A new website and blog launched today in support of production on a new Canadian feature film about one of the most trsgic battles of World War I - Passchendaele.
Rhombus Media, Whizbang Films, and Damberger Film and Cattle Company jointly announced that principal photography on PASSCHENDAELE has begun in Calgary, AB.
Starring Paul Gross (Due South, Men With Brooms, Slings & Arrows) and Caroline Dhavernas (Breach, Hollywoodland), PASSCHENDAELE follows the fortunes of two people in love, caught in the vortex of great conflict, the producers describe. It is a story of passion, courage and dedication that will ignite in our youth an interest in this formative period in the nation's history.
Written and directed by Paul Gross, the film is produced by Niv Fichman, Rhombus Media, Frank Siracusa, Whizbang Films, and Francis Damberger,
Damberger Film and Cattle Company.
"The Battle of Passchendaele was one of the great crucibles of the First World War in which thousands of Canadians took part. My grandfather was one of them," explained Gross. "His stories about the war have resonated throughout my life and it's our hope that PASSCHENDAELE will ignite a similar interest and justifiable pride in the grit and valour of all the Canadians who fought for their country, contributing to the birth of the nation."
This $20 million production will be shot entirely in Alberta over the course of 45 days and has been solely financed by Canadian sources relying on a combination of private investors, and donors, corporate partners, and public funds, a unique model for Canadian films. The strength of the cultural and historical value of PASSCHENDAELE inspired a wide range of funders to attach themselves to this groundbreaking and universally appealing project that is certain to attract movie-goers in Canada and around the world, the producers say.
The project was made possible by the support of the Alberta Government which committed the leading contribution of $5.5 million to the project, combined with Federal funding from Telefilm Canada and support from the private media sector through contributions from Movie Central, The Movie Network, The Harold Greenberg Fund, and Canwest Mediaworks.
The production has also received support from individual private investors as well as sponsorship from CIBC, filmmake4rs describe.
The producers are working closely with The Dominion Institute, The Canadian War Museum and The Museum of Regiments in Calgary to create a comprehensive educational study guide that will be made available to schools across the country prior to the film's release. This will compliment the website that will continue to be enriched and updated from this day forward.
PASSCHENDAELE is scheduled to launch nationwide on Remembrance Day, November 11, 2008 by Alliance Films.