Avi Federgreen Launches New Alberta Film Producer

The new production shingle, River Valley Films, aims to tap local writers and directors to make movies out of Edmonton.

TORONTO - Avi Federgreen wants to change Canadian movies traditionally not faring well against the Hollywood juggernaut at the local multiplex outside Quebec.

So as Canadian teens continue to flock to The Hunger Games, the veteran Toronto film producer and distributor will next weekend show his latest release, Sean Cisterna’s road movie comedy Moon Point, in his hometown of Edmonton, Alberta.

And for the price of admission to a weekend screening, local filmmakers will be able to attend Federgreen’s Pitchfest next Sunday afternoon, where he will take pitches on ideas and scripts for future films.

Why exchange a Canadian movie ticket stub to pitch a future Canadan movie release?

Because Federgreen believes the rules of the domestic film game are stacked in favor of Hollywood, and against local talent.

“Alberta has so many talented writers, directors, actors and crews. These talented people need to be given the opportunity to tell Canadian stories, but they are not given enough of an opportunity to make indigenous films,” he argued.

So Federgreen wants to change the rules of the game.

And to do that, Federgreen is partnering with Edmonton film producer Guy Lavallee to launch River Valley Films to spur indie filmmaking in Alberta.

Federgreen is bringing his indie film track record from Toronto to Edmonton after making a string a indie titles like Mike McGowan’s Still and One Week and Gary YatesHigh Life.

The first project from River Valley Films is an untitled documentary by Charles Wilkinson, and a follow-up to Peace Out, Wilkinson’s film about the impact of technological affluence on society that Federgreen’s IndieCan Entertainment will also release into Canadian theaters.

Peace Out, which has been booked into Hot Docs 2012, opened the Global Visions Film Festival in Edmonton on March 1.

IndieCan was launched in November 2011, with an eye to handling low-budget Canadian movies overlooked by major industry players, but which may prove to be the next Little Miss Sunshine or The Full Monty.

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