Canadian Web stars move to big screen

Wed May 12, 2010 9:54pm EDT
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By Etan Vlessing

TORONTO (Hollywood Reporter) - The latest trend in Canadian film: Internet sensations that land on the big screen.

Indie distributor D Films has picked up the Canadian rights to the upcoming camp comedy "Roller Town," which will shoot in Halifax this summer. Comedy troupe Picnicface stars in its debut feature after a string of irreverent comedic short films that secured a cult following online.

"Roller Town" portrays three friends in the 1980s looking to stop a local crime syndicate from transforming a roller rink into a video arcade.

Elsewhere, indie distributor KinoSmith acquired all Canadian rights to Ben Steinbauer's documentary feature "Winnebago Man" after it screened at last week's Hot Docs festival in Toronto.

The film is based on Internet buzz created when outtakes from a 1988 Winnebago sales video featuring profane outbursts from salesman Jack Rebney surfaced on YouTube and other video sites. Steinbauer tracked down Rebney, now 80 years old, to a mountain top in Northern California where he lives. "Winnebago Man" will be released stateside by Kino International, which is not affiliated with Kinosmith.