WA trio lands roles in Canadian thriller

31 March, 2014 by Don Groves

WA-born actors Presley Massara, Priscilla-Anne Forder and Jacob Brown are making their international debuts in The Pineville Heist, a thriller which starts shooting in Canada in June.

Massara will play the lead, 14-year- old high school student Aaron Stevens, who ends up with $5 million stolen from a bank after the heist goes wrong and one of the robbers is killed.


Forder is cast as Amanda Becker, Aaron’s drama teacher with whom he seeks sanctuary in the locked-down school, pursued by one of the robbers. Brown has the supporting role of a character named Mike. It’s Massara’s first film role according to IMDB.com.

Forder appears in John V. Soto’s thriller The Reckoning and in Debbie Thoy’s adventure comedy The Manuscript. Brown was in Robert Connolly’s children’s film Paper Planes.

The Pineville Heist marks the feature directing debut of Canadian-born filmmaker Lee Chambers, who co-wrote the screenplay with Todd Gordon.

Forder did a screen test for the part from Perth via Skype with Chambers, who directed the actress two years earlier in his silent iPad short film Eyes on the Road.

“The challenge was on for the actress to tackle this complex role in an amended scene from the screenplay,” Chambers says on the film’s website. “After just a couple of short rehearsals from 17,000 km away, this stunning actress nailed it.”

All three actors are mentored by Los Angeles-based Coppelia Tingley. Another of her charges, her daughter Freya Tingley, has just finished filming the lead role in the Lifetime Channel’s The Choking Game in Canada.

The telepic based on Diana Lopez’s novel Choke follows a teenager who flirts with disaster after being introduced to the “game” of intentionally cutting off oxygen to the brain to get high. Frasier alumni Peri Gilpin plays her mother, who senses something is seriously wrong with her daughter.

Freya heads back to Canada soon to star in the TV series Goosebumps.