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Fundraising campaign underway for film being shot in Cochrane

'This project, it really explores the relationships within different cultural communities, and to have the town, especially during Black History Month, be so supportive as to want to advertise this in such a public way, I think it says a lot'
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A comic book teaser for The Oddsmakers, a short film being shot in Cochrane in May.

COCHRANE - A fundraising campaign for an upcoming film being shot in Northern Ontario is underway.

Largely inspired by the Town of Cochrane, Timothy Girgis and his wife Ali Watson are shooting a roughly 17-minute movie titled The Oddsmakers which will be filmed over three days in May.

The comic book based off of the film will be eight to 10 pages and is expected to be completed by April. Girgis and Watson have partnered with Legacy Comix, a company based out of Staten Island, New York, to produce the comic.

Girgis told TimminsToday the fundraising campaign kicked off last week and will be running until April.

“If we can get an average of $75 from 500 people, it would give us enough to make a really great version of the film. So, we've planned out three varying levels of production, one at 35, one at 45, and $55,000,” he said.

“We’ve got a lot of people on board that are passionate about it and hitting the stretch goals allows us to pay a little bit more wages to the people that are coming into town to do the work, a little bit better wardrobe, maybe some healthier food for them while they're here.”

SEE: Film being shot in Cochrane using as much local talent as possible

To help kickstart their fundraiser, Girgis said Tourism Cochrane helped advertise the film in Toronto.

“They did so by hiring out a digital billboard over the 401. We worked with them to come up with the advertisements and all of the artwork was done by Legacy Comix,” he said.

SEE: Comic book based off of Cochrane film to be released in spring

Girgis said they’ve invested quite a bit of their own capital to get the project to where it’s at.

"We have a presentation in with the Ontario Arts Council for the Northern Arts Project Grant next month, so that could be huge for us. It would be almost equivalent to half of our minimum budget to get this done. So it would all but guarantee that this happens,” he said.

"For me, really what the billboard represents is, you know, this project, it really explores the relationships within different cultural communities, and to have the town, especially during Black History Month, be so supportive as to want to advertise this in such a public way, I think it says a lot about the town in the area,” Girgis said.

"I hope it would help clear up some misconceptions that people probably have of how accepting and diverse Northern Ontario is in a positive way, because I think they tend to think it's not very, and I think this was such a great show of support from the town.”

Girgis said the comic book “is rolling along.”

“I'm seeing some of the final images trickle in. So, we should be looking at a final product within the next three or so,” he said.

A recent crew call was put out by Girgis and Watson and he said they had well over 50 applicants for the six roles they listed.

“It was a tremendous response. We're finalizing the crew using as much people from Northern Ontario as we can. So, we're hitting our milestones, but our big pushes is going to be the funding,” he said.

Because they’re creating an independent film, it’s not possible without the support of community, Girgis said.

“And we love this community so much that we're hoping that they see that and they show us the same support. We couldn't do any of this without community behind us. And so, if anything, we're just very grateful that we're in a good one who's been so supportive so far, and we believe that they're going to get behind us to make this thing work,” he said.

More information and details on how to contribute to the fundraising campaign are available here.

The Oddsmakers journey can be followed on Instagram @theoddsmakersmovie.


Marissa Lentz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

About the Author: Marissa Lentz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Marissa Lentz covers civic issues along the Highway 11 corridor under the Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the Government of Canada
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