The feature-length movie based on the popular “Carmilla” lesbian-vampire love story web series has begun principal photography in Toronto. The film, whose financial backers include Fullscreen, is slated to be released this fall.
“Carmilla the Movie” (working title) features the stars of the digital series, Elise Bauman and Natasha Negovanlis, who return for the supernatural spinoff film.
Other cast for the movie include Dominique Provost-Chalkley (“Wynonna Earp,” “Murdoch Mysteries”), Grace Lynn Kung (“Mary Kills People,” “The Strain”), and Cara Gee (“The Expanse,” “Inhuman Condition”) as well as returning “Carmilla” cast Annie Briggs (“Luvvie,” “Murdoch Mysteries”), Kaitlyn Alexander (“Couple-ish,” “Full Out”), Nicole Stamp (“The Handmaid’s Tale,” “First Round Down”), and Matt O’Connor (“Murdoch Mysteries,” “Ozion”).
The series and film come from Toronto-based Shaftesbury’s Smokebomb Entertainment digital studio and its shift2 branded-entertainment agency. The “Carmilla” series, which debuted in August 2014, is sponsored by Kimberly-Clark’s U by Kotex feminine-hygiene brand.
The film has been available for pre-order through Vimeo’s VHX service (at carmillamovie.vhx.tv) starting at $9.99; Fullscreen’s participation indicates that it may be offering “Carmilla the Movie” on its subscription VOD service as well.
Fans of the “Carmilla” digital series, which spans three seasons and encompasses 108 5-minute episodes in all, call themselves “Creampuffs” after a line in the show. The series has generated over 69 million views and 233 million minutes of watch time across all three seasons since its launch. It’s available on shift2’s YouTube channel KindaTV and subscription video service Fullscreen.
“We are in the unique position of producing a feature film with a massive built-in and ever-growing fan base,” said Christina Jennings, chairman and CEO of Shaftesbury. “This film, and the appetite for it, is a perfect example of how we create, connect and ultimately, serve our fans by expanding and extending the brand in new and exciting ways.”
Both the movie and the web series are based on the 19th-century cult-classic gothic vampire novella of the same name by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu.
In “Carmilla the Movie,” it has been five years since Laura (Bauman) and Carmilla (Negovanlis) vanquished the apocalypse and Carmilla became a bonafide mortal human. They have settled in to a cozy apartment in downtown Toronto; Laura continues to hone her journalism skills while Carmilla adjusts to a non-vampire lifestyle. Their domestic bliss is suddenly ruptured when Carmilla begins to show signs of “re-vamping” – from a fondness for bloody treats to accidental biting – while Laura has started having bizarre, ghostly dreams. The couple must now enlist their old friends from Silas University to uncover the unknown supernatural threat and save humanity – including Carmilla’s.
The film is produced by Shaftesbury with the financial participation of Telefilm Canada, the Canada Media Fund, Fullscreen, and Hollywood Suite. “Carmilla the Movie” is directed by Spencer Maybee; story by Alejandro Alcoba (“Degrassi: The Next Generation,” “The Next Step”), with a screenplay by Alcoba and Jordan Hall (“Carmilla,” “Run Dry”). The film is executive produced by Christina Jennings and Scott Garvie, produced by Bennett, Ouaknine, and Melanie Windle.