Kids in Hall vet McCulloch sets a helming bow-wow

MONTREAL — Kids in the Hall alumnus Bruce McCulloch is making his feature directorial debut with “Dog Park,” a romantic comedy with a canine flavor that began shooting in dog runs around Toronto last week.

The pic, which also is scripted by McCulloch, features an ensemble cast that includes Luke Wilson (“Bottle Rockets”), Natasha Henstridge (“Species”), Kathleen Robertson (“Beverly Hills, 90210”), Gordon Currie, Janeane Garofalo, former Kids in the Hall star Mark McKinney and Harland Williams (“RocketMan”).

McCulloch, who has a small role in the film, is a founding member of the defunct Canuck comedy troupe Kids in the Hall. He starred in the Kids-created pic “Brain Candy” and also is a seasoned standup comic.

“Dog Park” is being produced by Susan Cavan at Toronto-based Accent Entertainment, and CFP Distribution executive veepee Jeff Sackman is handling executive producer duties. CFP has Canadian rights and is taking care of foreign sales. The comic feature is more accessible than the edgy “The Kids in the Hall” TV series, Cavan said.

“It’s not at all surreal like some of his (Kids in the Hall) pieces,” Cavan said. “It’s his most naturalistic work yet. It’s a relationship comedy with a canine twist.”

McCulloch’s pic tells the tale of a man (Wilson) who still is recovering from the loss of his girlfriend (Robertson) to another guy (Currie). He is even more upset by the fact that he has to share custody of his dog. Meanwhile, he falls big-time for Henstridge, who plays a children’s TV host.

Accent Entertainment produced last year’s Sundance entry “Joe’s So Mean to Josephine” and the Don McKellar-created, Bruce McDonald-directed TV series “Twitch City,” set to debut on CBC-TV in Canada next January. Cavan also is developing another feature scripted by McCulloch, a “surrealistic comedy” that likely will shoot next fall.

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