Category Archives: Sonja Bennett

Congratulations 2017 Leo Awards Nominees

The Promotion People would like to congratulate all our clients, past and present that have been nominated for Leo Awards this year. We have had the pleasure to work with hundreds of actors, tv series and feature films over the years. The Leo Awards have been celebrating Excellence in British Columbia Film & Television since 1999. We are proud to say that we have had clients nominated most years.

Good Luck to all the following 2017 Leo Award Nominees that we have had the pleasure to work with.

Lesley Diana, Jasmyn Rowley, Danica Cox – The Promotion People

Rogue

8 Nominations
Best Dramatic Series – Rogue
John Morayniss, Matthew Parkhill, Robert Petrovicz, Nick Hamm – Producers
Best Visual Effects in a Dramatic Series
Best Dramatic Series
Best Visual Effects – Kevin Little – Pool Boy
Best Musical Score – Jeff Toyne – Maria, Full of Grace
Best Production Design – Eric Fraser – Maria, Full of Grace
Best Costume design – Glenne Campbell – Maria, Full of Grace
Best Stunt Coordination – David Jacox – Maria, Full of Grace
Best Guest performance Femal – April Telek – Maria, Full of Grace
Best Lead Performance Female – Meaghan Roth – Maria, Full of Grace

Ice 

Nominees for Best Cinematography – Bob Aschmann
Ice – The Cut
Best Picture Editing in a Dramatic Series are…
Stein Myhrstad
Ice – Two Handkerchiefs
Best Sound in a Dramatic Series are…
Simon Bright
Best Costume Design in a Dramatic Series Ellen Anderson
Ice – Clarity
Best Make-Up in a Dramatic SeriesRita Ciccozzi
Ice – Clarity
Nominees for Best Hairstyling in a Dramatic Series
Jill Corp
Ice – Clarity
Best Casting in a Dramatic SeriesCorrine Clark, Jennifer Page
Ice – Two Handkerchiefs

Dark Harvest

Best Direction in a Motion Picture

James Hutson

The Sun at Midnight

Duane Howard Best Lead Performance by a Male in a Motion Picture

3 Nominations
Picture Editing
Musical Score
Lead Performance – Male

William Ainscough

Milton’s Secret – Best Lead Performance by a Male in a Motion Picture

The History of Love – Best Supporting Performance by a Male in a Motion Picture

Tammy Gillis

Best Lead Performance by a Female Menorca in a Motion Picture

Todd Talbot

Love It or List It Vancouver – Brenda and Marcos

Best Host(s)
in an Information, Lifestyle or Reality
Program or Series

Listen To Me by Wes Mack

1 Nomination
Best Music Video

Dan Payne

Best Lead Performance by a Male in a Television Movie
A Time To Dance
All Yours

Jennifer Spence

Best Guest Performance by a Female
in a Dramatic Series

Travelers – Grace

Best Supporting Performance by a Female
in a Dramatic Series Jennifer Spence

You Me Her – Remember, Ruby, Remember

David Lewis Goodnight Kiss and Dirk Gently

Best Supporting Performance by a Male
in a Dramatic Series

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency – Watkin

The Goodnight Kiss

Chelah Horsdal

Best Supporting Performance by a Female in a Dramatic Series

Jesse James Miller

Chasing Evel: The Robbie Knievel Story

4 Nominations
Program
Direction
Cinematography
Musical Score

Highway Thru Hell

Neil Thomas, Nicole Tomlinson

Highway Thru Hell – Bridge Out

Best Screenwriting
in a Documentary Series

Best Cinematography
in a Documentary Series   Todd Craddock,

Darren Dembicki

Highway Thru Hell – Long Way Down

Game Of Homes

1 Nomination
Sound

Some Assembly Required

4 Nominations
Direction
Screenwriting (2)
Performance

Limina

1 Nomination
Production Design

Sonja Bennett

Best Screenwriting in a Music, Comedy or Variety Program or Series
Sonja Bennett – Kim’s Convenience – Rude Kid

Best Performance by a Female in a Web Series
Sonja Bennett – Sunnyhearts CC – Scared Straight

John Cassini

Best Supporting Performance by a Male in a Television Movie
John Cassini – Love By Chance

Michael Eklund

Best Lead Performance by a Male in a Motion Picture
Michael Eklund – Dead Draw

Sonya Salomaa

Best Lead Performance by a Female in a Motion Picture
Sonya Salomaa – The Space Between

Read Sonja Bennett’s journey to writing her first screenplay for the now popular feature film Preggoland now playing in theatres in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal in Canada and opens in the US on May 8th to a limited release in 10 cities.

MongrelMedia_Preggoland_Onesheet_V2By Sonja Bennett

The almost rise, kinda fall, and sorta resurrection of a Canadian actress

In 2001 I was in theatre school getting the dregs of the acting roles. In the last production, I played eight parts – two of which were barnyard animals. My career goal at that point was to be a Bard on the Beach regular and maybe not have to live with three roommates. But my prospects weren’t looking great.

Then something happened. My father, Guy Bennett, was about to direct his first feature, Punch, about a father-daughter relationship. The story goes that the producer said offhandedly, “Too bad your daughter isn’t an actress, that’d be a good hook.” Um, does a proficiency in the back half of a horse costume count? I was “cast” in the movie and my career in film was put in motion.

Headhunters from Fox television were at our TIFF premiere and put me on a contract old-school style like I was Shirley Temple or something. Me and a little unknown comic named Zach Galifianakis. Ever heard of him?

Suddenly I was being groomed as “the next Calista Flockhart.” But my body rebelled against this idea. Somewhere I had read that cashew nuts were a healthy snack and I was eating them by the Dan-D-Pak. I gained 20 pounds, had a stress rash all over my face and had developed an audition-selective stutter. I was completely unprepared for 12-page last minute auditions in LA where I had no support network except my loyal agent, Dylan Collingwood, who came down and tried to help jam lines in my head and figure out the LA highway system.

Needless to say, I didn’t get my Ally McBeal, nothing came of my Fox contract and I slinked back to Vancouver with my tail between my legs. My ego was bruised pretty bad and I took to embarrassing behaviour like hitting gold-level tanning beds to give the town the impression I was “just up from LA for the weekend.”

Six months after my Fox contract had ended, I booked the new lead character on the seventh season of the Canadian series Cold Squad, and despite my whole management team’s disappointment, I was very happy. From that point on I worked steadily for almost a decade. I did comedy, I did drama, I got to work with Atom Egoyan and I won awards and stuff. Life was pretty sweet. I’d once again redefined what my dreams were and could say I was now living it.

A_EDA3254nd then the recession happened.

Movie stars were turning to shitty TV for work, and the roles I realistically had a shot at were getting smaller and sillier and less lucrative. I had also turned 30 and was apparently no longer the “right kind” of pretty for Smallville. So I did what most actresses do when the work dries up. I decided it’s time to have a baby!

I’m kidding – sort of. Motherhood gave a context to my career. I tried being pickier with roles, but all the good ones went to Oscar winners.

My body was starting to rebel against the slog of being a Vancouver actress in her 30s; to the high probability that the project I was auditioning for had the word “Fatal” or “Tornado” in the title.

I was getting bitter-actress-itis.

I remember my kid saying, “Mama sad, mama have dish-in.” I guess I was sad about my “dish-in” and more importantly I wasn’t a good enough actor to hide it from my son.

So I stopped acting. For almost three years. It was hard. But it was the right decision. I detoxed from the crack that is the highs and lows of the entertainment industry, I had a second child without consulting the UBCP/ACTRA “what’s shooting” list, and I went back to university to seek out another career path cause god knows if I’m not pretty enough for Smallville I’m definitely not getting a job at Cactus Club.

But I still found myself drawn to my husband’s (actor Stephen Lobo) callsheets and scripts. I missed being creative and telling stories and making movies. I wanted back in but knew it had to be different this time round.

IMG_7181(sm)

I decided to write myself the juicy lead role that no one was going to give me otherwise. The plan was to write a starring vehicle to resuscitate my nearly dead career. I had stories from my motherhood experiences and I came up with the concept for a movie called Preggoland.

And then I wrote. Before my kids woke up, during their naptimes, in the middle of the night if I couldn’t sleep. I channeled all that creative energy into a story. My dear friend Kevin Eastwood agreed to produce. Ironically, by far the most difficult thing about getting the film made was convincing the decision makers to have me star in it. But the producers and the director, Jacob Tierney, supported me entirely – which meant a much smaller budget and a bigger pain in the ass for all involved. They did it anyway and never made me feel guilty.

Now, of course, I would never be so cavalier as to suggest the answer to all out-of-work actresses is to just “go out and make a feature.” It was the simple act of being creative on my own terms and taking control of my own destiny that empowered me. My bitter actress-itis was cured long before Preggoland went into production.

And did all my dreams come true with this film? Has Hollywood come knocking?

I guess the answer is, I don’t know yet. I’m not thinking about it all that much because I’m too busy with my family and the new ideas in my head. In my quest to write a vehicle to launch a “comeback,” I fell in love with writing along the way. And so the parameters of my dream life have shifted once again.

I won’t pretend that it doesn’t twinge my heart a little when I see Zach Galifianakis hosting Saturday Night Live and wonder what could have been if I’d laid off the cashews. But then I move on fast because I’m too busy writing my next feature.

-Sonja Bennett

Social Media Handles

Website: sonjabennett.camongrelmedia.com/film/preggoland.aspxindiegogo.com/projects/preggoland-help-us-finish-the-movie
Twitter: @sonjabennett123@Preggoland
Facebook: facebook.com/Preggoland
IMDb: imdb.com/name/nm1060641/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1

Contact The Promotion People

Lesley Diana – Founder, President and Publicist
lesley@thepromotionpeople.ca
604.726.5575

Danica Cox – Press Blogger and Publicist
danica@thepromotionpeople.ca

Website: thepromotionpeople.ca
Twitter: @PromotionPeople
Facebook: The Promotion People
Instagram: @thepromotionpeople

STAR AND SCREENWRITER SONJA BENNETT’S FEATURE FILM “PREGGOLAND” OPENS MAY 1ST IN CANADA AND MAY 8TH IN THE USA THE FILM SHOWCASES HER MANY TALENTS WITH CO-STARS OSCAR NOMINEE JAMES CAAN AND DANNY TREJO

The Promotion People - Sonja BennettTaking two years off to make Preggoland Sonja books her first role back on ABC’s “Mistresses”

Star and Screenwriter Sonja Bennett’s Feature Film Preggoland will be released Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal in Canada on May 1st and in the US on May 8th to a limited release in 10 cities.

Preggoland is very much Sonja Bennett’s baby (pun intended!). The movie marks her foray into screenwriting; in addition to starring in the Canadian indie, the award-winning actress penned the script.  Sonja realized there weren’t as many roles for women over 30, so she decided to be proactive about her career by writing herself the juicy lead she’d been craving.   “I was interested in exploring of how motherhood changes female friendships, the artifice of this giant clique of motherhood and the pregnancy pedestal,” Sonja shares. Inspiration came from Bennett’s 
own experience of becoming pregnant with her now five-year-old son.

Montreal’s Jacob Tierney (The Trotsky) directs Preggoland, a laugh-out-loud comedy about a 35-year old woman Ruth (Sonja Bennett) whose high school friends have moved onto motherhood, while she’s still partying in the parking lot. But when Ruth is mistakenly thought to be “with child,” 
her life changes – old pals embrace her, strangers give up their seats and her father (James Caan) approves of her for the first time. How can she keep up the ruse? Also starring are Lisa Durupt (Ruth’s baby-wanting sister), Paul Campbell (the 
boss Ruth bonds with over a song), Jared Keeso (the doctor she surprises) and 
Danny Trejo (the co-worker who surprises her).

Photo by Ed Araquel
BCBGMAXAZRIA

Preggoland_Lisa Durupt, Sonja Bennett and James Caan

 

The film opened to a much-hyped premiere as a Special Presentation at TIFF and in Sonja’s hometown at the Vancouver International Film Festival where it won the Most Popular Canadian Feature Film Award and was nominated for best BC film by the VFCC. Preggoland won the Best screenplay award at the Fargo film festival and most recently, on March 15th, the film won the audience choice award for best feature film at the Omaha Film Fest and screened at Miami 2015. Upcoming festivals include Sonoma International Festival on March 27th, the Gasparilla Film Festival in Tampa Bay Florida where Preggoland will be the closing night film and the film has also been accepted into the Bejing Film Festival.

Dorkshelf says “Preggoland has a stellar script and a star making performance from writer and lead Sonja Bennett.” Scene Creek billed the film “smart and savvy” while NOW Magazine said “Bennett’s written a sharp comedy that explores the societal pressure on women without children and gives a knockout performance as bad girl Ruth.”

After taking two years off to make Preggoland Sonja books her first role back as a ballerina with a blood disorder in the third season of ABC’s drama/thriller Mistresses. She and her husband (Ed Quinn) get tangled up in the lives of one of the Mistresses in an interesting way. Sonja will join the series stars Jes Macallan, Rochelle Aytes, Yunjin Kim, and Jennifer Esposito.

Acting for more than 10 years, Sonja Bennett has appeared in critically acclaimed films such as Atom Egoyan’s Where the Truth LiesElegy starring Ben Kingsley and Penélope Cruz, and TIFF opening night film Young People Fucking – for which she earned a Vancouver Film Critics Circle award. The Vancouver native has kept an equally busy profile on the small screen with recurring roles in Eureka, Battlestar Galatica, Blade: The Series. Her performances in Random Acts of RomanceIn No Particular Order, Cole and the TV series Godivas and Cold Squad garnered her Leo Gemini, and Genie nominations.

Shot in Vancouver, the film is produced by Kevin Eastwood (Fido) and Dylan Collingwood, Fake-a-baby Productions, Titlecard Pictures Inc. and Optic

Nerve Films Inc. with the support of Telefilm. Preggoland is being released in Canada by Mongrel Media.

Social Media Handles

Website: sonjabennett.camongrelmedia.com/film/preggoland.aspxindiegogo.com/projects/preggoland-help-us-finish-the-movie
Twitter: @sonjabennett123@Preggoland
Facebook: facebook.com/Preggoland
IMDb: imdb.com/name/nm1060641/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1

Contact The Promotion People

Lesley Diana – Founder, President and Publicist
lesley@thepromotionpeople.ca
604.726.5575

Danica Cox – Press Blogger and Publicist
danica@thepromotionpeople.ca

Website: thepromotionpeople.ca
Twitter: @PromotionPeople
Facebook: The Promotion People
Instagram: @thepromotionpeople

Star and Screenwriter Sonja Bennett’s feature film “Preggoland” showcase her many talents at TIFF and VIFF with co-star Oscar nominee James Caan

The Promotion People - Sonja BennettEarly reviews are in. Critics love Sonja’s edgy comedy-drama

Preggoland is very much Sonja Bennett’s baby (pun intended!). The movie marks her foray into screenwriting; in addition to starring in the Canadian indie, the award-winning actress penned the script.  Opening to a much-hyped premiere at TIFF Canadian feature Preggoland will screen in Sonja’s hometown at the Vancouver International Film Festival.

Sonja realized there weren’t as many roles for women over 30, so she decided to be proactive about her career by writing herself the juicy lead she’d been craving.   “I was interested in exploring of how motherhood changes female friendships, the artifice of this giant clique of motherhood and the pregnancy pedestal,” Sonja shares.

The Promotion People - Sonja Bennett & James CaanThe early reviews are in and critics love the edgy comedy-drama written co-starring Oscar-nominee James Caan and veteran actor Danny Trejo.  Dorkshelf says “Preggoland has a stellar script and a star making performance from writer and lead Sonja Bennett.” Scene Creek billed the film “smart and savvy” while NOW Toronto said “Bennett’s written a sharp comedy that explores the societal pressure on women without children and gives a knockout performance as bad girl Ruth.”

Filmed in Vancouver, Preggoland centers on a boozing 35-year-old woman (Bennett) whose life turns upside down when is mistakenly thought to be pregnant. All of a sudden Ruth (whose life was more in tune with a teenager than a 30-something grown woman) earns her father’s approval, nabs the attention of her friends, and saves her job.  Ultimately she finds the glorious perks of pregnancy to seductive to ignore.

Laura Harris (24, Defying Gravity), Paul Campbell (Spun Out, Battlestar Galatica), Jared Keeso (Godzilla, Elysium, 19-2), and Lisa Durupt (Shall We Dance, Less Than Kind) round out the talented cast. The Trotsky’s Jacob Tierney directs with Kevin Eastwood and Dylan Collingwood as producers.

Preggoland premiered at TIFF as part of the prestigious Special Presentations programme. The buzzed-about film will have its hometown debut during VIFF.

Acting for more than 10 years, Sonja Bennett has appeared in critically acclaimed films such as Atom Egoyan’s Where the Truth Lies, Elegy starring Ben Kingsley and Penélope Cruz, and TIFF opening night film Young People Fucking – for which she earned a Vancouver Film Critics Circle award. The Vancouver native has kept an equally busy profile on the small screen with recurring roles in Eureka, Battlestar Galatica, Blade: The Series. Her performances in Random Acts of Romance, In No Particular Order, Cole and the TV series Godivas and Cold Squad garnered her Leo Gemini, and Genie nominations.

Preggoland is produced by Fake-a-baby Productions, Titlecard Pictures Inc. and Optic Nerve Films Inc. and with the support of Telefilm.

Social Media Handles

Website: sonjabennett.ca, mongrelmedia.com/film/preggoland.aspx
Twitter: @sonjabennett123@Preggoland
Facebook: facebook.com/Preggoland
IMDb: imdb.com/name/nm1060641/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1

Contact The Promotion People

Lesley Diana – Founder, President and Publicist
lesley@thepromotionpeople.ca
604.726.5575

Danica Cox – Press Blogger and Publicist
danica@thepromotionpeople.ca

Website: thepromotionpeople.ca
Twitter: @PromotionPeople
Facebook: The Promotion People