September 16, 2023 - A film produced by Filipino producer Enrique Miguel Baniqued had been chosen as one of only two recipients of this year’s Toronto International Film Festival’s (TIFF) Every Story Accelerator programme. The film Village Keeper is directed by TIFF alumna Karen Chapman and is based on Chapman’s award-winning short film Measure.
TIFF Every Story Accelerator is a new programme that aims to help support film projects from emerging creators with diverse backgrounds, who identify as Black, Indigenous, a person of colour, 2SLGBTQ+ and from other equity-deserving groups.
Each year, two producer/director teams with feature-length projects in post-production will receive targeted support to pitch their projects to industry decision-makers in three key markets. Director/producer teams of both Village Keeper and Seeds receive a Micki Moore Fellowship, supported by Toronto-based broadcaster, journalist and actor Micki Moore.
In his LinkedIn account, Baniqued shared, “I'm excited to share that we just wrapped production for the feature film, Village Keeper, which is based on the award-winning short film, Measure (TIFF'19, HFPA/GOLDEN GLOBES).”
The film follows a single mother on an Eat, Pray, Love Journey-like journey starring Canadian actress Olunike Adeliyi, showcasing the City of Toronto as its backdrop.
Baniqued moved to Toronto in 2019 where he established a startup company producing products for students and corporations. In 2021, he embarked on a project titled "Soul Surfer's Podcast" which highlighted the environmental battle against a looming coal plant in a serene surf town. His dedication made the podcast a catalyst for change, successfully halting construction of the coal plant.
Today, Baniqued’s work can be seen in Toronto entities such as Destination Toronto, the City of Toronto, The Academy, The JUNOS, and CBC's Family Feud Canada and various local commercial production companies.
According to a media release, Village Keeper is scheduled to hit the festival circuit in Q2 2024, with Canadian distribution handled by levelFILM and CBC as the Canadian broadcasting partner.