South Okanagan film industry gets a boost with 'The Orchard'

Kate Twa, left, and Ronan Reinart of Mutant Films.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK

PENTICTON - It’s a big day for filmmakers Ronan Reinart and Kate Twa as the trailer for their made in the Okanagan film The Orchard was released for live streaming.

Reinart says the trailer is available as of today, Dec. 11, through all major receiving platforms throughout the U.S. and Canada through distributor Indiecan Entertainment of Toronto.

The Orchard, which is Reinart and Twa's second film produced by their production company Mutant Films, is a tale about a Los Angeles talent agent Max Roth who unexpectedly inherits a small peach orchard from an eccentric aunt in Canada.

Max travels to the Okanagan to make a quick sale of the property but his life changes when he falls in love with the countryside and an activist who is passionate about stopping the sale.

“A fun little film, a little different... What we heard on the festival trail was people expected it to be sort of a normal romantic comedy but it’s not. One of the most common comments was just how refreshing that was, people loved that,” Reinart says about the film. "It doesn’t go where you think it’s going to go, which is kind of fun.”

The Orchard is available in its entirety online, Reinart says. There may be some theatrical opportunities for the film across the country, but there is no unified release date.

“Most independent cinema is sold online. It’s most efficient to go directly to audience, or selling directly to platforms like Netflix, who are buying a lot of independently produced content, as is Amazon and Apple,” Reinart says. “Most of the markets for independently produced cinema out there now are perfect for online distribution platforms.”

The film was shot in 2015 with post production and a final edit completed in early 2017. The film has been shown at a couple of film festivals to favourable reviews.

Reinart, a Vancouver lawyer, says he has been close to the arts all his life, even making Super 8 movies as a child.

“The arts have always been a great passion. I love motion pictures, visual effects, things like that,” he says.

He says Twa is an actress, writer and director who also teaches actors. She’s also co-founder of Railtown Actors’ Studio in Vancouver, now one of the country’s premier acting facilities, which draws actors from around the world.

The two were filming The Orchard in the Okanagan and fell in love with the valley.

“We tend to be spontaneous, so when we found a cottage in Naramata we bought it,” Reinart says, adding they also purchased the old church building at the corner of Eckhardt Avenue and Ellis Street to create a black box theatre and production studio.

“The vision over the next number of years is to advance different cultural and learning opportunities through our non-profit organization Tempest Theatre and Film Society,” Reinart says.

Eventually they hope to produce films and do post production at the facility, which will also open periodically to the public for special events.

“We’re starting small, and in time hope to develop a fairly robust film community here,” Reinart says.


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