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Hat filmmaker excited for release of feature horror

The Canadian Press logoThe Canadian Press 2022-03-11

A local filmmaker is eagerly awaiting the March 15 release of her feature horror film Cold Wind Blowing.

Hatter Dionne Copland wrote and directed the film following her graduation from the UBC’s Film Productions program in 2017. The film was produced under CyberCraft Video, an independent production company owned by Copland and her partner Louise Weard, the film’s producer, cinematographer and editor.

“We were right out of film school and I was really wanting to make a feature, because we’d only done shorts before that,” Copland told the News. “Making a feature is so hard. We weren’t having any success getting things off the ground in a traditional sense, so we decided, let’s just do it ourselves. And so, I sat and wrote for months, then we just headed straight into it.”

The film follows a group of young adults as they hunker down in a forest cabin for the Christmas holidays. As drama ensues and tensions rise among the vacationers, a member of the group is attacked by a supernatural entity and the others must band together to, hopefully, escape with their lives.

“It’s a horror film but it’s really more of an exploration of trauma through a genre lens because it’s quite heavy,” said Copland. “It’s a bit of a creature feature, but it’s mostly about a group of friends and how they’re fractured relationships are kind of the catalyst and the heart of the film.”

The film’s cast is comprised of six actors, including Calgarian Griffin Cork.

“I was really lucky because I had a group of performers I really trusted and who really trusted me,” said Copland. “It was easy to write these characters because I was writing for them as well. I was like, ‘I know the springs of these people, I want to see them in these positions.'”

Filming began in December of 2017 and was completed in 10 days. Filming took place entirely within Saskatchewan’s Cypress Hills, with the cast and crew living in their own isolated cabin for the duration.

“It was crazy to get it all done in such a short time,” Copland said. “It was really an amazing experience but it was also so terrifying for all of us to be alone in the woods, which added to all of the performances (and) the atmosphere.”

In 2018, the film went into post-production, which took roughly the next three years.

“Having to do (editing), sound design, colour grade and all of the post-work alone, took about three years because we don’t have post-production services or a studio behind us; we had to do it ourselves,” said Copland.

Once complete, Cold Wind Blowing passed through several film festivals and was even shortlisted for the Sundance Film Festival. Shortly after, Mutiney Pictures picked up the film, which is set to be released to the public on March 15.

“We’re getting a wide-release, which is unheard of for a small, independent film now … so to be lucky enough to get a theatrical run and a physical release, we’re over the moon,” said Copland.

Following it’s release, the film will begin its American theatrical run by playing in cities across the U.S, including Las Vegas, Seattle, Austin and Reno. It will also be shown at the Globe Cinema in Calgary on March 14 at 7 p.m.

Copland hopes audiences enjoy the movie, which is rated 14A.

“It’s been really exciting to have this opportunity to grow our skills,” said Copland. “We’re hoping this is going to lead to more feature projects.”

While Copland says she wouldn’t rule out producing future horror films, she is open to exploring other film genres. Currently, she and Weard are working on two other feature film scripts, with hopes they will also one day make it to the big screen.

Cold Wind Blowing is available for purchase on cybercraftvideo.com and select stores in the U.S. and Canada.

, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News

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