Daniel Bekerman is a producer based in Canada with broad experience in creative producing, financing and service productions having produced over 25 films in the last 5 years
Mostly notably, The Witch, a US/Canada co-production, won the Best Director Award at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, as well as two Independent Spirit Awards and was distributed by A24 and Universal. Feature Bang Bang Baby, directed by Cannes Residency alumnus Jeffrey St. Jules, won Best First Feature Film Awards at TIFF and the Canadian Screen Awards and Rememory, starring Emmy-award winner Peter Dinklage, premiered at Sundance in 2017 and was released by Google/Lionsgate.
Falling, currently in production, is a UK/Canada Treaty Co-Production written, directed by and starring acclaimed actor Viggo Mortensen. In his directorial debut, Mortensen explores the fractures and contrasts that make up a modern family this intimate drama about a man's relationship with his ageing father.
Premiering this Spring at the Tribeca Film Festival is Come to Daddy a New Zealand/Ireland/Canada Treaty Co-Production directed by Ant Timpson and starring Elijah Wood.
The name ‘Scythia Films’ was coined after the RMS Scythia, a boat on which many Europeans had immigrated to Canada on in the 50s and 60s, one of which was founder Daniel Bekerman’s father.
It is fitting that Scythia has produced several bold films that portray resilient protagonists in stories containing themes of social justice and environmental activism; Youth Unstoppable, Percy and Kayak to Klemtu.
Youth Unstoppable, directed by Slater Jewell-Kemker, is a feature documentary shot over 10 years that captures the vibrant untold story of the Global Youth Climate Movement. Since its premiere at the Guadalajara International Film Festival in February 2018 it has gone on to tour the world globally poised to raise the voices of young activists around the world. It premiered in Canada at Planet in Focus to an audience that included David Suzuki and Astronaut Col. Chris Hadfield.
Premiering later this year is Percy, an Inter-Provincial Co-Production with Manitoba, directed by Clark Johnson and starring Christopher Walken, Christina Ricci and Zach Braff. Percy follows the David versus Goliath story of small town Saskatchewan farmer, Percy Schmeiser, as he defends himself against a mega-corporation after their GMOs interfere with his crops. Schmeiser appeals the case all the way up to the Supreme Court preventing GMOs from interfering with wheat, making him a hero for farmers around the world in the process.
Kayak to Klemtu, directed by Zoe Hopkins premiered at ImagiNATIVE film festival in 2017, receiving the Audience Choice Award before touring both internationally as well as among small communities along the coast of British Columbia. The film is a story about a 14-year-old girl kayaking the Inside Passage of the Great Bear Rainforest to protest a proposed oil pipeline that would damage her home. The film stars actor, singer and activist Ta’kaiya Blaney. Merely weeks after this was filmed, the inevitable happened, and Zoe’s home community of Bella Bella, BC was devastated by an oil spill. This disaster was subsequently covered in a CBC short documentary, Impossible to Contain which Zoe narrated.
Several exciting projects are in the works at Scythia Films together with development partners, Stellar Citizens, with whom they founded a development fund in 2017. For its first project, the fund has optioned the book “The Eden Express” by Mark Vonnegut. This year, Scythia and Stellar Citizens are working on putting together Slash/Back written & directed by Nyla Innuksuk of Mixtape VR. Slash/Back is a Sci-Fi adventure epic that follows a young group of badass Inuit girls from Pangnirtung, Nunavut who fight-off an alien invasion. The team was invited to pitch at the Berlinale Co-Production Market as well as the Frontières Finance and Packaging Forum in Helsinki earlier this year.
Recent service productions include ANON (K5), directed by Andrew Niccol (The Truman Show, Gattaca), How It Ends (Netflix/Sierra Affinity) Every Day (MGM), The Prodigy directed by Nicholas McCarthy starring Taylor Schilling, and coming soon, Ready or Not (Fox Searchlight) directed by Radio Silence starring Samara Weaving, Andie MacDowell, Mark O’Brian and Adam Brody.
Everything has not been done.
There are new stories, living and breathing today.
They are hard to find because when they are first born, they are really tiny and quiet.
Our eyes are peeled and our ears are open.
Ethan Lazar is a New York-born film producer with experience spanning independent production, film finance & distribution in Los Angeles, New York and Canada. Prior to relocating to Toronto in 2014, Ethan worked at Exclusive Media, Annapurna Pictures and Worldview Entertainment after starting his career in the mailroom at Management 360.
Ethan works at Scythia Films developing, packaging and producing feature films while leveraging resources on both sides of the border. Recent credits include Backstabbing for Beginners, a Canada-Denmark treaty co-production from director Per Fly starring Theo James & Ben Kingsley and The Witch, winner of the Director Prize at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and two Independent Spirit Awards. He is also active in the Canadian production services space having recently wrapped State Like Sleep starring Katherine Waterston & Michael Shannon.
In 2016, Ethan launched the film financing arm of Toronto-based production company Stellar Citizens which provides bridge loans, tax credit and gap financing for feature films.
Ethan is a graduate of the College of Arts & Sciences at Vanderbilt University.