The theatrical release of Wolfcop, a Saskatchewan-made movie financed with a boost from a film competition, took place Friday night in Regina and Moose Jaw.
The Regina premiere, complete with a red carpet into the Galaxy Cinemas, was sold out.
The makers of Wolfcop won a competition called CineCoup. They made a promotional trailer for their movie idea and needed to win support from an online voting system and a professional jury to earn a $1 million prize and a guaranteed theatrical release.
Wolfcop is about a police officer who turns into a werewolf. The story is set in a Saskatchewan-like town called Woodhaven. It follows alcoholic cop Lou Garou — a play on "loup garou," which is French for werewolf — who is subject to blackouts. It was pitched as a comedy-horror.
His partner on the police force is Tina Walsh, played by Regina-based actress Amy Matysio.
"She's kind of a bad-ass, gun-wielding kind of woman," Matysio told CBC Radio host Craig Lederhouse just ahead of the premiere. "She's been so fun to play."
Matysio said the movie is filled with action scenes.
"I get to do a lot of fighting. I did a lot of gun work," she said, noting her character is supposed to be a sniper-grade shooter. The fire-arm prop, however, took some getting used to.
"It was so big, I could barely wield it around," she said.
Matysio said the film-makers had a keen vision for the movie and she was determined to get the part once she read their script.
"I wanted to be involved from the minute that they started their rollout out to try and win the CineCoup prize," she said. "I thought what they were doing was amazing and I sort of begged for the part, really."
The production also qualified for one of the last subsidies offered under the provincial government Film and Video Tax Credit regime.
Marketing for Wolfcop has gone so well that there are already plans for a sequel.
The first reviews, on Twitter, were howling for the film.