Shortly after graduating from the film programme at Queens University 20 years ago, Simone Urdl began her career at Atom Egoyan’s Ego Film Arts, where she was involved in the productions of Egoyan’s films Calendar, Exotica and The Sweet Hereafter before becoming a producer on Ararat. She executive produced Ruba Nadda’s first feature film Sabah, and Alison Murray’s Mouth to Mouth, starring Ellen Page. Between 1993 and 1996, Simone was VP of Acquisitions for The Brightstar Group, where she was responsible for licensing North American titles for theatrical, home video and television for a large South Korean media company. In 2005, along with her production work, Simone teamed up with Egoyan and Hussain Amarshi to develop and manage Camera Bar and Cinema, an innovative bar, gallery and cinema space in the Queen West neighbourhood of Toronto.
In 1998, Simone produced her first feature film Jack & Jill with Jennifer Weiss. In 2001, Simone and Jennifer formed The Film Farm, in a partnership that has lasted 17 years. With The Film Farm, Simone and Jennifer has cultivated a reputation for creating provocative, intelligent and entertaining films with integrity and vision. Their impressive catalogue of films include Atom Egoyan’s thriller The Captive, starring Ryan Reynolds, Scott Speedman, Rosario Dawson, Mireille Enos and Kevin Durand which premiered in Competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 2014, and was a commercial success in North America and sold world-wide.; Away From Her (Sarah Polley), winner of the Golden Globe for Julie Christie, seven Genie Awards and nominated for two Academy Awards; Brian De Palma’s Redacted, winner of the Silver Bear at the Venice Film Festival, the film was met with huge controversy and critical acclaim across the globe; Atom Egoyan’s Adoration which competed for The Palme D’Or at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival and won the Ecumenical Prize there, and Foxfire: Confessions of a Girl Gang, directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Laurent Cantet, based on the novel by Joyce Carol Oates, an international co-production with France’s Haut et Court.
Currently, The Film Farm has an exciting slate of film and television production in development with Don McKellar, Brian De Palma, Sook Yin Lee, Deco Dawson, Justin Rutledge, Gavin Crawford and Kyle Tingley.
The Film Farm offices often play host to the rescue dogs that Simone fosters.