Hollywood Comes North

Winnipeg, land of snow, ice, and… filmmaking? Believe or not, this city had some films shot here. Usually, we get straight-to-video horror movies, including the latest, Cult of Chucky, with a scene filmed just across the street from the library in January:


The building in the background is the old police station, also known as the Public Safety Building, and it doesn’t have a gate. It’s a favourite shortcut for people getting off the bus on Main, in front of the Concert Hall. The building itself, already falling apart so much the cops moved, lends itself to the foreboding mood of the movie. That was in early February.

Fast forward a few weeks, and a thriller called Nomis started filming in town. Apparently, one of its stars needs to employ a little Clark-Kent ingenuity. I suggest a Jets cap:


All joking aside, the film also stars Ben Kingsley, that’s Sir or Gandhi or Don Logan from Sexy Beast to you, this little burg gets a little star power between local films and Canadian features. Next film on the list, Keanu Reeves coming back to  Winnipeg tentatively titled Siberia, in April, when it’s warm. (The movie calls for Russian speakers in recent casting notice. Maybe it’s Russia in spring.) Keep in mind, Mister Reeves comes back to Winnipeg since playing Hamlet at the Manitoba Theatre Centre, now renamed the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre cause it ain’t special unless ‘Royal’ gets put in front. (Plus you read that right, Reeves played Hamlet back in the 90’s. A Big deal back then.)

Like British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec, Manitoba offers tax credits to lure productions to the province. That’s good news for local actors and crew members living, working, and paying their taxes, in this part of Canada. The kind of mid-sized indie productions also keeps my hope, however small, of a certain Britsh someone to come and practice his craft in the future. (Sorry, Henry, I am just not that into you.)

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