It’s been about a year and a half since a locally made feature film wrapped up its production and went to the editing booth. Eager audiences will soon be able to see the finished product at an Edmonton theatre.
Rock Paper Dice Enter spent the summer and fall of 2012 being made in and around Edmonton. It has already had its big premiere in India but filmmaker Shreela Chakrabartty announced that it is set to open across Canada, hitting one northeast Edmonton theatre, starting next Friday. This is a moment that she – and many local film aficionados – has been waiting for.
Chakrabartty herself had to wait to see it for what seems like an absurd amount of time. One might think that the director would be the first to view the finished film. Not so, she admitted.
“I didn’t get to see the film until it got screened all across India! It’s been the most nerve-wracking experience.”
“Edmonton … doesn’t have studios or theatres where we can just watch these films. They’re commercial films so you have to basically rent the theatre for a block of time to watch it. We could only spot check it because the [commercial]theatres are busy!”
That’s because it’s a digital film that requires modern DCP technology. DCP stands for ‘digital cinema package’. It’s basically the collection of electronic data files that combine together to create the sights and sounds of a movie through a digital projector.
Because of this, you can only get the proper experience of the film in theatres equipped with the right projector.
“You can’t watch it on a TV screen. You can’t watch it on a computer monitor. It has to be projected through a DCP projector. Now, all the old theatres have become obsolete because they don’t have these projectors. Metro Cinema just got one.”
That being said, she did fully appreciate that it gave her a solid sense of how she and the film had landed with a running start.
“They have the biggest film industry in the world,” she said of India. “They have these mega malls everywhere with their state of the art cineplexes and then the film was played alongside all of the Oscar films. It felt like we were catapulted into normalcy of the regular movie-going experience.”
The suspenseful story is about Roman, Kat and Lee, three regular people living in the fictional city of Strathaven, known as a world hub of cyber security. They get caught up in major world events involving a diamond heist and the Dalai Lama, leaving an entire nation’s safety in jeopardy.
She first got involved after getting wind of Toronto-based actor/writer Kash Gauni’s script; a story that she said instantly engaged her.
“I was hooked from the first sentence. The story basically keeps you on the edge of your seat until the very end.”
Rock Paper Dice Enter opens at the Landmark Cinema in Clareview starting next Friday. Chakrabartty added that the screening is a landmark moment in its own right as it marks the first ever “filmed in Edmonton” commercial suspense thriller.
While it’s set in Strathaven, she said that it is definitively Edmonton and local filmgoers will be able to easily recognize the city. Those viewers not from the city, however, will think that they’re watching any other big city, she said.
The film had the help of some local St. Albert residents as well. Chase Gardiner and Katie Golbert both helped out with camera operating, while Cathy Jorden served as the costume designer and wardrobe technician.
While the theatre only has it booked for the Friday to Sunday slot, Chakrabartty promised that it would run as long as it had an audience. The cost of admission will be the same as any other screening as well, a fact that caused her to proclaim, “It’s a regular movie!”
“We made this film on the basis of faith, hope and trust. We’re going to make a film that has legs. That was our goal.”
She is thrilled with how it all turned out. She loves the film.
“I’m watching a movie that I like that we also happen to have made. I don’t get tired of it. It is a topical film. It’s something that can be talked about for years to come.”