PG-13 Thriller the first of four films planned for St. Marys
After moving to St. Marys last November to start their film production company, Allen and Robin Kool, along with their business partner David O’Keefe have now assembled their team and last week began filming their full-length feature film in and around town.
The owners of Akoolfilm Company admired this lovely small town for years and knew when the time was right it would be the ideal location for a new film venture. Their first project here in St. Marys, entitled ‘The Sanctuary’, is being shot over a two-week period at locations such as Ball’s Funeral Home, Riverside Bed & Breakfast and several rural areas. Weather permitting, shooting plans to wrap up on June 1st.
The Kool’s have worked in the film and television industry for decades, gaining experience in all aspects of production. Allen’s career includes a 20-year-long stint at the CBC where he was one of a team of directors on The National, hosted by Knowlton Nash. Robin, a former English teacher at Western University, wrote the screenplay for ‘The Sanctuary’ and has written several more which are in the film production queue.
‘The Sanctuary’ is a thriller, rated PG-13 film that is described as Coen Brothers meets the Twilight Zone shot Hitchcock style. Subsequent films planned for Akoolfilm include a PG-16 thriller, a science fiction movie, and a dramatic production.
Their production team includes a wealth of industry experts, their partner and Director of Photography David O’Keefe whom they have collaborated with for many years, along with local talent who are elated for the opportunity to work and learn in a professional environment. David uprooted from his home in Cobourg and moved himself and his company to St. Marys as well.
Not wanting to be in the spotlight themselves, the Kools are more motivated to support people just getting started in the film industry. “It’s all about giving real experiences, giving back, giving opportunity to the cast and crew that have strong motivation in their careers,” said Allen Kool, “we have working, seasoned professionals in every area of this production and they are learning their trade from the best team that we have put together.”
One good example of this is when Adam Lane Sturkenboom was offered an acting role and asked if he could work as a boom operator on sound instead because he wants to pursue a career behind the camera. The Kools were more than happy to let Adam work on the crew and learn from some of the leading professionals in the industry. The transition from on-camera to behind-the-camera was made very easy for Adam.
Two local crew members, Campbell Leavitt and Mason Pridham are grateful for the opportunity to work on a full-length feature movie in their home town. They are both graduates of Canadore College with Campbell in the Digital Cinematography program and Mason in the Television Broadcasting and Video Production program.
Allen and Robin say the town has been incredibly supportive and accommodating in all their requests needed to make scenes come alive from drone operations, closing pedestrian areas and will even bring the St. Marys Fire Department on location for one scene. “We are thrilled we chose St. Marys as the home for Akoolfilm Company and want to thank everyone in town for embracing us,” said Robin Kool.