Sudbury’s Hideaway Pictures and the Motion Picture Corporation of America (MPCA) announced this afternoon that they’ve struck a multi-picture deal with nearly $100 million.
Hideaway Pictures and the Northern Ontario Film Studios are the brainchild of Sudbury film and TV producer David Anselmo. Since opening the studio in 2012, Anselmo has been behind getting more than 20 productions to produce in the North, drawing productions at times away from major film centres like Toronto and British Columbia.
"Northern Ontario not only provides a gorgeous, cinematic backdrop, but also has the growing infrastructure and talent to support excellence in storytelling," said Anselmo in a news release. "We look forward to sharing all that the region has to offer with the rest of the world through films and television."
The three-year deal with MPCA will ensure an influx of film and television investment will flow into Northern Ontario over the life of the deal.
At 29 years old, MPCA has more than US$1 billion in worldwide revenue, including the “Dumb and Dumber” franchise, but also a thriving television division. Its subsidiary, Brad Krevoy Television, supplies family-based programming to the Hallmark Channel.
The deal with Hideaway and MPCA comes with three original movies in the “Flower Shop Mysteries” franchise being green-lit. The first film in the series, “Mum’s the Word,” was produced by Hideaway Pictures and Brad Krevoy Television. The Hallmark movie was also the channel’s most watched January premier.
Starring Brooke Shields, Brennan Elliott, Beau Bridges and Kate Drummond, the second film in the Flower Shop Mysteries series, “Snipped in the Bud,” recently wrapped up filming in North Bay, while the production on the third installment, “Dearly Depotted,” is already underway.
Under the deal, MPCA’s Brad Krevoy serves as executive producer, alongside Anselmo. A veteran producer, Krevoy has produced everything from blockbusters to hit comedies and genre films, stated the press release announcing the deal.
He has also worked with some of the biggest names in Hollywood, including the Farrelly Brothers, Jim Carrey, Will Ferrell, Jude Law, Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and many others.
Hideaway Pictures and Northern Ontario Film Studios recently made a splash at the Sundance Film Festival with the film “Anti-birth,” starring Natasha Lyonne and Chloe Sevigny.
Vancouver-based Michael Shepard of Mindset Productions will oversee Canadian sales and distribution as part of the agreement.
*An earlier version of this story stated “Mum's the Word” would premiere on Corus Entertainment's W Network on April 14. The press release was premature in stating that as the date has not been confirmed.