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Dead North 2020 to premiere record number of films

The eighth annual Dead North Film Festival will showcase a record 46 new films from across the NWT, Yukon, Nunavut and Sweden this month in Yellowknife, along with a brand new talent lab for filmmakers.

The 2020 festival is set to take place from February 27th to March 1st with nightly screenings and weekend matinees at Yellowknife’s Capitol Theatre, along with industry networking events and the annual Saturday night Zombear awards party.

For the first time, the festival will also feature a two-day HyperBorea Talent Lab, a weekend intensive designed to assist a select group of Dead North alumni in preparing their film for submission to major genre film festivals and industry pitch events.

HyperBorea participants will be mentored by three high-profile industry guest experts:

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  • Jeff Barnaby – Directing Mentor – Director of Rhymes for Young Ghouls and Blood Quantum
  • Karen Walton – Scriptwriting Mentor – Writer of Ginger Snaps and Orphan Black
  • Kelly Michael Stewart – Festival Strategy Mentor – Founder and festival director of Blood in the Snow Film Festival in Toronto

Participants in HyperBorea will be eligible to apply for the Fantasia International Film Festival’s Frontières Market Shorts-to-Features Program, an industry stream at one of the world’s most prestigious genre film festivals, which supports filmmakers to turn their short films into major motion pictures.

Last year, three Dead North films were represented at Frontières and one is now being turned into a feature film.

Dead North founder and president Jay Bulckaert of this year’s Talent Lab noted that the world of genre filmmaking needs more diversity, it needs more voices that say something new and unique, and we know that those voices are here and especially strong in the North.

“What we really want to see happen is everyone working towards sending their films to major festivals and developing their short films into feature/TV or web series concepts.”

The 2020 festival will also feature commemorative screenings of past Dead North films starring Gilles Amyot and Gary Vaillancourt, two beloved residents of Yellowknife who recently passed away.

Dead North is the world’s only circumpolar genre filmmaking festival. Over the course of two months, filmmakers from across the North produce original films in some of the world’s coldest climates. Approximately 220 films have been created for Dead North since its inception in 2012, with the videos reaching over 33,000 views online.

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