A71 ENTERTAINMENT INC.
Babysitter-in-peril horror gets a 21st Century reboot
In the acclaimed genre debut of Kingston’s Audrey Cummings
OPENS Theatrically – JUNE 5, 2015
TORONTO – Carlton Cinema, 20 Carlton St.
OTTAWA – Landmark Kanata, 801 Kanata Ave
WHITBY – Landmark Cinemas 24 Whitby, 75 Consumers Drive
More cities to follow
CANADIAN INDIE FILM SERIES Screening – JUNE 3, 2015
In 18 Landmark Theatres Across Canada
*FIRST FEMALE DIRECTOR TO WIN Grand Jury Prize at L.A.’s Shriekfest (2014)*
The horror world is abuzz over Berkshire County, the splash feature debut of Canadian Film Centre alumna Audrey Cummings. Canadians will get a chance to experience this Festival hit on June 8, when the film will screen at 18 Landmark locations across the country, part of the Canadian Indie Film Series. Berkshire County will then open theatrically in Toronto (Carlton Cinema), Ottawa (Landmark Kanata) and Whitby (Landmark Cinemas) starting June 5, with more cities to follow.
Cummings – who directed the low-budget psycho-thriller with the help of two fellow CFC grads, writer Chris Gamble and editor Mike Mason – made horror history as the first female director to win the best feature award at L.A.’s fabled Shriekfest.
Berkshire County has gone on to win major awards at other red-letter genre events, including the Chicago Horror Film Festival, Atlanta’s HorrorQuest fest, Phoenix’s FearCon and the Blood In The Snow Canadian Film Festival.
The object of the shock-fans’ adoration is a re-imagining of the archetypal babysitter-stalked-by-a-psycho movie – with added contemporary elements of cyber-bullying and female empowerment.
Alysa King plays Kylie, a teen who is coerced into a sexual encounter at a party by a popular boy (Aaron Chartrand), whose friends send video of it across social media. Her self-confidence in shreds, and her reputation in tatters, she is in chronic victim mode when she reluctantly agrees to a desperate plea by a couple in a secluded castle-like mansion to babysit their two children on Halloween. (The children’s mother makes clear she knows about Kylie’s rep, and would rather anybody else be guarding their children that night). Alone in the country, she is a prime target when she begins receiving prank phone calls, and a boy wearing a pig’s head makes a suspiciously-late trick-or-treat call.
What follows is a game of cat-and-mouse between Kylie and a gang of butchering hicks. It is a test of will that requires her to stand up and take charge if she and the children in her care are to survive the night.
A lifelong horror and sci-fi fan, the Quebec-born Cummings says Berkshire County came alive while she and her friends Gamble and Mason (Cabin Fever 3: Patient Zero) were being schooled at the legendary Canadian Film Centre, a film academy founded by Norman Jewison in Toronto.
“We were thinking of how to get the most out of our limited resources and we settled on doing a really low budget horror thriller,” says Cummings. “We bounced around scenarios like the Charles Manson family and I thought about how much I really loved the 1970s babysitter-in-peril movies like Halloween and When A Stranger Calls. So we kind of made Berkshire County as an homage to ‘70s horror.”
“We have had our eye on this project since it’s development. Chris Gamble wrote a great script and having a talented director like Audrey Cummings and such a strong performance from Alysa King, makes Berkshire a hell of a lot of fun to take to theatres.” Says Chad Maker, President A71 Entertainment.
One of the brightest new lights in Canadian film, Audrey Cummings emerged from the Directors Lab at the Canadian Film Centre to win the Toronto International Film Festival’s award for Top Emerging Canadian Filmmaker. She was also named Best Emerging Canadian Filmmaker at the WorldWide Short Film Festival, and won the Kodak New Vision Fellowship Award for best up-and-coming female Canadian director.
About A71 Entertainment Inc.
A71 Entertainment Inc. is a newly formed distributor on the Canadian Feature Film landscape. Recent releases include THE VALLEY BELOW (2015), PRETEND WE’RE KISSING (2015), SIDDHARTH (2015), and IN HER PLACE (2015). The company, focused on bringing high-quality festival films to theatres, was founded by Chad Maker, David Miller and Kirk Comrie in 2013. Upcoming releases include MY EX-EX and THE COCKSURE LADS MOVIE. For bookings contact: firstname.lastname@example.org