New Film Project Resting Potential Chock-Full of Saskatchewan Talent
Mark Wihak is a busy man. An Associate Professor in the Department of Film at the University of Regina, he has split his time between higher education and his filmmaking pursuits for the best part of two decades. Wihak, who received his BFA in Film from the University of Regina, has always been interested in the local film community. Other Wihak-led projects, like 2007’s River and 2010’s I Heart Regina, have a heavy dose of local flavour. When he began production on his most recent film Resting Potential, Wihak turned to the community; not just in terms of cast and crew, but also for funding, receiving production support from SK Arts, the Saskatchewan Filmpool, and the University of Regina. The release and marketing of the project was supported by our Market & Export Development Grant.
In a press release, Wihak says the idea for the project began in 2002, but that putting the funding in place was the key obstacle. “Because I couldn’t secure sufficient financing, for a long-while I put it on the back burner and pursued other projects…But the story was compelling to me, and I thought it might be interesting for an audience, so I always kept circling back.” And circle back he did.
Resting Potential, rather than going the traditional film festival route, is a serialised feature designed for online release. In the promotion for the film, Wihak is quick to point out that this way of working is a response to the changing winds of film marketing.
“I was excited by the creative opportunity Resting Potential offered to work in a new way to tell a long-form story, and to explore different methods to bring that story to audiences… While festivals still have roles to play in bringing new films to audiences, online platforms have freed filmmakers from the traditional gatekeepers of festival programmers, distributors and broadcasters.”
With that new approach, Wihak also brought an entirely Saskatchewanian cast and crew to the proverbial party. The team included actors like lead Kaitlyn Semple, joined by Saskatchewan-based actors Ryland Alexander, Kate Herriot, and Micaele Johnson, with longtime local actors like Mark Claxton (current head of the Saskatchewan Association of Theatre Professionals), Dawn Bird, Alan Bratt, and actor and University of Regina sessional lecturer Cavan Cunningham. The full cast and crew can be found on the film’s website.
Resting Potential focuses on a woman who experiences a fundamental change in her understanding of existence and struggles to find someone who will listen. Wihak says it is “an inquiry into the nature of belief: what do we believe and how do our beliefs shape our actions?” The project was released in nine chapters through November and December of 2022. In total, the film is just over an hour in length—68 minutes, to be exact— and can be viewed in its entirety on a variety of streaming platforms including Vimeo, YouTube, and Facebook.
If you’re looking to get financial support for your feature film, take a look at our guidelines. If you receive the funding then you’ll be following in the footsteps of projects like Summer at Charlotte’s and Shadow of… Both the Feature Film and Television Production Grant and the SaskTel Max Equity Fund are part of a wider assortment of funding programs that include streams dedicated to music video creation and film and television development.