Brightlight Pictures' Karyn Edwards Exits to Launch Pictopia Pictures

The new production outfit follows company co-founder Stephen Hegyes leaving the Vancouver-based producer in December 2012 to also set up on his own.

TORONTO – Brightlight Pictures legal affairs topper Karyn Edwards is leaving the Vancouver-based indie producer to launch her own production outfit, Pictopia Pictures.

Her exit follows Brighlight co-founder Stephen Hegyes departing the company in December 2012 to also set up his own production shingle, leaving fellow co-founder Shawn Williamson to run the company as chairman.

That was followed in January 2013 with Thunderbird Films president Michael Shepard leaving rival Vancouver indie producer to run his own production shingle, Mindset Television, while Thunderbird CEO Tim Gamble took over his management duties.

Edwards, who joined Brighlight in July 2002 and rose to become executive vp of business & legal affairs, at Pictopia will develop, finance, and produce her own TV series and theatrical features.

“This is the right time for me to move on and create my own company. I'm looking forward to creating content and forging new strategic partnerships at this exciting time in the film and television industry in Canada,” she said in a statement Tuesday.

While at Brightlight, Edwards had a dual role in legal affairs and as a producer on several feature film and TV projects as she structured a host of international and inter-provincial co-productions.

She also closed around $300 million in financing on film and TV shows, and worked with a host of foreign partners, including Mandate Pictures, Voltage Pictures, Fox 21, Red Granite Pictures, Mandalay Pictures and The Weinstein Company.

Edwards' executive producer credits at Brightlight included the theatrical feature 50 Dead Men Walking and the TV mini-series Delete.

Pictopia will be following established players like Brightlight, Entertainment One and Take Five Productions, and new entrants like Don Carmody Television and Thunderbird/Lionsgate’s new venture Sea to Sky Entertainment, in producing multinational TV series underpinned by Canadian creative and production subsidies.

As foreign and domestic TV production in Toronto especially expands, Canadian producers are enlisting emerging and established local screenwriters and directors, often based in Los Angeles, to create their own homegrown dramas for Canadian networks that also can be sold internationally.

And on the film side, Canadian producers are exploiting domestic tax credits and other production subsidies to partner with Americans and other foreign partners on international co-productions aimed at the world market.