Bang Bang Baby wins best Canadian first feature film at TIFF

NSI Features First-developed film Bang Bang Baby, by writer/director Jeffrey St. Jules, won the City of Toronto award for best Canadian first feature film at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. The film was produced by NSI Features First grad Daniel Bekerman.

The award is selected by a jury of industry professionals and is presented annually to a Canadian filmmaker making his or her feature debut.

“It’s a tough business getting your first feature made and NSI was so helpful in getting a foot in the door that this project and I needed,” said Jeffrey. “In the long development of this project, NSI was the first organization to recognize that this was a worthwhile project and I am very grateful for that.”

Bang Bang Baby is a 1960s-style musical about Stepphy (Jane Levy) who lives in the sleepy town of Lonely Arms with her alcoholic father, played by Peter Stormare. Stepphy’s dream of escaping to a better life on the stage and screen seems to be coming true when rock star Bobby Shore’s (Justin Chatwin) car breaks down in Lonely Arms. When the town creep tells Stepphy that the local chemical factory is leaking dangerous purple fumes that can cause human mutations, she becomes obsessed with hiding the dark secret from Bobby.

“It’s amazing to see a NSI Features First project recognized like this,” said Brendon Sawatzky, NSI’s director of programming. “TIFF is such a world-respected festival; it’s great to have Bang Bang Baby and NSI Features First acknowledged on a global stage like this.”

Bang Bang Baby is a Scythia Films/JoBro production with the participation of Telefilm Canada and The Harold Greenberg Fund. It was developed through NSI Features First in 2005-06 by writer/director Jeffrey St. Jules and producer Larissa Giroux.

About NSI Features First

NSI Features First is a development training launch pad for producer/writer teams looking to produce their first or second feature film with strong commercial appeal. Find out more about NSI Features First.

NSI Features First 2005-06 was funded by Presenting Sponsor Telefilm Canada; Program Partner The Brian Linehan Charitable Foundation; Provincial Sponsor Manitoba Film & Music and Service Sponsor William F. White. The program managers were the late Jim Murphy and Brendon Sawatzky.

NSI Features First 2014 is funded by Presenting Sponsor Telefilm Canada; Program Partners The Brian Linehan Charitable Foundation and Shaw Media; Supporting Sponsors Entertainment One; Super Channel and Corus Entertainment; Industry Partner The Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television (ACCT) and Provincial Sponsor Alberta Film.

About the National Screen Institute – Canada (NSI)

Renowned for having given many emerging filmmakers, television writers and producers their first breaks, the National Screen Institute provides training and production support through courses like NSI Totally TelevisionNSI Drama PrizeNSI New VoicesNSI Features FirstNSI Lifestyle & Reality Series ProducerMovie Central Script to Screen and NSI Aboriginal Documentary.

NSI also offers exposure through the NSI Online Short Film Festival and provides vast resources and support to those in the film, television, and digital media industry at

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