Cast of "The Divide" (Anchor Bay Films)
The apocalyptic thriller The Divide gets the Red Carpet treatment Thursday evening at Silver City Polo Park. The Divide was filmed in Winnipeg in 2011, partly in the Millenium Centre, partly on a custom-built set at Prairie Production Centre. But it probably wouldn't have made it to the screen at all if it weren't for a couple of Winnipeggers.
The production ended up in a precarious position when some of the backers fell through.Tony and Cathy Rollo's son was working as an intern on the film. When he told his parents about the problem, they decided to step in. They met with producers and were impressed with their commitment to the project. In the end, the Rollos became the major investors in the film.
Tony Rolla says he's very excited that this is happening. "When we first committed to doing what we did financially, the only thing we asked the producers was that we get a picture taken with the cast and if it was possible when we sold the film that the distributor would allow us to have a premiere in Winnipeg. And here we are today, with all the actors, the producer and writer coming in yesterday. It's nice to see the support they've given the film. We've all become a little family over the last year and a half. It's quite unique, I think. We all just clicked, so it's something we're really happy about."
Cast members Michael Biehn, Michael Eklund, Jennifer Biehn and young Winnipegger Abbey Thickson will be on hand for the Red Carpet, as well as producer Darryn Welch and writer Eron Sheean.
The movie follows 9 characters who escape from a devastating explosion in New York City into the basement bunker of an apartment building. As time goes on, paranoia, fear and closet fever set in, the dynamic unravels and the characters succumb to their feelings of desperation.
Michael Biehn plays Micky, the caretaker of the New York building where the survivors are holed up. Biehn's first major role was in 1984 in The Terminator, alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger. He's also playing in other sci-fi classics such as The Abyss and Aliens.
The film was selected to be shown at South by Southwest and was also shown twice in France. It has been shown to limited release in New York and Los Angeles.
After Thursday night's invitation-only premiere, the movie moves to the Globe Cinema in Winnipeg and to Toronto.
Tune in to Up To Speed 3:30 p.m., January 19, for Larry Updike's interview with Michael Biehn and Winnipegger Abbey Thickson.