NYWIFT Member Heidi Philipsen and a team of University of Michigan alums are heading to Cannes in their efforts to obtain funding for LOVE & VODKA – a fish-out-of-water romantic comedy set in Ukraine.
Personae Entertainment’s producer/director Heidi Philipsen (Darcy) has teamed up with screenwriter/co-producer R.J. Fox to bring his story to the big screen, along with co-producers Niko Meissner (Darcy), Kathryn McDermott (First Knight), and associate producer Jon Wilson.
The team is headed to the renowned Marche du Film (aka the Cannes Film Market) to join indie filmmakers from points worldwide in the quest of finding investors.
“We’re super excited to be taking our second feature film, LOVE & VODKA, with us to Cannes under the umbrella of our company Personae Entertainment Pictures – especially after having just secured distribution for our first feature, DARCY,” says Philipsen. “We now have a proven track record in-the-making and can’t wait to keep up the momentum with this delightful international romantic comedy!”
R.J. Fox said that a trip to Hollywood to attend a screenwriting seminar lead to a chance encounter with an exchange student from Ukraine, which inspired LOVE & VODKA’s premise: Bobby and Katya meet on the Santa Monica Pier. Bobby is from Michigan; Katya is an exchange student from Ukraine. After becoming pen-pals, Bobby follows his heart to Ukraine to propose. But overbearing parents and cultural misunderstandings abound. Will love conquer in the end?
“This is going to be my solo directorial debut,” says Philipsen, “and I’ve already set up much of the team, creatively speaking, with Director of Photography Jay Feather, Production Design couple Sally and Nando Del-Castillo, and Casting Director Caroline Sinclair ready to rock n’ roll. I know that once we get the whole team together – along with Creative Executives Niko Meissner, Robert Fox and Jon Wilson—we’ll be ready to bring R.J. Fox’s great story to brilliant cinematic life. Let’s make some ‘Love & Vodka!’”
Heidi Philipsen is a longtime NYWIFT member who actively takes part in the Communications Committee and regularly contributes to our blog. Philipsen is also the founder of the upstate chapter UPWIFT, and currently serving on the Board of WIFT in Hamburg, Germany.
In a media landscape dominated by outraged, emotional debates over our nation’s immigration crisis, DACA, ICE, detainment, and children’s immense suffering, writer/director Diane Paragas’ long-in-the-making film "Yellow Rose" has burst on to the scene. And it could not be more timely. Paragas discusses the film's long journey to the screen and what she hopes to contribute to our cultural conversation on immigration.READ MORE
Feelin’ Like Film Distribution Reality Bites? Bite [Me] back! Four ‘A’ Takeaways from the NYWIFT Bite Me Panel
The team behind the independent feature Bite Me recently joined NYWIFT for a panel case study on how they flipped the film distribution paradigm from something you “get” into something you “do.” As they journey on their 40-city Joyful Vampire Tour of America, we recap some key nuggets of wisdom.READ MORE
What can independent producers learn from farmers and bakers? A lot more than you might think, according to NYWIFT member Jane Applegate.READ MORE
Participating in a documentary film lab can be a great way to refine your story, develop your creative vision and build partnerships. But which one should you pick? NYWIFT member Janine McGoldrick has the scoop.READ MORE