We reviewed DARKEN when it played as part of the Blood In The Snow Festival last year. Glad to see it getting a release
Press Release: “Toronto, ON: A71 Entertainment is pleased to announce today that following premieres at festivals including Blood In The Snow Film Festival, Horror-On-Sea Film Festival, and Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival, DARKEN – award-winning horror director Audrey Cummings’ (Berkshire County) sophomore feature – is headed to theatres across Canada on June 29. Produced by Shaftesbury, DARKEN was named Best Science Fiction Feature at Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival, Best Fantasy Feature at Motor City Nightmares International Film Festival, and won four awards at Blood In The Snow Festival including Best Director and Best Cinematography.
An action-packed, female-led sci-fi thriller, the genre-busting film stars Bea Santos (“Murdoch Mysteries”, “World Away”) as Eve, a young woman who, following a chance encounter, finds herself thrust into a viciously violent otherworld where she must fight for her own survival.
In addition to Santos, DARKEN assembles an all-star genre cast including Oluniké Adeliyi (Descendent, “Deep Six”, “Workin’ Moms”), Ari Millen (“Orphan Black”, Rupture), Zoë Belkin (Carrie, “Degrassi: The Next Generation”), Christine Horne (“Murdoch Mysteries,” “Lost Girl”), Jon McLaren (“Heartland,” Race), Dmitry Chepovetsky (“Orphan Black,” “Killjoys,” “Murdoch Mysteries”), Zehra Leverman (X-Men: Apocalypse, X-Men: Days of Future Past), and Paul Amos (“Lost Girl,” “Captain Canuck”).
DARKEN is set in a bizarre, mysterious, and violent unknown world with danger and death around every corner. After a young woman is accosted by a dying warrior in the middle of the street, a bizarre incantation propels her into the realm of Darken – a violent prison-like world of labyrinthine rooms, interconnected with no apparent rhyme or reason and no way of escape. As she fights for survival within this brutal place, she finds allies who are rebelling against the rule of a self-appointed religious despot who demands allegiance to an all-powerful god called “Mother Darken.” Eve and her allies must fight with everything they have if they are to have any hope of surviving the horrors Darken has in store for them.
“This story transports you to another time and place,” comments Cummings. “It’s a parallel world created by ‘Mother Darken’ back in the dark ages, populated by people from many different eras. I felt immediately drawn in when I first read the script.”
Commenting further on making female-driven genre films Cummings adds, “Genre films have a huge female fan base that is looking for strong and clearly defined characters they can identify with and root for. They love action, energy, compelling stories, and high-stakes as well as really well-developed characters. They are a cool, demanding, smart and pretty kick ass audience to make movies for.”
Prior to the theatrical release earlier this year, producers Shaftesbury released an 11-part digital prequel series, Darken: Before the Dark on YouTube, taking audiences deep inside the fantastic otherworld of DARKEN.
“We were excited to experiment with providing the audience with multiple points of entry on a range of platforms to build a world around the film. With DARKEN, audiences can watch the digital series, connect and discuss on social, immerse themselves via the VR experience, see the film on the big screen, or pre-order it to re-watch at home. This multiplatform experience offers audiences a deeper connection with the story universe and characters,” said Jay Bennett, SVP, Creative & Innovation, Shaftesbury.
DARKEN is produced by Shaftesbury with the financial participation of Telefilm Canada (Canada Feature Film Fund), the OMDC Feature Film Fund, the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit, and the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit. The film is directed by Audrey Cummings, written by R.J. Lackie, and produced by Jay Bennett. Christina Jennings, Scott Garvie, and Svet Rouskov are executive producers; James Luscombe is consulting producer. The film will be distributed in Canada by A71 Entertainment Inc., and Breakthrough Entertainment internationally.”