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A short psychological thriller inspired by true events in Newfoundland, Canada.
Matt Power
Toronto, Ontario
3 Team Members


The Film

In the summer of 2010, Nicole travelled to Newfoundland in search of a story. Hitchhiking the Irish Loop, she learned of a series of murders that occurred throughout the 1980s. Inspired by the province's majestic landscapes and the unsolved mysteries of missing girls in Newfoundland, the story of DENNIS was born.

Stranger than fiction, DENNIS captures the developing psychosis of a real person. You, the viewer, are privy to an unsolved case and the possible reasonings for its occurrence. Stories like this are often buried in history, but DENNIS strives to unearth a vital tale in Newfoundland's history.

For more info please contact Matt at DennisShortFilm@gmail.com

The Campaign

Matt and Nicole joined forces in 2011. Drawn together by their love of Newfoundland, Nicole shared her story with Matt and the pair immediately embarked on a journey for financing. It was soon realized that in order to adhere to their demand for authenticity, the pair would have to seek crowd funding. This way they could retain full creative control. Especially when tackling such sensitive material.

Driven by both Newfoundland and the script, Matt and Nicole are devoted to telling this tale. Of allowing viewers to witness not only the bizarre and debased mind of Dennis, but also revealing a culturally unique land, mysterious to most of the world. Serial criminalists are often depicted as big city happenings, but in fact, are just as likely to occur in small towns. In DENNIS, we're able to witness how a young man's psychosis is effected by tight-knit community life.

We aim to raise $39,000 via this Indiegogo campaign. Your donations will be used to complete production and post-production of the film (i.e. principal photography, accommodations, travel, crew, equipment, locations, editing, music, etc.).

As a reward for your generosity, check out our perks! You'll not only be a valued member of our team, but we'll throw you some sweet goods! Yay, goods!

The People


Dennis Smarten



Mark O'Brien is a familiar face to television. A star of the Canadian hit show, Republic of Doyle, Mark is also an award-winning actor/filmmaker from St. John's, Newfoundland. His career started with a large supporting role in the WWII miniseries Above and Beyond. The series went on to garner five Gemini nominations. He has since starred in the 2010 Official Sundance Film Festival selection "Grown Up Movie Star", which was nominated for three Genie Awards. He is one of the stars of the wrestling indie Beat Down, which just had a very successful festival circuit and theatrical run. He's also made appearances on such shows as Murdoch MysteriesThe One That Got Away, and Warehouse 13. In 2011, Mark was nominated for a Canadian Comedy Award for Best Male Television performance for his work on Republic of Doyle.





Katie Boland, chosen by Elle Canada as one of the three Canadians to watch, is one of the most promising young actresses of today. Only 24 years old, she has been acting professionally since the age of 9. With over 40 starring roles so far, the ingenue shows no sign of slowing down, splitting her time between Toronto and Los Angeles.

Katie was chosen as one of the inaugural 2011 Toronto International Film Festival’s “Rising Stars“, a new initiative designed to discover the next generation of made-in-Canada international talent. The programme took place at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, and showcased Katie as one of four actors who have proven themselves ready to expand their film careers beyond Canada to the world.

According to the Rising Star’s jury, “Katie Boland has raw potential coupled with a determination and pure acting talent that will awe us and give her longevity as one of our brightest Rising Stars.”

Boland recently appeared in Academy Award winner Paul Thomas Anderson’s (There Will Be Blood, Magnolia, Punch Drunk Love, Boogie Nights) highly anticipated The Master, starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman (Capote, The Big Lebowski, Doubt) Joaquin Phoenix (Gladiator, Walk The Line, Signs) and Amy Adams (Enchanted, The Fighter, Julie & Julia) produced by Harvey Weinstein.


Jenny Smarten



Dani began her acting career in high school, where her interest was sparked by an incredible monologue in drama class. She quickly joined an improv team. She continued onto college where she studied and received a diploma with honors in Theatre Arts and starred in many productions. Dani briefly lived in Montreal before moving to Toronto where she now resides. She is most recognizable for her roles as Christie in Christie’s Revenge and as the Sous Chef in the highly controversial (WSIB) Workers Safety Commercial. Her career has enabled her to work with such actors as Tori Spelling, Michelle Stafford (Young and the Restless), Barbara Nivens, John Wesley Shipp and Lou Diamond Phillips. Dani is fortunate to study with passionate and gifted acting coaches. She is actively involved in the community of children and adults with special needs.



Newfoundlander Kate Corbett completed the Canadian Film Centre Actors Conservatory in 2011. She is also a graduate from the theatre performance program at Ryerson University. Upon her graduation from university, Kate landed the lead role on Family Biz, a comedy series for YTV and France 2. Kate has demonstrated an array of talent, with lead roles in both comedy and dramatic presentations on stage; including a performance in the Tarragon Theatre/RCA production of Des Walsh's Rocking the Cradle. Kate also starred in the award- winning CFC Short Dramatic Film How Eunice Got Her Baby. Most recently, Kate guest starred in an episode of CBC's InSecurity and starred in the Bravo!Fact short film Final View.




Nicole has been making films as a writer and director for the last seven years. Her work has screened internationally, gathering awards for her short narrative films. With a special focus on improvisational acting and directing, Nicole has honed her documentarian eye. Within her roster of films Nicole has created several improvised shorts, yet part of her will inevitably lean toward dramatic storytelling. In 2010 her film Ivadelle played throughout the globe, in addition to winning Best Narrative Short at the RiverRun International Film Festival. Adhering to a naturalistic approach to filmmaking, her projects hinge on the evolution of character and relationships. She is currently developing her first feature film. Nicole is a graduate of Ryerson University’s film production program. 




Matt Power has produced a body of music videos and web based spots, since graduating from Memorial University of Newfoundland with a Bachelor of Business Administration. Originally focused in marketing he began writing and producing commercial projects on an independent level. With the success of Hustle To Get Here (a short film marketing campaign) Matt made the move from St. John’s, NL to Toronto, ON shifting his focus to film. Since then he regularly works with The NE Inc. producing music videos for artists such as Lights, and Classified. Merging his passions for marketing and storytelling, Matt created his own Commercial Production House, Dodd Motors Creative in 2012.




Scott McClellan is a cinematographer and photographer based out of Toronto, Canada. As an associate member of the Canadian Society of Cinematographers Scott has been working as a professional cinematographer for the last seven years. A graduate of NSCAD University, Scott mainly studied film and photography, concentrating primarily on a future in cinematography. Scott is known for his dark style of cinematic photographs which display carefully plotted and detailed narratives. As a director of photography Scott has traveled the world shooting a television series for the Travel & Escape network entitled The Skinny Dip. He works regularly for Country Music Television as a DOP and camera operator and returns to his hometown, St. John’s, Newfoundland, frequently to work as a cinematographer on various short form projects. His short film work has been screened around the world, notably at TIFF, Fantastic Fest and Cannes.


The Synopsis

Set in Mount Pearl Newfoundland during late autumn, Dennis depicts the evolution of a young man’s psychosis. Aside from this chemically ordained affliction, Dennis Smarten leads a simple life. He is employed as a technician at a paper mill and lives in the basement apartment of his sister’s home. Beneath Dennis’ settled exterior however, charged fantasies of the opposite sex pervade his thoughts with such intermittence that his realities become entwined. Dennis’ inability to differentiate between what is real and what isimagined complicates his daily interactions and progresses his alienation from society. Inevitably, an inciting incident triggers the dormant violence in Dennis’ psyche and he is forced to confront the scope and implications of his unique human nature.

The Vision

I have always regarded pathological violence with a sense of baited curiosity. The idea that members of a common species can be governed by such radically aberrant morals, and moreover be driven to act in complete contradiction to such basic conventions staggers me. Although it would be impossible to demystify these individuals, making Dennis offers me a vehicle with which to humanize them. By illustrating the conception of Dennis’ illness as well as his struggle and eventual resignation to it, we see that Dennis is not governed by a universal morality, but rather the singular chemical composition of his brain. The aim of the film is neither to excuse nor condemn, but simply to witness. Ultimately, I hope to engender a sense of commonality between viewer and subject and evoke a broad sense of empathy for all those displaced by fate’s unconditional hand.
As a filmmaker, I have incesstantly strove to create human stories; to explore and observe the evolution of a character. Despite the range of genres I've employed, there is a clear sense of naturalism inherent to my work. I aim to present the viewer with something familiar and affecting. The production of Dennis, would allow me the opportunity to undertake a level of challenging material I have yet to attempt. Material that provokes and inspires further thought about current ideologies.

Find This Campaign On
raised by 199 people in 1 month
26% funded
No time left
$39,000 CAD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on April 8, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $25CAD
    You Warm Our Hearts

    Thank you for joining our team and helping us get one step closer to making this project. You deserve a whole ton of thank you's, so we would like to offer you our 'Thank You!' Package. The package includes a credit in the movie, a facebook shout out and a personalized 'Thanks Tweet' by one of our Key Creatives.

    86 claimed
  • $50CAD
    Merci Buckets

    Well aren't you awesome! So awesome in fact that we would like to send you a signed DVD copy of Dennis as well as our Warm Our Hearts Package. In addition, Matt Power is giving you a digital High Five, right... now.

    46 claimed
  • $100CAD
    God Bless Your Cotton Socks

    You really are something else, so we want to give you a little gift. We have prepared (just for you!) a Signed Memorabilia Package. This includes a signed copy of the Script, Story Boards and a Dennis DVD. And of course you get the 'Warm Our Hearts' Package too.

    14 claimed
  • $250CAD
    May The Wind Be At Your Back

    The Dennis Team has decided that they like the cut of your jib and want you to be the owner of a Photographic Print of one of our majestic Production Stills (a picture of on set magic). Since you're so well liked, I am sure the 'God Bless Your Cotton Socks' and 'Warm Our Hearts' Package will be coming your way too.

    3 claimed
  • $500CAD
    God Love Ya!

    You are a gracious soul, and gracious soul such as yourself deserves an authentic prop from the Dennis set. This prop will be so authentic that it will even come with an official Dennis Certificate Of Authenticity, telling you at what point you can see it in the film. In addition, we'll throw in the 'May The Wind Be At Your Back' Package! That's right, so much stuff!

    1 out of 15 claimed
  • $1,000CAD
    Long May Your Big Jib Draw

    They must have broke the mould when they made you! Since we know you to be such good company, we want you to be an ASSOCIATE PRODUCER on the Dennis Short Film. As Associate, Mark O'Brien and Katie Boland would love to chat you up, so they are hoping you will have a Q&A with them via skype. Important Note: It's a well documented fact that all associate producers that are in town are invited to the screening ;)

    1 out of 5 claimed
  • $5,000CAD

    HOLY CATTS!!! ...Wowzers, you are now the proud owner of the Dennis Short Film EXECUTIVE PRODUCER CREDIT. Since you are the EP, if you are in town you should join us on set. Heck, after all our hard work, we should go out to dinner and celebrate, just YOU and all the other key creatives. P.S. Exec Producers always get the perks, so you can expect all the other packages too!

    0 out of 2 claimed
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