Mark Hoffe, a writer, director, and producer born and bred in Newfoundland and Labrador is the winner of the first ever Daryl Duke Prize, a new award created to support up and coming Canadian film and television writers.
Many already know Hoffe’s name from his company Mad Mummer Media, and its projects like Sister Morphine (a gritty, provocative documentary about nurses hooked on the drugs they administer to patients) and Away from Everywhere (a book-to-film adaptation shot in Newfoundland in 2015, starring Jason Priestley, Joanne Kelly, and Shawn Doyle).
Hoffe has won the prize for his screenplay No Voices in the Sky. The prize comes with a $25,000 award that will allow Hoffe to further develop his screenplay with the ultimate goal of producing a feature length dramatic film.
No Voices in the Sky is a family tragedy, road movie, and coming-of-age love story about a tough but tender sixteen-year-old metalhead who abandons his troubled family life, and hits the road with his first love in search of artistic success and his hero Lemmy Kilmister in L.A.
“It’s an honour and a privilege that the jury chose my screenplay. The support will no doubt propel this project forward in an ideal manner, and there’s a certain maverick justice in Daryl-Duke-meets-a-screenplay-inspired-by-Motörhead,” said Hoffe.
As you’d imagine, the script was inspired by Hoffe’s love of “Motörhead’s unique brand of rock ‘n’ roll and, to be honest, my desire to meet Lemmy face-to-face. I saw them live and tried to find Lemmy at the Rainbow in LA a few times, but when this idea popped into my head, the story began to form last summer.
“When Lemmy died this past December, I was heartbroken and considered abandoning the project, but that wasn’t an option, really. I rewrote the script and hope the film will not only tell a great story, but honour and celebrate Lemmy’s and Motörhead’s legacy.”
Created to honour the memory of the late Daryl Duke, a distinguished Canadian film and television creator, the Prize is awarded to the winner of a juried competition among entries by Canadian writers of a treatment or screenplay for an unproduced long-form dramatic fictional film.
“Daryl Duke was a one-of-a-kind patriot who dedicated his life to storytelling and building a Canada with its own integrity and its own sovereignty and culture. We created this Prize to cherish his memory and to further his mission,” said Noreen Golfman, chair of the Daryl Duke Foundation.
Hoffe co-founded Mad Mummer Media in 2009. His short film Snarbuckled (2010) premiered at the 30th Atlantic Film Festival and was praised by John N. Smith (Dangerous Minds, Random Passage) as “Widely imaginative, funny. Gorgeous cinematography. Reminds me of the young Terry Gilliam.”
Hoffe’s other credits under Mad Mummer include writer, director, and producer for the documentary The Needle and the Damage Undone (2012), writer and creative director for Newfoundland’s first interactive digital documentary Bubble Dancers (2014) – co-produced with the National Film Board of Canada – and writer for Away from Everywhere (2016), a dramatic feature film directed by Justin Simms.
In 2016, Hoffe launched Rogue Rock Pictures to write, direct, and produce feature films and documentaries with international appeal. No Voices in the Sky is the first film under that banner. Hoffe is also a regular contributor to The Overcast; his column passionately keeps locals attuned to the film scene here on the island.
The Daryl Duke Prize jury is chaired by R.H. Thomson, one of Canada’s leading actors who has performed extensively on stage, television and film for more than three decades. Colin Browne, professor emeritus in the School for Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University, and Patricia Gruben, associate professor of film in the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University, round out the jury.
More information about the 2017 Daryl Duke Prize is available at www.daryldukeprize.ca.