Canadian award winning Director Pasquale Marco Veltri premieres his new feature film Drowning at ICFF Film Festival on June 15

May 15, 2019 (Toronto, ON) - Internationally renowned filmmaker Pasquale Marco Veltri’s independent film, Drowning will make its world premiere among this year’s roster of Canadian independent films at the ICFF Film Festival on June 15 at 2:00 p.m. at the TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King St W, Toronto). Drowning is a film that examines the psychological effects of being forced into prostitution at a young age.

Veltri’s films have screened nationally and internationally in Canada, USA, Britain, France, Italy, and Egypt. Measuring Tape Girl has screened at the Cannes Film Festival and the Montreal World Film Festival. Words to Remember won the Chris Award for Narrative at the Columbus International Film and Video Festival.

Starring Laura Tremblay (Evil Dead: The Musical) as Anna, a troubled woman trying to reinvent herself after working in the sex trade, and Mark Nuttall (CBC’s Extraordinary Canadians) as Marcus, Anna’s foil, ex-lover and pimp, with supporting performances by Tracy Rowland, Alys Crocker and Pardeep Bassi, Drowning sends a strong message about female empowerment and the cycle of abuse. Tremblay says of her character:

Anna is a strong, independent, real woman, who fights for what she wants in life. I admire her ability to decide to do something and see it through until the end. She may be stubborn, but she knows what she wants and she takes it, and that's inspirational.”

Filmed in Toronto, Clinton and various sites in the GTA during the Fall of 2016, Drowning is the first feature film by award-winning Toronto-based director, Pasquale Marco Veltri. On what inspired Veltri to embark on this project:

I’ve always been drawn to characters who have issues with reality. I wanted to explore the inner world of a character that was overcoming trauma in their life. How could a character use their own dreams and delusions to set themselves free from a cycle of abuse? How can we use our need and desire to escape pain in our lives to set ourselves free?”

The film is produced by Veltri, Valerie Laurie and Adam Gowland. The film was edited by Nathan Shields (Living Downstream), with cinematography by Albert Rudnicki (Cavalia), and an original score by Ryan Latham (Breakout, Departures).

Drowning celebrates its world premiere at the ICFF Film Festival on June 15, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are available through or by visiting the box office.

About Pasquale Marco Veltri

Pasquale Marco Veltri is a Canadian writer, filmmaker and photographer whose unique vision crosses the boundaries of culture and language. He is a worldly soul and visual storyteller whose focus on character development is strongly represented in the intelligence and complexity of his works. Veltri’s films have screened nationally and internationally in Canada, USA, Britain, France, Italy, and Egypt. Measuring Tape Girl has screened at the Cannes Film Festival and the Montreal World Film Festival. Words to Remember won the Chris Award for Narrative at the Columbus International Film and Video Festival.

About Laura Tremblay

Laura Tremblay is essentially a ‘jill of all trades’ - singer, songwriter, actor, writer, director and producer. She has an array of film and television roles to her credit, including The Expanse (Syfy/Space Channel), Ben-Hur (2016; Paramount Pictures), Fugue (Indiecan Entertainment), The Cocksure Lads (Spiral Entertainment) and many more. Tremblay also had a leading role in the highly-acclaimed touring stage production of Evil Dead: The Musical, joined the case of Legally Blonde: The Musical at Stage West Calgary this past spring, and originated the leading role of “Lori” in the brand new musical Jukebox Hero which is set to tour North America and Europe in 2019.

About Mark Nuttall

Mark Nuttall is an award winning Actor from Guelph, Ontario. He made his small screen debut in 2010 with a guest appearance in the original series Andy and the Upside. Mark's breakout role thus far was in 2016's Still Closed where he won the award for Best Supporting Actor at the Chatham Film Festival. In the same year, Mark landed lead roles in the CBC television drama Extraordinary Canadians, as well as, a part in the feature film Santa's Castle (Christmas film adaptation of The Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum's original short story).

Link to tickets:

Blatant Self-Promotion

Does anyone have any advice on blatant self-promotion? I know that nowadays self-promotion is as common as breathing, but I’m still not comfortable with it. After about six years of work on two separate projects, they are both done at around the same time and now I’m required to promote and pitch new projects, which is something I’ve never come to terms with. I used to believe you put your project out there and people will see it, and if it’s good enough you’ll get more work. The rules of the game have shifted and it kind of feels that everyone in the world is screaming ‘Look at me! Look at me!’ and no one is listening. It’s a strange time indeed.

I need to get over myself, my shyness, my self-esteem issues, my self-doubt, and yell and scream ‘Look at me!’ just like everyone else is, but maybe there’s another way. I’m much more comfortable with saying ‘Look over here, if you feel like it…’ so maybe that’s what I’ll have to do. I’ll start posting more often as the release dates get closer. I’m also going to reach out to friends who are good at self-promotion and use their advice to create a path forward. If you’re good at marketing and promotion please send me some words of wisdom. How do you promote yourself without burning out your network? How do you build new networks outside your bubble and move on to the next stage of your work? I’m still afraid of selfies and blatant self-promotion but maybe I can find a way to promote others who worked on the projects instead of myself. Perhaps the best way to promote yourself is to promote the people who make it possible for you to do your thing. Hopefully that might be a better way forward. 

I’ve spent most of my life blocking my face in group shots and selfies. Maybe it’s time to just look towards the camera and smile.

Afraid of Selfies Web2.jpg

Character Design

One of the most exciting parts of writing is character design. Once the characters are created, they begin to speak to you and the story begins. A long time can be spent just writing down character traits, character flaws and creating character goals. Having a rough visual image of what a character might look like helps make a story come to life as you’re writing. If you can create environments for the characters to live in, those environments can provide the final push you need to define goals and dreams of a character. Stories grow and change over time, as you bring in new artists to finalize the character designs the characters take on a life of their own. 

Below are samples from the character designs that have been done over the last few years for Painting My Life

Lead Character Evolution: Alice

Lead Character Evolution: Alice

Samples of Environments: Courtyard

Samples of Environments: Courtyard

Samples of Environments: Painting Studio

Samples of Environments: Painting Studio

Early Gargoyle Designs

Early Gargoyle Designs

Graphical Representation of Anna’s Wish Fulfillment in the script ‘Drowning’

When working on a psychological thriller that’s actually a character study following the structure of a European art film, you can be left with a lot of explaining to do. I created the graph below as a guide to help clarify questions I was facing about the story. The best part of the exercise was how much it helped me clarify what I was doing to myself.

The main anchoring scene of the film occurs in one room and other scenes exist in the lead character’s memory or within her wish fulfillment. In the end it’s up to audience to decide which version of Anna’s life they want to make real.

Crowdfunding Update

Hello everyone,

We wanted to give everyone an update as we push through the holidays and get ready for next year. Here’s a chart of how we’ve used the crowdfunding contributions so far and how much is left.

Our plan for next year is to apply for more funding and continue meetings with possible funders mid-January to March. We then hope to divide the film into pieces and start shooting it as a series of chapters or short films that we can combine into a feature film. This will stretch out the length of the shoot but will make things more manageable. First up will be shooting a 20-30 minute version of the film in the Spring/Summer of 2016. We know this process will take a long time but filming often does when working with a limited budget. As always, all we can do is keep going.  

The Indiegogo Care Bear Share Factor

You might have seen a lot of shameless self promotion for Drowning on social media recently. To explain why this plugging probably isn’t gong to stop for the next month, my care bear friends would like to explain to you the “gogofactor”.

The gogofactor is an algorithm that tracks activity on campaigns – everything from the total funds contributed on your campaign page to how many times your campaign page is viewed. This means that the more your project gets shared on social media the higher its gogofactor, and the more your campaign is promoted on Indiegogo. A higher profile on Indiegogo will lead to a wider reach for the campaign.

To get a higher gogofactor factor you need frequent campaign updates, a large crowd that signed up to be a part of your Indiegogo campaign, page views for your campaign, and % of goal completed. The more people share and contribute early in a campaign the higher your gogofactor rises, and that determines how often you get featured in Indiegogo’s networks and on their main web page.

So please be a care bear and share our campaign. Literally every like, favourite, and share is a contribution to our gogofactor.