An award-winning TV pilot that was primarily shot in the Lavington area is making its premiere at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre Sept. 24.
The special one-night screening of La Fontaine, produced by McLink Enterprises Ltd., in association with TechYou Digital Media, is just one of the many events the pilot’s makers have been exposed to since filming began.
“We’ve been getting lots of calls about where the show is headed and how we’d like to move forward. It’s a very exciting time,” said the show’s creator, writer, and director M.F. (Matt) McDowell, adding the producers hope to develop La Fontaine into an Okanagan-based television series that will have a long and profitable run on TV and media’s other platforms.
A one-hour modern, Gothic drama about a family who moves to a small town that has a secret culture of genetic manipulation (natural and unnatural), production on La Fontaine began in the spring of 2010 and boasts an entirely Okanagan cast and crew.
Principal photography was shot in the Lavington and Vernon areas of the North Okanagan, with secondary photography in Kelowna and Lake Country.
Since being produced as a spec pilot, La Fontaine has won Best Drama Pilot at the 2011 Banff World Media Festival, and was more recently nominated for Best Drama and Best Writer at the ITV Fest in Los Angeles.
Winning such a prestigious award at the Banff World Media Festival, described as the “Olympics of Television” was something of a shock for McDowell, an L.A. filmmaker who now calls the North Okanagan home.
“Winning the Best Drama Pilot in an international competition was great,” he said. “My heart was pounding. Cameron Gordon, the lead in La Fontaine, was there to share the win and we were both going crazy.”
The Sept. 24 screening is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and many members of the cast and crew, including McDowell, will be on hand at the event.
Admission to the screening at the Performing Arts Centre is by donation.