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Canadian filmmakers have to come up with all sorts of novel ways to get their films seen…and even then a big screen release is not always a guarantee. Enter The CineCoup Film Accelerator, an opportunity for indie filmmakers to develop, market and finance their feature films. Filmmaking teams applied to CineCoup with a two-minute trailer then advanced through a social selection funnel designed to help package their projects and build fan support which also provided valuable audience feedback and lessons in social media savvy.

One of the Top 10 projects that were optioned for development is Red Horizon by local filmmaker Kris Booth. His Sci-Fi project is vying for a chance at up to $1 million in production financing and, even more exciting, a guaranteed release in Cineplex theatres in January 2014.

Name: Kris Booth

Occupation: Filmmaker

Film in the running with CineCoup?

Red Horizon – On the first manned mission to Mars, a brilliant psychiatrist fights to preserve the sanity of a crew sent into panic after an onboard disaster leads them to engage in a deadly game of cat and mouse.

Where did the idea for the film come from?

The basic answer to that is Mars-500. I asked myself what would of happened if something went wrong and then crossed that with my love of Alfred Hitchcock movies.

Describe the CineCoup process in 10 words or less:

Exciting, hard, visual, personal bravery, go with the flow.

Describe what led you to enter the project in CineCoup:

To make movies in Canada you have to think outside the box. CineCoup boasted a new way of pushing a project forward and at the end the of all things the game changing prize was to have your movie in Cinepex cinemas. All I would have to do is be brave, ride the wave and stay true to who I was. I’m happy we took a chance.

Why do you think something like CineCoup is important to filmmakers?

CineCoup year one offered a guarantee that has never been done before… a theatrical release! As a filmmaker who has made a film I know how hard it is to get a movie into the cinema. You go into making a movie not knowing if it will hit the BIG screen. With CineCoup, now you do. Canada needs this! Building an audience before a movie is made is a great way to start the Great Canadian discussion of film and our stories.

What’s been the best part of the CineCoup process so far?

Truthfully, it’s getting to write Red Horizon . When CineCoup came to my town and had a sit-down talk with me and others I realized that they are looking for a kind of film that would fit into this mold. Red Horizon was just an idea at that time but fit CineCoup perfectly. Using “Fan” feedback and going through CineCoup’s weekly missions, I’ve worked backwards in developing the screenplay. Red Horizon is a really good story about humanity and how easy it is to lose the core of who we are. Very timely, Very Hitchcock. Very cool.

The most challenging?

Truthfully, it’s the writing. It isn’t easy writing a dark movie when all you want to do is play with your 2-year-old son. When you write about the loss of humanity you have to understand that your characters have to be faced with that choice. That can be a very dark time of dealing with some tough things mentally. But on another side, the hardest thing is that our team of three (me, Andrea McCulloch and Frances Leary) has really done everything on our own. I think that is a good thing in the end… but man , was that ever hard…to know that you can do so much more than what your technology can give you.

Advice for filmmakers who might want to take part in initiatives like CineCoup in the future?

Get a Social Media “Yoda”. We did. Frances does this for a living and so much of this “game” is her doing. She is the Writer/Director/Producer of the story behind the story. We are all making the movie, but she is making the foundation. It is Frances and people like her, who are the future of the Canadian film industry. There will always be people like me who will make movies, but how we introduce audiences to our stories is the new frontier.

Name your favourite film genre and why you like it:

I LOVE movies with heart! Movies with heart can span all genres of film. My favourite movie is Jaws , but I hate other shark movies. My first film, is a Rom Com…but Red Horizon is a Sci-Fi thriller, my next movie (if all goes well) is an adventure about kids?

Favourite Canadian filmmaker and why?

Oh that is tough, there are so many! Warren P. Sonoda is so prolific; he and Ingrid Veninger inspire me so much. Mike McGowan has my sensibility, particularly in his early films. Carl Bessai, Vincenzo Natali there are too many!

Movie snack: sweet or savoury?

What are Nibs?

Voting for the Top 5 begins May 30 and ends June 2. Look here for more info on Red Horizon .

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