When Rick Dugdale, president and CEO of Los Angeles-based Enderby Entertainment, first heard the pitch, he knew that he wanted to take on the film An Ordinary Man.
“It’s a story that is actually something we need to be aware of as a society,” Dugdale said over the in-vehicle Bluetooth as he sat in classic Los Angeles traffic. “It’s a film that’s led by a couple of wonderful actors.”
Penned and directed by Brad Silberling (City of Angels, A Series of Unfortunate Events) An Ordinary Man, which was released on digital platforms April 17, follows the General (Ben Kingsley), an infamous Balkan war criminal who seeks refuge from the authorities with the help of his dedicated followers. After relocating to a new hideout, the General forms a relationship with his maid, Tanja (Hera Hilmar).
“It’s a project we immediately looked at because Ben Kingsley plays the lead,” Dugdale said.
Kingsley, an English-product, has an Academy Award, two Golden Globe Awards and two BAFTA Awards under his belt for playing the titular character in Gandhi.
Iceland’s own Hilmar is a rising star in the European film industry who rose to acclaim following her lead performance in Life in a Fishbowl.
Star-studded cast aside, Dugdale said it was when he delved into the story that he knew it was a project worth producing.
“In today’s world, there’s a lot of things we need to be aware of. We want to be sure history doesn’t repeat itself,” Dugdale said. “When you look at a pitch like that, it’s definitely up our alley. It kind of has everything we were looking for.”
An Ordinary Man also marks an exploration of projects different from what the company often tackles, Dugdale said.
The film is slated for DVD and Blu-Ray release June 12 and a future Netflix release. And while An Ordinary Man won’t be hitting the silver screen in Canada, Dugdale is hopeful that North Okanagan residents will watch it on digital platforms.
“It’ll be the beginning of the next chapter for us,” Dugdale said.
Crews are currently working on the post-production of four different Enderby Entertainment projects in Sweden.
“It’s getting a little hectic,” Dugdale said of post-production efforts.
Intrigo: Death of an Author, the first part of the Intrigo series — three-films shot in succession based on Swedish author Hakan Nesser’s novels — is slated for its European debut in October, with the North American launch yet to be determined.
“It’s pretty unorthodox that we shot the film before the book came out,” Dugdale said, noting that the first book’s North American debut is slated for August.
Also in post-production is Enderby Entertainment’s Second World War film Peace.
Filmed near the Allan Brook’s Nature Centre last winter, Peace follows four American soldiers tasked with ascending an Italian mountainside in 1944.
“It was great. You go from shooting in war-torn Yugoslavia, which is beautiful, to sitting in your backyard in Vernon,” said Dugdale, adding that it was good to be home for the holidays.
Currently, Dugdale is in pre-production of Beneath, which is planned to be filmed in Canada this summer.