Calgary filmmakers first in 16 years to attend prestigious national program

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Calgary, Alta., Jan. 13, 2014 – Local filmmaking duo Scott Westby and Matt Watterworth from Calgary’s Full Swing Productions are one of four teams selected to participate in the National Screen Institute’s Features First program. “The program is designed for new feature filmmaker teams to take the idea for a film and a new script and enhance it in every way. When we complete the program, we’ll have a polished product ready for development with a funding body or distributor. It’s a definite leg up and there’s potential for the process to strongly boost our careers in the Canadian Film Industry” says Matt. Their acceptance into the program marks the first time in 16 years a Calgary team has been selected, and the second Calgary team to ever participate in the program since it’s creation in 1997.

Each year, filmmakers from all over Canada apply to Features First in hopes of making their films. This year’s program saw a record number of applications, with only four teams selected to participate. The Full Swing team will be completing the program with their project Synapse, a sci-fi romance screenplay written by Scott Westby.

“It’s so great whenever Alberta is recognized in the Canadian Film Industry, and for us to be a part of that is amazing and humbling.” Says Watterworth. “Scott and I are looking forward to representing Calgary at The National Screen Institute and shining a spotlight on the talent we have in this province.”

“Not only are we excited,” says Westby, “but we’re grateful to be the first team since the program’s inaugural year, when Calgary screenwriter Jason Long participated.”

The team begins their ten-month journey through the program in March, starting with a week-long intensive development session in Toronto.

About Full Swing Productions

Full Swing Productions is a media production company based in Calgary, Alberta. Founded by Scott Westby and Matt Watterworth, Full Swing creates compelling and entertaining stories for traditional and new media outlets such as web series, short films and feature films. Their strategic approach to development and distribution always keeps the audience in mind, and ensures a wide range of viewers enjoys their products.

About The NSI Features First Program

Since the course was launched in 1997, 15 features have been produced, and have gone on to win Canadian and international awards. Films developed through NSI Features First include I Declare War, Every Emotion Costs, 7 Times Lucky, Turning Paige and Inertia.

Contact Full Swing Productions

Matt Watterworth mobile: (403)999-9643
Scott Westby mobile: (403)818-1153

Contact Jason Long: screenwriter and Calgary NSI alumnus
Tel: (403)830-3785 or Email:

Contact The National Screen Institute
Laura Friesen, Communications Coordinator
Tel: (204)957-2999 or Email:


About the Author:

Scott Westby is a Writer, Director and Producer in Calgary's film industry. He's a 2008 graduate of SAIT's Film & VIdeo Production Program, and has years of experience in strategic marketing and content creation for traditional and new media. A Taco/Slurpee enthusiast and a hater of mushrooms.
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