PROVIDENCE BAY—A feature film with the working title ‘DADA’ is being filmed in locations across Manitoulin. Following weeks of pre-production setup and planning, film crews and cast are now ready to begin shooting scenes.
“We’re so excited to have arrived with an incredible group of collaborators to make our film on Manitoulin Island,” said director Aaron Poole in a statement issued by the production company in response to queries from The Expositor. “We feel even better about the endeavour after realizing how many members of the local community we could hire. It was unclear what was possible when we first arrived, but now with production around the corner, our original plan of filming in Central Manitoulin has expanded. The Island has so much to offer and we feel really good about bringing some stimulus to the community in this quieter season.”
“As you may have seen, some of our crew has already enjoyed a few weeks of hospitality on the Island through accommodations, restaurants, local farmers and various shops,” shared Toronto-based producer Breann Smordin of Dieagratia Pictures. “We’ve felt at home here thanks to your kindness. We hope a group of strangers walking around hasn’t alarmed or concerned anyone at all; our enthusiasm is sometimes hard to contain.”
Details on the actors and locations are still being held close by the DADA team, but they note that they will be reaching out to Central Manitoulin residents to keep them informed about filming plans in their area.
“If we plan to be filming in your area, you will soon receive a flyer in the mail providing more details,” noted Ms. Smordin. “Please be assured this is a small production. The temporary delay of services will be measured in minutes,” she assures residents. “We’re grateful for your cooperation as we work to create this kind-hearted, independent film. We look forward to sharing the news about its festival premiere.”
Director Poole is a classically-trained actor who is taking his considerable command of the craft into the director’s chair. He stars in the CBS/Roku series ‘Most Dangerous Game’ alongside Christoph Waltz. Other television credits include series regular roles in Tom Fontana’s ‘Copper,’ Netflix’s ‘Strange Empire,’ as well as numerous guest spots on shows such as ‘Schitt’s Creek,’ ‘American Gods’ and ‘Condor.’
According to the film credit site IMDb, the directors work has been “recognized by the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television for his leading roles in ‘This Beautiful City’ and ‘Strange Empire.’ He stars opposite Kiefer and Donald Sutherland in ‘Forsaken,’ as Mick Ronson in the Bowie pic ‘Stardust’ and in cult favorites ‘The Empty Man’ and ‘The Void.’
This isn’t Mr. Poole’s first time in the director’s role, however. He made his directorial debut with the short film ‘Oracle’ that premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and went on to screen at Slamdance 2020, Busan and Palm Springs. The feature ‘DADA’ being filmed in Central Manitoulin is his latest outing as the director.
“The Municipality of Central Manitoulin welcomes the cast and crew of the ‘DADA’ film to our communities,” reads a statement from the municipality. “It’s exciting to have the company film here and make use of our beautiful Island as backdrop for the production. A lot of the filming is going to take place on the south shore in Central Manitoulin, however other locations across Manitoulin will be used. At times there will be a cast and crew of up to 50, so the economic activity and investment from attracting a film company in the slower off-season is wonderful for our community.”
“The film shoot will provide many direct and indirect economic spinoffs including local employment opportunities, accommodation, groceries, catering, professional services, hardware supplies and more,” notes Central Manitoulin Community Development/Outreach Coordinator Marcus Mohr. “The crew has also rented the Providence Bay Hall as a base of operations for September and October.”
Mr. Mohr said that he has met most of the main crew for the film, noting “they are very respectful of our communities, the environment and they are excited to film here.”
Mr. Mohr went on to add that “I would like to personally thank Erin Medakovic (Northern Ontario Travel), who I worked with for the preliminary location scouting and she really sold the area as a location for filming. Residents should know there will be some very minor inconveniences related to the film shoot over the next month, but I have every confidence that our residents will continue to be welcoming and kind in the manner that Manitoulin is known for.”