Canopy director to host US cinema launch

19 August, 2014 by Don Groves

Writer-director Aaron Wilson heads to the US next week to host Q&A screenings of his debut feature Canopy in New York, Los Angeles and several other cities.

North American distributor Monterey Media has booked the Singapore-shot WW2 drama in more than 10 cities. Wilson will attend the August 29 premiere at the Lincoln Centre in New York and screenings at Laemmle’s Music Hall in Beverly Hills on September 10 and 12, with other dates to be confirmed.


Monterey has also booked cinemas in St Louis Missouri, Wilmington Delaware, Lake Park Florida, Amherst New York,  Seattle and Vancouver in  September, with other cities to follow.

“Monterey is giving the film an opportunity to grow and reach a wide audience,” Wilson told IF. “They are being very supportive.”

Co-produced by Katrina Fleming’s Finer Films and Singapore’s Chuan Pictures, the film is set during the Japanese invasion of Singapore in 1942. The plot follows Australian fighter pilot Jim (Khan Chittenden), who encounters an injured Singapore-Chinese resistance fighter, Seng (Mo Tzu-Yi). The men soon realise their only hope of survival lies with each other.

Sold internationally by Odin's Eye Entertainment, Canopy will be released in cinemas in the UK, Taiwan and Canada following the US. Last month Wilson attended a Q&A screening of his film at the Jerusalem Film Festival as the bombings depicted on screen were echoed by the conflict in Gaza.

He was gratified to see the screening engendered a productive dialogue in the audience between Jews and Palestinians. Afterwards he spoke to a middle-aged Jewish man who was moved to tears because the film reminded him of his time as a young soldier.

Fleming is raising the finance for Canopy 2, which follows Jim 30 years later as he struggles to adapt to civilian life.  In Australia Canopy releases on DVD / Blu-ray on October 22.

Wilson is attached to direct Mercy Road, a character-driven action thriller which will shoot in the US and Malaysia next year. Scripted by Roy Freirich, the plot follows a small town sheriff who loses his daughter to cancer, then discovers she was given counterfeit medication. Casting will soon begin.

Freirich will produce with Cheyenne Enterprises’ Arnold Rivkin and Jay Judah, co-produced by Leon Tan’s Malaysian-based DragonSlate Media. The project was among those pitched to the director via his US agent Paradigm after Canopy premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last year.