Canadian filmmakers hit their target with indie western

Thu Sep 18, 2008 5:29pm EDT
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By Irene Kuan

TORONTO (Reuters) - They may not be the Coen Bros. or even the Weinsteins -- yet -- but the way two Canadian brothers, Matt and Jeff Campagna, turned their idea for a new age Western into a movie would do any indie filmmaker proud.

Only one month ago, the Campagnas saw their $12,000 film, "Six Reasons Why" released in Canadian theaters and on DVD, but that came about after three years of hard work, a chance encounter with actor Colm Feore and finding a distributor by crashing parties at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Joel and Ethan Coen, of course, are Oscar winners for the dark drama "No Country for Old Men," but they came up through Hollywood's ranks as scrappy indie filmmakers, and Harvey and Bob Weinstein famously built their former company, Miramax Films, into a powerhouse in the 1990s.

Could the Campagnas be next? Time will tell, but they seem to be off to a good start with "Six Reasons Why."

"The film is about four men who meet in a desert at a four way stand off and goes into the history of each man and how they got there," Matt Campagna, 28, told Reuters.

How he and his brother Jeff, 25, got to their destination, is another story altogether.

"Six Reasons Why" tells of the men stuck in the Canadian badlands. They meet up and draw down on each other but as they do, the filmmakers take audiences on an adventure that explores notions of survival in the wilderness and what it means to have a home.

Explain that to a Hollywood executive, and it's a hard sell without a star to help market the film in release.   Continued...

<p>Canadian filmmakers Matt Campagna (L) and Jeff Campagna (R) pose with actor Colm Feore (C) in this publicity photo handout. REUTERS/Handout/Maciek Drozdzik/Campagna Brothers Independent Productions</p>