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Press Release | Canada

Press Release: Four Women Remain in the Cinecoup Film Accelerator Competing for $1 Million

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30 filmmakers remain in the Cinecoup Film Accelerator, and of those, four are women, competing with their teams for $1 million. Press Release - 05/31/2013 - 270 filmmakers began the journey with Cinecoup in February 2013. After 12 weeks of rigorous competition, 30 filmmakers remain and four of them are women - Interstate 90's Mary MacDonald Rival, Alien Abduction's Kaleena Kiff, and Red Horizon's Andrea McCulloch and Frances Leary.

The Cinecoup Film Accelerator is a new model to develop and package films that launched in 2013, providing Canadian filmmakers with an exciting opportunity to get their movies to screen, by leveraging online social media to build their audience, create a buzz, and obtain funding, all before their movies are even made.

The winning film team is awarded with a $1 million film budget and a guaranteed theatrical release of their movie across Canada. This is unheard of in the Canadian film industry. 90 original 3-member teams have been whittled down to 10 remaining teams, three of which have women.

"Interstate 90" is a thriller about a bounty hunter contracted to return an ex-enforcer to the murky underworld of Boston. Mary MacDonald Rival, the "Interstate 90" marketing strategist and producer, has been a writer for 20 years, including with Playback. Mary's "Portrait of a Suburb Bunny" screenplay was a finalist in the 2010 Beverly Hills Film Festival and Las Vegas Film Festival. Her "Annabelle" TV pilot script won at the 2012 Moondance Film Festival, and her screenplay about the band Klaatu was optioned last year. She also produced "The Charon Incident," which won Best of Fest at the 2012 Route 66 Film Festival.

"Alien Abduction" is a sci-fi comedy about a man who abducts the alien who's been abducting him for years. Hijinks ensue. The project's producer Kaleena Kiff has spent most of her life working in film, first in her hometown of Los Angeles, and now in Vancouver. Kaleena directed & executive produced the webseries "Riese: Kingdom Falling," which also aired worldwide as an MOW and feature. Additionally, she produced the award-winning feature "Marilyn" & thriller "Death Do Us Part," which she also 2nd Unit directed. She recently wrapped a gig story producing "The Real Housewives of Vancouver" and is currently directing her own series for

"Red Horizon," a sci-fi Hitchcockian-style space thriller about the first manned mission to Mars has Andrea McCulloch as it's executive producer and Frances Leary as its marketing strategist.

Andrea has been working in film for over a decade, developing and producing content for the big screen. She is co-founder of Pocket Change Films and is currently working closely with Director/Writer Kris Booth to develop a slate of films for production over the next five years. She was Executive Producer on the Genie-nominated feature film "At Home By Myself…With You", which she guided from inception to screen, conceiving and executing a unique financing campaign that brought the film in under budget in less than 18 months.

Marketing Strategist Frances Leary is, as Red Horizon's director Kris Booth puts it, the "writer, director and producer of the story beyond the story." She is a published author, sought-after speaker, and the President and CEO of Halifax-based online marketing firm, Wired Flare. Frances brings to the Red Horizon team not only an expertise in online marketing but also a passion for the entertainment industry. She has a keen ability to tell stories effectively using online media and to engage literally millions doing just that.

All four women are honoured to be representing women in film with their participation in the Cinecoup Film Accelerator, which had 18 teams with 23 women make it into the Top 40 round. As Andrea McCulloch puts it, "Cinecoup has the potential to change the way movies are made in Canada, and it is very important that women are part of that process. Female representation in popular films is its lowest in five years. We need more female screenwriters, producers and directors to be creating content that features and speaks to women. I'm very proud that Frances, Mary, Kaleena and I have made it this far in this competition and I hope to see many more women in the competition next year."

The Cinecoup contest will have its final vote for the Top 5 May 30-June 2, and the top 5 teams will pitch their projects at the Banff Film Festival.

To find out more about this competition, go to

To support these four women filmmakers, visit and vote for their projects: Interstate 90, Alien Abduction, and Red Horizon


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