“Ingrid Veninger: the DIY queen of Canadian filmmaking.” Liam Lacey, The Globe and Mail
pUNK Films was founded in 2003 by writer/producer/director Ingrid Veninger, with the mandate to produce high quality independent feature films aimed at a world audience, with a ‘nothing is impossible’ manifesto.
With this goal in mind, pUNK Films produced the indie feature THE LIMB SALESMAN (co-written/produced by Ingrid Veninger, directed by Anais Granofsky), which had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2004 and was acquired for Theatrical Distribution in Canada by THINKFilm and Worldwide Distribution by Shoreline Entertainment. To date, THE LIMB SALESMAN has been sold to 15 countries, and has been screened at International Film Festivals around the world (Montreal Festival du Nouveau Cinema, Vancouver, Goteborg, Sarasota, Tampa, Paris, Nice and Vladivostok). THE LIMB SALESMAN received completion funding from Telefilm Canada’s Low Budget Independent Feature Film Assistance Program and was co-produced with Nicholas Tabarrok of Darius Films.
“It’s like THE GLASS MENAGERIE rewritten by Ray Bradbury… THE LIMB SALESMAN is a touching parable about love and self-sacrifice – in other words, what it means to be human.” Steve Gravestock, Toronto International Film Festival
Between 2004-2006, pUNK produced 5 new films: URDA/BONE screened at the New York Film Festival (Lincoln Centre) with Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s DISTANT (Grand Jury Prize, Cannes), was programmed by TIFF’s Film Circuit, and sold to CBC and Showcase. THE BUNNY PROJECT screened at Toronto’s Sprockets International Film Festival and many Children’s Festivals around the world. MAMA screened at NYC’s Red Shift Festival and Aspen’s ShortFest. HOTEL VLADIVOSTOK, screened at VIFF and Sarasota, was broadcast nationally in Russia, and awarded the Audience ‘Best Film’ Prize at the Vladivostok International Film Festival.
“URDA/BONE is evocative, sensual … reminds me of the multi-layered work done by artists such as Holly Fisher.” Jon Gartenberg, President, VOIR USA
In 2007, pUNK Films produced the award-winning CFC Feature Film Project NURSE.FIGHTER.BOY (co-written/produced by Ingrid Veninger, directed by Charles Officer). NURSE.FIGHTER.BOY was released in Canada by Mongrel Media, and is represented in the U.S. by Film Movement and Internationally by REZO Films. NURSE.FIGHTER.BOY had its world premiere at the Toronto International film festival in 2008 and in 2010 NURSE.FIGHTER.BOY received 10 Genie Nominations, including Best Motion Picture.
“There is no artifice in NURSE.FIGHTER.BOY. It takes risks, and it will restore your faith.” Sophie Godin, Festival du Nouveau Cinema, Montreal
In 2008, pUNK produced the independent feature film ONLY (co-directed by Ingrid Veninger and Simon Reynolds). ONLY had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2008 and received critical acclaim in Canada and abroad. ONLY went on to screen at many festivals worldwide, including the Rome International Film Festival, Slamdance and MoMA in New York. ONLY won the Audience Award at the Possible Worlds Film Festival in Sydney, Australia, and the Best Actress Award at MethodFest in Los Angeles. pUNK Films continues to represent ONLY theatrically in Canada, and was awarded NOW Magazine’s Best of 2009: ‘Best Argument for self-distribution’ by Norman Wilner. Worldwide Sales are handled by Horizon Motion Pictures.
“ONLY is an extraordinary example of independent cinema.” Erminio Fischetti, Iniziativa, Roma
In July 2010, pUNK completed MODRA, Ingrid Veninger’s debut feature as solo writer/producer/director, with a production crew of 3 and a cast of 20. MODRA had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2010, and continues to garner critical acclaim, screening at festivals across Canada and overseas. In October 2010, Alexander Gammal won the inaugural Best Canadian Actor Award at the Vancouver International Film Festival. In November 2010, MODRA won the Audience Award for Best Feature at the Bratislava International Film Festival. In January 2011, MODRA was an official selection for Canada’s TOP TEN of 2010. MODRA received support from Telefilm Canada’s Low Budget Independent Feature Film Assistance Program. Canadian rights are handled by Mongrel Media. World Sales are handled by CCI Releasing Inc. and pUNK Films.
“Veninger’s intimate character studies recall the early works of iconic filmmakers Claude Jutra and Allan King… A skilled demolisher of boundaries, she presents visions of the human experience that are at once bold and genuine.” Martin Bilodeau, Programmer, TIFF
In March 2011, pUNK produced ‘i am a good person/i am a bad person’ shot on location in Toronto, Paris, Berlin and Bradford, England with a crew of 2 and an international cast of 23. Following a critically acclaimed world premiere at TIFF 2011, ‘i am a good person/i am a good person’ screened at the Atlantic Film Festival, Vancouver International Film Festival, Festival du Nouveau Cinema, and the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival. The International Premiere started with Canadian Front at MoMA, New York curated by Laurence Kardish and Telefilm Canada, followed by Film Festival tours throughout USA, UK, Eastern Europe and Australia.
TOP PICK TIFF ’11 “i am a good person/i am a bad person shows keen insight into the contradiction between being artistically provocative and a responsible parent at the same time.” Peter Debruge, VARIETY
In 2012, Ingrid re-united with filmmaker Peter Mettler to co-produce THE END OF TIME, a lyrical documentary exploring the elusive subject of time. A Canadian-Swiss co-production with the National Film Board of Canada and Maximage GmbH. After winning numerous awards and screening international festivals including: TIFF (Masters), Locarno, BAFICI, Solothurn, IDFA, CPH:DOX, Leipzig, Busan, amongst others, THE END OF TIME was sold to numerous territories and distributed in Canada by Mongrel Media and U.S. by First Run Features.
“Ingrid Veninger is one of Canada’s most dynamic, perceptive, and prolific film talents.” Tom McSorley, Canadian Film Institute
In January 2012, Ingrid received the Jay Scott Prize from the Toronto Film Critics Association; with the $5000 award she launched Toronto’s 1KWAVE, executive producing five feature films.
In May 2013, as writer/producer/director, she completed THE ANIMAL PROJECT; a narrative feature shot in 44 Toronto locations, with a production crew of 4, and a cast of 15 professional actors. World Premiere: Toronto International Film Festival 2013 (Contemporary World Cinema) followed by festival across the U.S. and overseas. Winner of the EDA Award for ‘Best Narrative Feature’ presented by the Alliance of Women Film Journalists at the Whistler Film Festival. Canadian Distribution: Mongrel Media.
“Along with Xavier Dolan, Veninger is one of precious few Canadian directors guaranteed to give us something fascinating.” Dave Robson, Sound on Sight
January 2014, Ingrid initiated the pUNK FILMS FEMMES LAB which supported 6 Canadian women to write 6 original feature screenplays in 6 months. Academy Award winning actor Melissa Leo championed the initiative by contributing $6000 for a first-look at the scripts. The Lab participants included Veninger, Michelle Latimer, Anais Granofsky, Danishka Esterhazy, Mars Horosyski and Sophie Deraspe.
In March 2015, Ingrid launched an indiegogo campaign for her 5th feature, HE HATED PIGEONS. With funding from the Canada Council for the Arts, Toronto Arts Council and crowd-funding she set on a 4 week shoot from the Atacama desert to Patagonia, Chile. Connected with the narrative themes of loss and impermanence, each festival screening featured a live improvised score by a local artist, which was never repeated and never recorded.
“HE HATED PIGEONS is one-off bespoke experience which blends cinema and performance.” Wendy Ide, Screen International at IFFR
Most recently, Ingrid completed production on PORCUPINE LAKE. A story of bravery, small-town summer love, and the secret life of girls. PORCUPINE LAKE was the script Ingrid completed during the pUNK FILMS FEMMES LAB. Produced with the financial participation of Telefilm Canada and Bell Media’s Harold Greenberg Fund. Canadian distribution by FILMS WE LIKE and World Sales by OUTPLAY FILMS. Shot on location in northern Ontario with an eclectic cast of professional and non-professional actors. To be released in 2017.
“The filmmaking stood out for its subtlety, elegance, humanity, and humour,” says Head of International Sales, Philippe Tasca-Roochvarg from OUTPLAY FILMS. “The performances are excellent, and it is so impressive to see a refreshing take on the whirlwind of first friendship and first love between two 13-year-old girls, told from the girls’ perspective.”
Currently, Ingrid Veninger is part-time faculty in the Film Department at York University, Screenwriter-in-Residence at The University of Toronto, film mentor at the Canadian Film Centre. She is an alumni of the Berlinale Talent Campus, Rotterdam Producer’s Lab, OMDC/EFP Producer’s Lab, and was an official participant in TIFF’s inaugural 2013 STUDIO Programme.