Tuesday July 20, 2021. Toronto, ON: Pacific Northwest Pictures has become Photon Films, it was announced today by company CEO Zanne Devine and President Mark Slone. The name change completes a two-year growth plan that consolidated the feature film distributor’s offices in Toronto and Los Angeles, and built an experienced management team to focus acquisitions with a high degree of curation and audience awareness. The company has also moved into domestic production with partnerships and in-house projects.
Building from the success of Oscar-winner Sound of Metal, featuring an acclaimed performance from Riz Ahmed, Photon Films will release his latest film, the kinetic Mogul Mowgli in theatres beginning September 3rd. Other critical and commercial successes include the indie darling Shiva Baby, the award-winning Canadian horror Violation, and audience favourite Made in Italy with Liam Neeson.
Upcoming, Photon Films will present the romantic comedy Falling For Figaro with Danielle Macdonald and Joanna Lumley, Juniper starring the legendary Charlotte Rampling, and the documentaries Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché about the trailblazing lead singer of X-Ray Spex and narrated by Oscar-nominee Ruth Negga, and the 2021 Hot Docs Audience Award Winner Dear Future Children.
Mark Slone commented, “this name change, like all the hard work of the last two years, is the result of a team vision for a company committed to feature film and ready to be flexible and responsive to the opportunities that the new media landscape presents. Looking to the next phase of our growth, the increased domestic production goal is both in response to the immense talent base in Canada and a desire to leverage the experience of the Photon team.”
Domestic films that are expected to release in 2022 include the documentaries The Grizzly Truth from Kat Jayme and producer Michael Grand, which tells the unfortunate and unbelievable story of the Vancouver Grizzlies: Canada’s other NBA team (Winner of TIFF’s Pitch This! Competition); and from producer Screen Siren, an untitled Toronto Rock & Roll Revival documentary. Now shooting, director Ron Chapman presents the 1969 music festival that Rolling Stone called “The second most important event in Rock n’ Roll History,” and that some say was the concert that broke up The Beatles. Photon Films is also proud to present Rosie, from acclaimed writer and actress Gail Maurice (Trickster, Cardinal, Falls Around Her) who makes her feature directing debut. Produced by Jamie Manning and based on the short film, it follows an orphaned girl from an Indigenous community who is sent to live with her reluctant auntie and her two gender-bending best friends in Montreal. The film is completing casting ahead of a late summer shoot in Hamilton, Ontario.
Photon Films can be found online at photonfilms.ca or on social at PhotonFilmsCan.
About our recent acquisitions:
Falling For Figaro from award-winning writer/director Ben Lewin, is a romantic comedy starring Danielle Macdonald (Patti Cake$, I Am Woman), Joanna Lumley (“Absolutely Fabulous,” Me Before You) and Hugh Skinner (“Fleabag,” Les Misérables). Macdonald shines as a brilliant young fund manager who leaves her unfulfilling job and long-term boyfriend to chase her lifelong dream of becoming an opera singer in the Scottish Highlands where she trains with a renowned but fearsome singing teacher and former opera diva played by Lumley. The film is set to release in theatres on October 1.
Juniper is the feature directorial debut of filmmaker Matthew J. Saville, and stars Oscar nominee Charlotte Rampling as a strong-willed grandmother and George Ferrier as her estranged grandson charged with looking after her. When a self-destructive teenager (Ferrier) is suspended from school and asked to look after his feisty alcoholic grandmother (Rampling) as a punishment, the crazy time they spend together turns his life around.
Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché which had its Canadian Premiere at Hot Docs earlier this year following successful showings at the Glasgow Film Festival and South by Southwest Film Festival, tells the story of the frontwoman of X-Ray Spex who was a key inspiration for the riot grrrl and Afropunk movements. Styrene was the first woman of colour in the UK to front a successful rock band and she introduced the world to a new sound of rebellion, using her unconventional voice to sing about identity, consumerism, postmodernism, and everything she saw unfolding in late 1970s Britain. Her daughter, and writer/director Celeste Bell tells her story, narrated by Oscar-nominee Ruth Negga as the voice of Poly, and featuring appearances by Kathleen Hanna, Neneh Cherry, Thurston Moore, Vivienne Westwood, Don Letts and Pauline Black.
Dear Future Children had its North American Premiere at Hot Docs where it won the Audience Award. The film is about the next generation of activists, told in their own voices. In the film, Rayan protests for social justice in Chile, Pepper fights for democracy in Hong Kong, and Hilda battles the devastating consequences of climate change in Uganda. Three young women, facing grueling obstacles, grapple with the staggering impacts of their frontline activism on their personal lives. Fear of failure and not achieving change drives them, more than their fear of violence or death. By facing fear, they transform it into something else entirely. The film starts its theatrical release in October.
For more information, to request screeners or press materials, contact:
Steve St. Amant, Photon Films, firstname.lastname@example.org, 416-550-6197
ABOUT PHOTON FILMS AND MEDIA (FORMERLY PACIFIC NORTHWEST PICTURES)
Launched in 2010, Photon Films and Media (photonfilms.ca), formerly Pacific Northwest Pictures, is a leading Canadian entertainment company specializing in the development, financing, production and distribution of feature films for the domestic and international marketplace. With an emphasis on high quality films from leading filmmakers in diverse genres, Photon Films brings those films to consumers with innovative forms of marketing and distribution across all distribution platforms.
Recent releases include the Academy Award winning Sound of Metal with Riz Ahmed and Olivia Cooke, Emma Seligman’s Shiva Baby starring Rachel Sennott, Molly Gordon and Dianna Agron, The Smith’s themed coming-of-age dramedy Shoplifters of the World, Mathieu Turi’s claustrophobic horror Meander, Helen Shaver’s drama Happy Place for which Mary Walsh won a Canadian Screen Award for Best Supporting Actress, and the award-winning Violation from Madeleine Sims-Fewer and Dusty Mancinelli.