Top News

Moss farming meets mayhem

Lennie MacPherson on horseback while filming the short film "A Blessing from the Sea." A feature-length version of the same story, called "A Small Fortune," has been approved. - Contributed
Lennie MacPherson on horseback while filming the short film "A Blessing from the Sea." A feature-length version of the same story, called "A Small Fortune," has been approved. - Photo Illustration by Belle DeMont

A Small Fortune features P.E.I. as its backdrop

Adapted from a story in The Telegram.

What happens when an Irish moss farmer in P.E.I. finds a duffel bag of money in the water?

That’s the setup for a feature-length film by a trio of Island filmmakers set in the North Cape area.

Jason Arsenault, Jenna MacMillan, and Adam Perry are producers of an award-winning script called A Small Fortune that’s been officially approved by Telefilm Canada for production.

Telefilm is a corporation that finances and promotes Canadian productions through various funds and programs.

In 2014, Perry set out to write the feature-length script about an Irish moss farmer and his wife.

“The couple lives in a hand-me-down house in need of repairs and is expecting a baby,” he said. “Usually people that are out on horseback raking Irish moss are doing it because they are desperate for money – no one does that dangerous work for fun; it’s a long-dead industry.”

After the farmer finds the money, things start to spiral out of control.

“Before the money can be spent a body washes ashore and a police investigation begins. Things are about to turn upside down when the bad guys come looking for their lost money,” said Perry.

This is the first feature-length production for the group and there’s a lot more to it than just writing and filming. There’s a lot of business that goes into making a feature film, said Perry.

“It’s a small industry on the Island, so it takes a lot of training, networking, and mentorship. It’s a hard game to play if you’ve never done it before, and it’s been quite a learning process for us.”

P.E.I.’s famous red shores will form the backdrop for the film, along with other notable landmarks on the Island.

“It’s very ingrained into the Acadian culture, specific to that area of P.E.I. It’s definitely an Island movie,” he said. “The characters are also very grounded and relatable, but that’s what gets them into trouble.”

It will take a year to make the film, Perry said, and more time still to figure out when to release it.

“My job right now is to write a new draft of the script that we are going to shoot, and then start the hiring team.”

Recent Stories