Corbin Saleken made a film that he wanted to see himself. “That was the ultimate gauge for me,” said the Canadian filmmaker of “Patterson’s Wager,” which will have its international premiere at the upcoming Big Island Film Festival among 48 other short and feature films from around the world.
“Patterson’s Wager” is a charming, feel-good film that stars Canadian known actor Fred Ewanuick (Corner Gas, Dan for Mayor) as a man who discovers that he has the unpredictable ability to see two minutes into the future.
The film is among 48 other shorts and features from around the world that will play at the 10th annual Big Island Film Festival in Waikoloa May 21-25. “Patterson’s Wager” will play at 7:30 p.m., Friday, May 22, at The Shops at Mauni Lani.
Saleken will be coming to Hawaii for the film’s showing. His visit to the island will a first, as was “Patterson’s Wager” is first feature film.
“Every filmmaker wants to make a feature, so I went for it.” Saleken funded his own film, which cost him 51,600 Canadian dollars. That’s about 35K in American dollars, which, Saleken pointed out isn’t a lot of money for a film. “But because it’s my own money, it makes it a lot.” This was what is traditionally called a ‘low-budget film,’ despite the amount of resources that were needed to make “Patterson’s Wager” happen.
“Film takes a lot of people to bring to fruition,” Saleken said. “Once you decide to do this, and the whole thing gets rolling, it’s a big enterprise.”
Saleken said the crew for the film was all volunteer, and the actors are all pretty recognizable Canadian actors who were willing to take pay cuts and work for him for $100 per day. The film was shot in 12 ½ days in 19 different locations with 20 plus speaking parts.
Saleken said he had a “higher purpose to the film.” He wanted it to be engaging on a narrative level, and to offer “some subtext in a thematic level.”
“Patterson’s Wager” is about a guy who has ability to see a few minutes into the future. It’s about how he deals with this condition through the course of his life. “It’s about faith and belief. He has these visions, some of them are real and some are not real. It’s all about who you trust, who you don’t trust… Or what to trust. Essentially the whole movie is a lot of people telling each other stories. People having to decide whether to believe the storyteller. We are all like that. How do you know if you should trust people if they tell you something?”
How does Saleken earn back his investment?
“That is the $51,000 question,” he said. “In a perfect world, a distributor would pick it up and it would get a viewing… hard thing now for independent film to make its money back. I didn’t go into it with the expectation of making all the money back. But I would like to make money back,” he said, noting, “I didn’t bankrupt myself.”
For Saleken, the film’s exposure is key to getting it distributed. “That’s why the Big Island Film Festival is so important. People see it, it creates the market with the exposure. That’s the hurdle these days. There’s so much stuff out there, movies, TV, hard for people to know about it.
Saleken said the Big Island Film Festival has a “pretty good” reputation. He personally spotted news of the festival in Movie Maker Magazine. Every year the magazine puts out a list of the top 50 film festivals… Big Island is on it this year… did a search and decided on it… The Sears, who founded the festival, are “good people to work with,” Saleken said, adding that “the lineup looks really good.”
Obviously as a destination, Hawaii is such a great place,” he said.
“Patterson’s Wager” had two sold-out screenings at the Winnipeg Real to Reel Film Festival, where it also reportedly won the award for Best Independent Feature Narrative.
The Big Island Film Festival runs May 21 – 25, 2015, at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i, and The Shops at Mauna Lani on the beautiful Kohala coast of The Big Island of Hawai’i. The movies are shown at two outdoor venues and one indoor venue. The festival also includes food and beverage events, celebrity guests, an awards brunch, filmmaker/audience interaction, screenwriting workshops, Hawaiian music and culture.
For information about Big Island Film Festival visit www.bigislandfilmfestival.com or contact Leo W. Sears at (808) 883-0394.
For more information about “Patterson’s Wager,” visit www.pattersonswager.com.
Here is a link to the film’s trailer: