The film, set to be shot in the Spring of 2012, has raised approximately $21,000.00 in just 45 days through the Kickstarter campaign. ‘Elijah’ Producer, David Cormican offers "It's pretty incredible the power of crowd funding. And now we know we have 132 super fans and financial backers who are looking forward to the antics of Elijah the Prophet-- Not to mention the hundreds of folks who have been a part of our online army of social networkers. I'm extremely pleased with the show of support for Canadian Indie Film through this medium.”
The 132 Kickstarter campaign contributors will be provided with a variety of unique rewards, ranging from original music from indie recording artist Olds Sleeper, limited edition artwork, Elijah bobble-heads and engraved flasks, to festival premiere tickets and digital copies of the completed short film.
The script, penned by Zachary and Jesse Herrmann of Brooklyn, New York, beat out over 500 other worldwide entries to take the grand prize for the 2010/11 Canadian Short Screenplay Competition last May during the Yorkton Film Festival.
‘Elijah the Prophet’ tells the comedic story of Elijah, the pious, chummy and alcoholic prophet, whose yearly antics have graced Jewish households for ages as part of the Passover celebration. Unfortunately, not everyone understands that drunk driving for him is a divine right, which soon gets him in trouble with the law.
“The script uses the Jewish tradition of Passover to tell a story of lost innocence and the harsh realities of growing up. It does so with a hilarious, irreverent twist that gives it universal appeal," said Cormican. “It’s the moment when every kid realizes Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy or even the Easter Bunny aren’t real. That’s what drew me to this script”.
The cast includes Gemini and Leo award nominee Brian Markinson (Charlie Wilson’s War, Shooter, Caprica) in the title role as Elijah the Prophet. Melanie Nicholls-King (Rookie Blue, The Wire) and two-time Emmy Award nominee Tonya Lee Williams (Young & The Restless, Poor Boy’s Game, She’s The Mayor) play Officer Murphy and Cst. Jackie, respectively. Gemini nominated funny man, Carlos Diaz (Rent-a-Goalie, Cra$h & Burn), also lends his comedic chops to the short playing Brian.
Behind the camera, Cormican and Cooper have assembled an experienced team that includes: Genie and Gemini nominee, Director of Photography Alwyn Kumst (Degrassi: The Next Generation, Highland Gardens); indie music and recording artist, Olds Sleeper, as Composer; and veteran Sound Editor and two-time Genie nominee, Alan Hardiman (Relic Hunter, Kids in the Hall).
"Kickstarter offers us a unique ability to raise awareness for the film before we go to camera, which is something a lot of shorts have trouble doing", said Director James Cooper. “I cannot express the stress I felt when I clicked the "Launch Project" button 45 days ago, but the level of support and goodwill we've received as a result of the campaign has outweighed even our most optimistic projections.”
Cormican’s executive producer credits include feature film work on the Milla Jovavich starrer, ‘Faces in the Crowd’, the Jessica Biel thriller, ‘The Tall Man’ and the currently in production zombie slasher ’13 Eerie’ starring Katherine Isabelle (Ginger Snaps).
Cormican’s last two produced short films from the Canadian Short Screenplay Competition, ‘Minus Lara’ and ‘Rusted Pyre’, have most recently been co-awarded the distinction of “Best in Canada” by the 2011 Reel Rave International Film Festival. ‘Rusted Pyre’, which first bowed in Cannes as part of Telefilm Canada’s “Not Short on Talent” programme has also screened as an official selection of the CFC’s Worldwide Short Film Festival, Calgary, Edmonton, Atlantic and Tulsa International Film Festivals. The short was also named one of the top 100 films of 2011 by the Young Cuts Film Festival. ‘Minus Lara’, a Bravo!FACT funded short film, has also received ‘best of’ honours at the Yorkton Film Festival and screened recently as an official selection of the Edmonton International Film Festival.
‘Elijah the Prophet’ will be the first produced screenplay for both Jesse & Zachary Herrmann as writers.
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About The Canadian Short Screenplay Competition (CSSC)
The Canadian Short Screenplay Competition, administered by Year of the Skunk Productions, and established in 2008, is the premiere script contest for short film screenplays. CSSC is the single-most competitive, prestigious, short screenplay festival in Canada, winner of the 2010 Canadian Weblog Award for Literature and Writing, a champion for screenwriters everywhere and a launching pad for writers’ professional careers.