June 6, 2014: Theatrical Release in Canada (distributed by Mongrel Media). VOD on iTUNES (Canada) and VIMEO (World).
THE ANIMAL PROJECT is different from anything Ingrid Veninger has directed, since in the past she mostly worked with her family, shooting outside Canada. This time, Ingrid's goal was to work with professional actors, and shoot in Toronto.
November, 2013: Ingrid worked with casting director, Nicole Hilliard-Forde. They met with 100 actors in Toronto. Unlike traditional movie-making, Ingrid wanted to cast first, and then come up with an idea for the movie, writing roles for specific actors. So, all the actors had to commit to the project, without knowing anything about the characters they would play.
January-February, 2013: Ingrid wrote a screenplay (103 pages, 107 scenes).
March-May, 2013: Production commenced for three months, shooting 3 days each week. There were no rehearsals (but a lot of long emails). The core cast received the script in advance, but everyone only met on the first day of shooting, which was Scene 1: The Interview.
The production crew consisted of 4 people: Cabot McNenly (Director of Photography), Braden Sauder (Sound Recordist), Hallie Switzer (Production Designer), John Gundy (Stills Photographer/Associate Producer).
There were 44 Toronto locations, including all the actor's homes. Everyone brought their own lunch during the shoot. Actors did their own make-up, and mostly wore their own clothes.
June-July, 2013:Editing the footage occurred throughout production and into the summer with editor, Jonathan Eagan. The final picture was locked in early July.
August, 2013: Composer, Nick Storring, and the Sound Team, Jakob Thiesen (Sound Designer), and Eric Apps (Mixer), worked solidly through August. Final mixing and color grading (with Ryan Ruskay) was done at Deluxe post-production.
Instead of launching an indiegogo campaign to help THE ANIMAL PROJECT reach the marketplace, Ingrid put an invitation on facebook offering executive producer credits, to four individuals, for a contribution of $5000 each. Within a week, she raised 20K. Four women stepped up: Karen Walton, Kate Gammal, Renah Persofsky, Julia Grant.
September, 2013: THE ANIMAL PROJECT had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.
June 6, 2014: Theatrical Release in Canada (distributed by Mongrel Media). VOD on iTUNES (Canada) and VIMEO (World).
THE ANIMAL PROJECT BIOS:
INGRID VENINGER – Writer/Producer/Director Born in Bratislava and raised in Canada, Ingrid formed pUNK Films Inc. with a ‘nothing is impossible’ manifesto. In 2012, she was awarded the Jay Scott Prize from the Toronto Film Critics Association and executive produced 5 features films for 00, launching the 1KWAVE in Toronto. Since 2008, Ingrid has produced six feature films: ONLY (TIFF 2008, Rome, Slamdance), NURSE.FIGHTER.BOY (TIFF 2008, 10 Genie Nominations, including Best Motion Picture), MODRA (TIFF 2010, Canada’s TOP TEN), i am a good person/i am a bad person (TIFF 2011, MoMA, Goa), THE END OF TIME (TIFF 2012, Locarno, IDFA), and THE ANIMAL PROJECT (TIFF 2013, Whistler, Bratislava, Goa, FEMCine Santiago, Sarasota, Nashville). #theanimalproject www.punkfilms.ca
CORE CAST (in alphabetical order)
HANNAH CHEESMAN (Alice) will soon be featured in a recurring role on NBC/ SyFy’s “Defiance” (season 2), and as Linda on “Whatever, Linda” - a Madoff-inspired Ponzi scheme dramedy (co-creator, writer, producer) with Secret Location (Emmy and Cannes Lion winners). Her short, “Brunch Bitch” (writer, director, lead) recently garnered Hannah a best actress award at the Houston comedy film festival. Currently, she is in post for her second short, “Cheese", starring Tony Nappo and Natalie Lisinska. Hannah is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada.
JESSICA GREGO (Pippa) is an accomplished film and television actor having appeared in both American and Canadian productions over the last 15 years. Small roles in big American films like Al Pacino's "The Recruit" and Ethan Hawke’s "Assault on Precinct 13" led her to series regular roles on "Riverdale", "11Cameras" and "Northern Town". She studied at The Neighbourhood Playhouse in NYC, and graduated from the conservatory program at Second City. Jessica is thrilled to be bringing "The Animal Project" to an international audience, and is in the process of developing her first Fringe show coming in the Summer of 2014.
EMMANUEL KABONGO (Ray) has appeared in television series, "Nikita”, "Call Me Fitz" and "Murdoch Mysteries". Emmanuel has also been featured in short films and the play “Samkon and Francis Go Swimming”. Emmanuel will soon be seen in the 2014 blockbuster “Pompeii” and just completed producing and starring in the web series, “Teenagers”. Emmanuel speaks four languages and works with kids, when he's not acting.
JOEY KLEIN (Saul) plays a supporting role in Bruce McDonald’s “The Husband” (TIFF 2013), and was most recently nominated for a 2013 ‘Best Supporting Actor’ Jutra Award for “Girl in the White Coat”, directed by Darrell Wasyk. Joey has written/directed two short films in the last year on Bravo!FACT and OAC grants, and is currently in development on his first feature film. Joey does not use emoticons.
SARENA PARMAR (Mira) will be appearing in the Stratford Shakespeare Festival’s 2013/2014 Season. She co-starred in the Disney Channel Original Movie “Radio Rebel”, spent three seasons on the Gemini-nominated series “How To Be Indie” and guest-starred on shows such as, “Degrassi: The Next Generation”. Sarena grew up on an apple orchard, loves “Buffy The Vampire Slayer”, and is a proud ambassador for the ‘Because I am a Girl’ campaign.
AARON POOLE (Leo) As well as starring and producing the hit indie thriller, “The Conspiracy”, the past year saw Aaron acting in “The Forsaken” starring alongside Brian Cox, Kiefer Sutherland and Donald Sutherland. Aaron will soon be seen with Ryan Reynolds and Rosario Dawson in Atom Egoyan’s “The Captive”; Jason Priestley’s directorial debut, “Cas & Dylan”, with Richard Dreyfuss and Tatiana Maslany, and as Robert Cobb Kennedy in BBC America’s “Copper”.
JOHNATHAN SOUSA (Jason) recently appeared in the television show “Rookie Blue”, the short film “The Haymaker”, the CFC short film “Rattan," and feature film "What We Have".
JACOB SWITZER (Sam) is a graduate of Rosedale Heights School of the Arts. He has acted in two previous pUNK Films features, “ONLY” and “i am a good person/i am a bad person”. He is also featured in the Eli Roth series, “Hemlock Grove” (2013, Netflix). Jacob makes music under the name “HeadSpace” and is a founding member of “Creep Creep Beach” and “Goodbye Honolulu”. Currently, he is attending IMP (Independent Music Production) at Seneca College. Jacob likes Bengal tigers and perogies.
JOHN GUNDY (Associate Producer/Stills Photographer) has had a busy career in the Canadian and American television, radio, theatre, music, new media and film industries, exploring diverse creative roles including producer, director, DOP, and a residency at the Canadian Film Centre. His list of film work includes BLACK CHRISTMAS, OUTRAGEOUS, THE TOMORROW MAN, A WINTER TAN, I MAD MAN!, GATE II, KATTS & DOG, and INTERNET SLUTTS. He has produced 12 theatrical shorts, which have appeared in over 25 festivals, winning eight International awards.
NICOLE HILLIARD-FORDE (Casting Director) is an Emmy-nominated Casting Director interested in collaborating with filmmakers committed to furthering and enhancing ground-breaking Canadian cultural projects at large. Select credits: TRAITOR (Overture Films), HAROLD AND KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE (New Line Cinema), IT’S A BOY GIRL THING (Rocket Pictures).
CABOT McNENLY (Director of Photography) has shot numerous commercials, music videos, shorts, and 4 feature films including, YOU ARE HERE, which played to rave reviews at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival, RUNNING MATES starring Henry Winkler, Graham Greene and DJ Qualls, and LITTLE TERRORS, shot on location in India and starring international Punjabi actor, Om Puri. Most recently, Cabot completed his first short film as Director/Producer/Co-Writer/DP, THE PUMP.
BRADEN SAUDER (Sound Recordist) has a strong interest in everything to do with sound. He assists in managing a downtown recording studio, playing, recording, and mixing music. I AM A GOOD PERSON/I AM A BAD PERSON was his first effort recording production sound for film, THE ANIMAL PROJECT is his second.
HALLIE SWITZER (Production Designer) completed the Foundation Year Programme at the University of King’s College in 2012. She played the co-lead role in two award-winning Canadian feature films MODRA and I AM A GOOD PERSON/I AM A BAD PERSON. Currently, Hallie is a cinema studies major at U of T and enjoys film sets, occasional craft service and rabbit wrangling for independent film.
JONATHAN EAGAN (Editor) is originally from St. John’s, Newfoundland. His credits include the 1K Wave feature HOTEL CONGRESS, indie thriller/comedy I PUT A HIT ON YOU (Slamdance Official Competition, 2014) and he is currently editing the coming of age drama CRAWLSPACE for first time feature director Christian Sparkes. His next project is the feature debut of director Jordan Canning entitled WE WERE WOLVES.
NICK STORRING (Composer) Winner of the Canadian Music Centre's 2011 Toronto Emerging Composer award, he's been commissioned by Arraymusic, Eve Egoyan, Montréal's AKOUSMA Festival, performed by Quatuor Bozzini and heard at the MoMA, Beijing's Musicacoustica Festival, as well as numerous small, near-empty bars.
JAKOB THIESEN (Sound Designer) has over a decade of experience based in Toronto. So far his career has exposed him to wonderful documentaries, festival films, shorts, animation and television projects. Future goals include traveling to the farthest reaches of the globe to collect sound materials.
ERIC APPS (Re-recording Mixer) has over twenty years experience in film and television audio post-production as a sound editor and rerecording mixer. Based in Toronto, he has worked on TV commercials, reality programming, documentaries, network dramas, major Hollywood features and just about everything else.
KAREN WALTON is an award-winning screenwriter and producer working in film, television and online media. She’s best known for penning the cult-hit horror film, GINGER SNAPS. Her most recent work appears on the critically-acclaimed Canadian television series, ORPHAN BLACK. An ardent advocate for the professional arts – and particularly community engagement among artists. Karen founded a popular, online network of ‘Canadian screenwriters & their sketchy friends’ called inkcanada in 2007. She currently resides in Toronto with the best cat ever.
KATE GAMMAL is a lover of food, arts, and language: professionally trained chef, coordinator for Design Hope, tutors dyslexic children, and mother to three awesome humans: Duncan, Claire, and Alexander (co-star of MODRA, TIFF 2010).
RENAH PERSOFSKY is a business strategist and finance leader. Former Executive Vice President of Ubequity Capital Partners Inc., founder and former President and Chief Executive Officer of Dexit Incorporated (now HDX Inc.), and vice-chair of JAZZ.FM91. Advisor to Voice on the Go, PCAS (Pharma Trust), and TCN.
JULIA GRANT is an artist, arts patron and cheerleader. She is President of the Board of contemporary dance company Fujiwara Dance Inventions and member of the Patron’s Circle of the Toronto International Film Festival. Her personal storytelling audio portraits can be heard on the web archives of the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Third Coast International Audio Festival in Chicago and [murmur] Toronto. She is currently researching the year 1933 in story, fashion, fable and song.
Written and Directed by
(in order of appearance)
AARON POOLE Leo
HANNAH CHEESMAN Alice
JOHNATHAN SOUSA Jason
SARENA PARMAR Mira
EMMANUEL KABONGO Ray
JESSICA GRECO Pippa
JOEY KLEIN Saul
JACOB SWITZER Sam
DENNIE FOSTER Uncle Issac
JOANNE VANNICOLA Morag
NOAH DAVIS Nathan
LINDSAY OWEN PIERRE Matteo
KATE CORBETT Rosie
PJ LAZIC Pervert Man
THE DIRECTOR WISHES TO THANK
Fox Atticus Martindale, Emmett S Webb, Ryan Barnes,
Eli Davis, Paul Fauteux, Ali Momen, Kris Bratton, Justin Tensen,
Ava Preston, Allison Augustin, Aaron Feigenbaum, Stacie Dunlop,
Jeffrey Wetsch, Joshua Hinkson, Danielle Gignac, Jessica Hinkson,
Sarah Kolasky, Michael Coady, Tara Niewiadomski, Kelly McCormack,
Paul Sych, John Welsman, Christopher Oldfield, Helen & Frank Veninger
casting director NICOLE HILLIARD-FORDE
director of photography CABOT McNENLY
sound recordist BRADEN SAUDER
production designer HALLIE SWITZER
hair stylist BRITTNEY BANKS
b camera operator (theatre space) ADAM BURROWS
stills photographer JOHN GUNDY
editor JONATHAN EAGAN
offline editing facility OPC/FAMILY STYLE
sound designer JAKOB THIESEN
re-recording mixer ERIC APPS, CAS
assistant re-recording mixer LANA MARIE HATTAR
colorist RYAN RUSKAY
post production facility DELUXE TORONTO
THE ORIGINAL “BUNNY PROJECT” CREW
Agata Smoluch Del Sorbo
THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING INDEPENDENT FILM
The Monarch Tavern
Unit 102 Theatre
The Cameron House
Ingrid Hamilton, GAT PR
The Drake Hotel
York University Film Department
Rosedale Heights School of the Arts
This film was produced with the generous support of ACTRA Toronto
Original music composed and performed by
Words and Lyrics by Jacob Switzer
Performed by Jacob Switzer, Fox Atticus Martindale,
Hallie Switzer, and Braden Sauder
Recorded and mixed by Braden Sauder
"Red Yellow Blue"
Music and Lyrics by Joanne Mackell
Performed by Joanne Mackell
From the album "Brand New Lonesome"
© 2008 Produced by Joanne Mackell
Recorded and Mixed by John Switzer
“Sei Spento il Sole”
Music and Lyrics by Adriano Celentano (arr. Marsella)
Performed by Friendly Rich & The Lollipop People
@ 2013 Belly The Movie/pUNK Films Inc.