WINNIPEG — Manitoba’s film industry continues to attract some of Hollywood’s biggest names, including Emilia Jones and comedian Zach Galifianakis.
The “CODA” and “Hangover” stars will soon be in Winnipeg as part of an upcoming comedic biopic called “Winner.” The film tells the story of former enlisted U.S. Air Force member and NSA translator, Reality Winner (played by Jones). In 2018, Winner was sentenced to more than five years in prison after leaking an intelligence report about Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections.
Connie Britton will play Reality’s mother and Galifianakis Reality’s father. Danny Ramirez and Kathryn Newton will also star in the film.
Winnipeg-based Thundersnow Pictures is executive producing the biopic under local EP Myron John Tataryn.
“Very excited about the feature film “Winner” being filmed in Winnipeg,” Kenny Boyce, City of Winnipeg manager of film and special events, told ChrisD.ca.
“Myron Tataryn and Thundersnow Pictures have become a new and wonderful asset to our local film community.
“This dynamic story will be shot with our stunning locations and amazing talented pool. Over $1 million in production value happens every day in Winnipeg and throughout the region. The City of Winnipeg is extremely proud to be a partner and making movie magic happen!”
The film is written by Kerry Howley and based on Howley’s 2017 New York Magazine feature story. Susanna Fogel will be the director on the project.
“As a filmmaker, I strive to tell stories that interrogate the world we live in and the systems that are broken in it. But in a fun way. Reality Winner is the perfect heroine for a film that meditates on ideas of personal power, morality, and finding your voice,” Fogel told Deadline.
Principal photography is underway and is scheduled to wrap in late November. MadLib Casting is handling casting for background performers.
Manitoba can expect further investments into its film industry with the recent announcement by WestJet to launch direct flights from Los Angeles to Winnipeg.
“This is a game changer for Manitoba’s film industry,” said Rod Bruinooge, interim CEO and film commissioner, Manitoba Film & Music, in August.
“A lack of direct flights has played a factor in productions choosing other destinations in which to film and, with a total production volume last fiscal year of $364.5 million, we expect this new route to bring further inward investment to the province.”
The non-stop service will begin on October 31.