CFC Features heads west with ‘‘CRUEL & UNUSUAL’’

Vancouver Shoot Marks Program’s First Venture to Canada’s West Coast

CFC (Canadian Film Centre) is pleased to announce principal photography commenced on October 29 for the Vancouver-based feature film CRUEL & UNUSUAL. This will be the first feature supported by the CFC to be shot in British Columbia, and the 21st feature film to be developed and financed under CFC Features. 

A feature debut, written and directed by Vancouver filmmaker Merlin Dervisevic (Lemonade, Over Easy and Exhuming Tyler), CRUEL & UNUSUAL is a film about a man condemned to relive a crime he believes he didn’t commit. As he navigates his way amid a strange new world, his perception is tested in his search to find the truth. The film stars David Richmond-Peck (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), Richard Harmon (Continuum), Michelle Harrison (Altitude), Michael Eklund (The Divide), and newcomer Bernadette Saquibal. The film will be produced by Matthew Cervi, through his production company Mad Samurai Productions (The Colony). 

‘‘CFC Features has been a great supporter in Merlin’s vision of the film and partner in the development of the project,’’ said Cervi. ‘‘With both Merlin and I being born and raised here, we really wanted to make this a ‘‘Vancouver film’’. From the suppliers, to crew, to the unions, it’s a great show of local support for the independent film industry.’’ 

The film will feature cinematography by Adam Sliwinski, production design by James Hazell, costume design by Farnaz Khaki-Sadigh and editing by Michael John Bateman. Robert Lee is acting as co-producer and line producer, and will be executive produced by Justine Whyte, Director, CFC Features. Acclaimed genre filmmaker Vincenzo Natali will provide guidance as the film’s Director Mentor, Natali made his directorial debut Cube through CFC Features in 1997, in addition to mentorship from writer Doug Taylor (Splice) and producer Raymond Massey. 

‘‘We’re very excited to be marking our first shoot on the West Coast with CRUEL & UNUSUAL,’’ said Justine Whyte, director/executive producer, CFC Features. ‘‘We’ve had our eye on this creative team for some time now, and this is the perfect project with several of Vancouver’s key up-and-coming filmmaking talents working behind it.’’ 

Filming will run from October 29 to November 17 in Vancouver. Release is slated for 2013 in Canada by Entertainment One, who is also handling international sales. 

CRUEL & UNUSUAL is produced through the Canadian Film Centre’s CFC Features program. CFC Features is supported by CityTV and Entertainment One, with development supported by the Government of Ontario. CRUEL & UNUSUAL is produced with the participation of Astral’s The Movie Network and Corus Entertainment’s Movie Central, with distribution of the supported by the Entertainment One Distribution Lab. 

About CFC 

CFC accelerates the careers of the brightest talent in film, television, screen acting, music, and digital media. A charitable organization, CFC is committed to promoting and investing in Canada's diverse talent; providing exhibition, financial, and distribution opportunities, industry collaborations and creative 

partnerships for top creative content leaders. CFC makes a significant cultural and economic contribution to Canada by launching the country's most creative ideas and voices to the world. For more details, visit 

About Mad Samurai Productions 

Mad Samurai Productions was founded by producer Matthew Cervi who has spent over 10 years working in the film and television industry for companies such as Valhalla Motion Pictures, Avrio Filmworks, Lighthouse Productions, and Peace Arch Entertainment. Mad Samurai Productions has produced and is actively developing a diverse slate of feature films in partnership with a number of acclaimed production companies including Sprout Pictures, Alcina Pictures, Item 7, Monsoon Pictures, and Mugshot Films. . For more details, visit 


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