Toronto — Toronto-born Ian Harnarine has won the Telefilm Canada Pitch This! competish prize of C$10,000 to develop his 2012 Genie-winning short “Doubles with Slight Pepper” into a feature film, it was announced at the Toronto International Film Festival, which hosted the event.
Six diverse Canadian feature projects were pitched to a packed industry crowd in the TIFF Lightbox on Tuesday, with the winner selected by an international jury panel.
Harnarine, who has graduate degrees in both physics and film, is currently co-writing “Time Traveler” with Spike Lee and adapting David Chariandy’s novel “Soucouyant.” He also teaches physics and film at NYU.
The 16-minute “Doubles,” which is exec-produced by Lee, won the Best Canadian Short Film prize at last year’s Toronto festival and was screened out of competition at Cannes earlier this year.
Like the short, the feature “Doubles” is set in rural Trinidad — where the filmmaker’s parents were born — and Toronto. Pic tells the story of a young man who supports his mother by selling doubles (Trinidad’s traditional street food) and is surprised when his estranged father arrives from Canada and asks him to go back with him.
The jury gave the Pitch This! competition’s first ever honorable mention to “Unwanted,” a docu looking at cultures that pressure women to bear male offspring, helmed by Rama Rau and produced by Ed Barreveld.