from Trenton [4], were at Quinte West council [5] on Monday to talk about their plans and ask for a sponsorship.

Writer, producer and director Luke Villemaire told councillors: “We are asking that you guys help us with this project by investing $10,000 in it. Ultimately this money is going to be put back into the local economy.”

Producer Maddy Pilon said filming in the city has been a long-term ambition of hers: “I was born and raised in Trenton, just down the road from Film Street, and I was always told that Trenton was the original Hollywood North [6]. So film was very important to me throughout my whole life. Then when I decided to go to Ryerson University for film school, one of my goals was to bring the film industry back to Trenton.”

The students are working on a feature film called Goliath [7]. It’s the story of a girl who goes home to attend her father’s funeral, and ends up facing the family she left and an old family secret that arises.

Joining Pilon and Villemaire at council were assistant producer Nathan Dharamshi, who is taking film studies at Ryerson, and actor/producer Shannon Kook.

Kook has made a name for himself in the film and television industry after being in the 2013 movie The Conjuring [8], a No. 1 box-office hit, and the TV series Degrassi: The Next Generation [9].

“I jumped on board (with the Goliath project) because I thought it was important for working Canadians to start to invest and grow the work that we have coming from the country,” Kook said in a video that the team showed council.

The project would offer opportunities for local actors and be good for the economy, the students said.

“We’re going to be holding casting calls for extras and small speaking roles, so that local actors can have the chance to be in a feature film,” Pilon said. “And we’ve also been in contact with the Loyalist (Media, Arts and Design [10]) program to give an amazing opportunity to their students to work on a feature film.”

There will be about 30 crew members staying in Trenton for a month while filming takes place, she said, and the crew will purchase set props locally.

The councillors thanked the students for the presentation, but made no decision on the request for funding.

Mayor Jim Harrison [11] said after meeting that he likes the idea of the film shoot.

“I thought it was good. I see it as a real asset to us. They’re here, they’re going to work, they’re going to have their group here eating and sleeping and filming,” he said.

Council will consider the proposal and probably come to a decision on sponsorship at the next meeting, on April 18, Harrison said.

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