The Film Farm
The Film Farm

Simone Urdl and Jennifer Weiss established The Film Farm 16 years ago after teaming up to produce the feature film Jack & Jill (1998). Since then, they have produced an impressive list of films and have worked with many acclaimed filmmakers including Atom Egoyan, Brian De Palma, Laurent Cantet, Sarah Polley, and Sook Yin Lee. Their films have premiered in Cannes Competition, The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), the Berlin Film Festival and the Venice Film Festival, and have won numerous awards and nominations including seven CSA, one Golden Globe, the Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival, the Ecumenical prize at the Cannes Film Festival, and two Oscar nominations, among others.

Simone and Jennifer co-produced Michael Ondaatje’s theatre adaption of his novel “Divisidero” and produced the inaugural years of TIFF’s “Talent Lab”.

The Film Farm is committed to nurturing creative talent, encouraging innovative ideas and producing high quality, entertaining films and television with intelligence and vision for global audiences.

The Film Farm

Simone Urdl

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.

Jennifer Weiss

Before founding The Film Farm in 2001, Jennifer Weiss began her career working in the Industry Centre at TIFF and working as a co producer at Rhombus Media, where she had the privilege of working with some of Canada’s top Directors on The Preludes for the 25th Anniversary of TIFF including Guy Maddin’s award-winning Heart of the World.  In 2002, Jennifer won her first genie for producing Sarah Polley’s short film I Shout Love. In 2006, Jennifer also co produced So Yong Kim’s debut feature film, In Between Days which won a special jury prize at Sundance and the Fipresci Jury prize in Berlin.

After joining forces with founding partner Simone Urdl to form The Film Farm, she has built an impressive catalogue which includes Atom Egoyan’s thriller The Captive, starring Ryan Reynolds, Scott Speedman, Rosario Dawson, Mireille Enos and Kevin Durand which competed for the Palm D’Or in 2014 in Cannes, and sold to every territory around the world. In 2012, she produced the drama Foxfire: Confessions of a Girl Gang, based on the novel by Joyce Carol Oates, an international co- production by French Filmmaker Laurent Cantet (The Class).

Previous to this, The Film Farm has produced Adoration, which also competed for the Palm D’Or  at the Cannes Film Festival in 2008, where it was awarded the Ecumenical prize; Redacted, which won Brian De Palma the Silver Lion – Best Director at the 64th Venice Film Festival, and was met with controversy and critical acclaim around the world; and Away From Her, one of Canada’s top grossing films, capturing the 2008 Best Actress Golden Globe for Julie Christie, receiving Academy Award® nominations for Christie and for Sarah Polley (Adapted Screenplay) and won six Genie Awards including Best Picture.

Recently, The Film Farm is in various stages of development with filmmakers Sook Yin Lee, Don McKellar, and Deco Dawson. Recently, the company has added TV to their slate, and currently is in development with several projects, including a new series with Gavin Crawford and Kyle Tingly at the CBC.