AFCOOP Nominates Two Projects for Telefilm Micro-Budget Program

AFCOOP is pleased to announce our nominations for the Telefilm Micro-Budget Production Program. For the Main Component our nomination goes to “Namas-DIE,” by co-director/writers Nicole Steeves & Struan Sutherland and producer André Pettigrew and for the Indigenous Component our nomination goes to “I’m Listening Sister,” by Natalie Clifford.

These two projects will be sent to Telefilm’s national competition for a chance to be one of 8-10 films funded through the Micro-Budget Production Program. Results of the national competition will be announced in the spring.

“I’m Listening Sister” is a feature-length documentary that chronicles the lives of two Indigenous women living on different continents who share common bonds of perseverance in the face of colonialism and modern society and a determination to never give up on the preservation of their ancestry.

“The story that I hope to tell, connecting indigenous women and communities with shared experience and spirit – across borders – is something that goes to the heart of my own identity, and it is a natural story for me to tell, as an indigenous woman myself,” says director Natalie Clifford. “I’m so grateful to AFCOOP for recognizing the potential in my project and offering support for me to put it forward for consideration nationally.”

This is the first year that AFCOOP has been eligible to nominate a project in the Indigenous Component. An Indigenous jury facilitated by Brett Hannam reviewed applications to this stream in order to put forward AFCOOP’s nomination.

“I’m excited that AFCOOP has been able to provide a nomination this year for the Indigenous stream in Atlantic Canada,” says Brett Hannam. “Increased support and resources like this are needed to encourage Indigenous filmmakers to develop strong voices and share unique stories. As we move forward we plan to expand our outreach to the local Indigenous community, working to increase awareness of the program and the opportunities it holds.”

AFCOOP’s nomination for the Main component is the horror-comedy “Namas-DIE.” The film centers on five old friends who are unexpectedly invited to a private yoga retreat after several years apart. Once the group discovers that they’re trapped inside with 20 million dollars promised to the lone survivor, they find that it gets a little bit harder to relax. Originally developed thorugh the CineCoup Accelerator program, “Namas-DIE” is the brainchild of a collaborative trio of FILM 5 program alumni including Nicole Steeves, Struan Sutherland and André Pettigrew.

“We’ve been developing this yoga horror comedy for the past few years so we’re really excited about being recommended by AFCOOP for Telefilm’s Micro Budget Program,” says the “Namas-DIE” team. “Our favourite pastimes have always been yoga, making movies, and murder, and so finally bringing the three together would truly be a dream come true.”

The Telefilm Micro-Budget Production Program is an initiative to aid emerging Canadian filmmaking talent by supporting them in the production and promotion of their first feature-length film. Successful projects receive a non-repayable financial contribution of $127,500 to cover direct expenses relating to development, production, postproduction, distribution and promotion. Results of the national competition will be announced in the spring of 2017.

For more information about the Telefilm Micro Budget Production Program.