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Associated Alumni

UNB professors secure funding for first feature film

(Matt Rogers, Jon Dewar and Robert Gray)

UNB professors Robert Gray and Matt Rogers (BA'11, BEd'13), along with alumnus and filmmaker Jon Dewar (BEd'07, MEd'10, PhD'14) have secured $127,500 in funding to produce their original feature-length film Entropic.

“We all cheered when we heard, the three of us, and then I think we all started kind of throwing up,” says Gray. “Part of the stipulation [of the funding] is that [the film] had to be delivered in 18 months. When we first got the letter, we didn’t read it [in its entirety]. 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.”

Entropic is taken from an award-winning short story and book of the same name written by 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 Gray.

Entropic is one of 18 projects selected for funding under the Micro-Budget Production Program, now in its fifth year. The financial 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 John 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 to Fredericton’s filmmaking and acting communities.”

Along with the $127,500, the Entropic team hopes to pull in some provincial funding and crowd source to bring themselves up to $250,000, which is the cap placed on the film’s budget by the program. 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 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.”

Back to Alumni News Direct - September 2017