Robert Gray

University of New Brunswick professors Dr. Robert Gray (English), Dr. Matt Rogers (Education) along with UNB graduate and filmmaker Jon Dewar have secured $127,500 in funding from Telefilm Canada and The Talent Fund along with Bell Media and Corus Entertainment, to produce an original feature-length film.

“We all cheered when we heard, the three of us, and then I think we all started kind of throwing up,” says Dr. Gray. “Part of the stipulation on it is that it has to be delivered in 18 months. When we first got the letter, we didn’t read the whole letter. We came up with this really comfortable three-year plan that we felt really good about, and then we read the rest of the letter.”

The film they will be working on is Entropic, which is taken from an award-winning short story and book of the same name written by Dr. Gray. The project was identified and sponsored in its application by the New Brunswick Filmmakers’ Co-operative.

“It’s the story of the most beautiful man in the world who becomes exhausted with the burden of other people’s desires, and he comes up with a plan to get rid of their desires and to be free of that,” says Dr. Gray.

Entropic is one of 18 projects selected for funding under the Micro-Budget Production Program, now in its fifth year. The collaboration between Telefilm Canada, the Talent Fund and partners Bell Media and Corus Entertainment, is meant to support emerging filmmakers and web-content creators that are producing their first feature-length project.

“Rob, Matt, Jon, and their company, Frictive Pictures, have done some of the most ambitious and award-winning short films in Fredericton recently,” says Dr. John C. Ball, chair of the department of English at UNB’s Fredericton campus.

“I’m thrilled to see their work receive this national recognition and financing, which will help them take a huge next step and make that all-important first feature. It will also be a great boost Fredericton’s filmmaking and acting communities.”

Along with the $127,500, the Entropic team hopes to pull in some provincial funding and crowdsource to bring themselves up to $250,000, which is the cap placed on the film’s budget by the program. Dr. Gray sees working on film as a way to bring a practical eye to his screenwriting courses. In a creative discipline, his work is his research.

“How I teach screenwriting is at every stage saying, ‘Well, you wrote this sentence and that means this for a film crew’,” says Dr. Gray. “They kind of get the narrative part, they don’t understand that you throw in a quick montage, that’s five setups for a film crew and you’ve just created four days of work.”

Media contact: Colin Hodd

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