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Sundance Festival-goers get a glimpse of Sudbury this month

"Antibirth," a film shot in Sudbury last year, is screening at the Sundance Film Festival later this month . The film has multiple screenings starting Jan. 25 at the famous Utah film festival.
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Natasha Lyonne, recognizable for her work on the Netflix Original series “Orange is the New Black,” stars in the Sudbury-produced feature “Antibirth,” which it was learned this week is getting a midnight showing at the Sundance Film Festival. Photo supplied
"Antibirth," a film shot in Sudbury last year, is screening at the Sundance Film Festival later this month.

The film has multiple screenings starting Jan. 25 at the famous Utah film festival.

Written and directed by Danny Perez, the film stars Natasha Lyonne, an Emmy-nominated actress, best known for her work in the "American Pie" series as well as the Netflix series "Orange is the New Black."

It also stars Chloë Sevigny, who received an Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for the film "Boys Don't Cry," and won a Golden Globe for the HBO series "Big Love."

As if those two names weren’t enough, Canadian Meg Tilly, who won a Golden Globe Award and received an Academy Award nomination in 1986 for her work in "Agnes of God," also stars. Tilly also stars in films like "The Big Chill" and "Valmont," and is most recently known for her work in the television series "Bomb Girls."

Filming took place at iconic places such as Northern Breweries and the old Mine Mill Hall. Most of the movie, though, took place at the Northern Ontario Film Studios (at the site of the old Barrydowne Arena) to allow for a controlled environment.

The film was produced by Hideaway Pictures and Traverse Media.

Sudburian David Anselmo, who owns Hideaway Pictures and is the CEO of Northern Ontario Film Studios, is attending Sundance for the first time.

“We are very proud to be headed to Sundance this year with 'Antibirth' in the highly sought after Midnight Madness screening,” he said, in an email to NorthernLife.ca.

“From my understanding, we are just one of two Canadian feature films at Sundance this year.

“When we were filming the movie, we knew we had something special. We had a great team all around on this one, and our director had a very unique creative vision. It was tough at times to execute the vision, but our entire team pulled it off.”

Anselmo said another Northern Ontario film — "The Grandfather Drum," shot in Thunder Bay — is also being screened at Sundance.

“When only 70 films are accepted from around 7,000 submissions, it is very gratifying not only to see my film there, but two films from the North,” he said.

“We are seeing a lot of films coming out of Northern Ontario these days that are getting internationally recognized. I'm proud to contribute to our growing reputation of making quality films in Northern Ontario.”

The plot of "Antibirth" is as strange as the title. From the description: In a desolate community full of drug-addled Marines and rumors of kidnapping, a wild-eyed stoner named Lou wakes up after a wild night of partying with symptoms of a strange illness and recurring visions as she struggles to get a grip on reality while stories of conspiracy spread.



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