Ferns, Koster in development on 1968 doc

Sturla Gunnarsson (Force of Nature: The David Suzuki Movie) will direct the doc project, adapted from Mark Kurlansky's book 1968: The Year That Rocked The World.
June 8, 2011

Armed with financial support from the Made with Pay Fund from Canada’s Corus Entertainment, filmmaker Pat Ferns is well into development on the adaptation of Mark Kurlansky’s book 1968: The Year That Rocked The World.

The copro between Victoria, B.C.-based Ferns Productions and KosterKovitz Productions has been in development for the last two years. Sturla Gunnarsson (Force of Nature: The David Suzuki Movie) is directing.

The project was inspired by Ferns’ work on TV doc mini-series The Fifties (1997), which he enjoyed so much he wanted to do the same for the 1960s.

“There didn’t seem to be the appetite for the series, so I looked at picking a significant year, and both [Andrew] Koster and I were knocked out by Kurlansky’s book and optioned it,” Ferns says.

Focusing on 1968 made the project more scalable, but still presented obstacles, according to Ferns.

“Part of the challenge is how to distill it and make it something that will not just be a trip down memory lane for baby boomers, but an explanation of an age to people who weren’t even born then.”

Conceived as a theatrical project, Ferns says the film’s many events – the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, the Olympic Games in Mexico, to name a few – will be a blend of archive material and original footage edited chronologically, but that he is still sorting out the narrative.

The prodcos are hoping to enter production in early 2012 and are currently fielding interest from theatrical distributors. Once that’s finalized, Ferns says he’ll focus on broadcast and financing.

(From Playback Daily)

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.