November 12, 2014 11:25 pm
Updated: November 18, 2014 11:03 pm

Edmonton filmmaker’s cannabis documentary getting Oscar buzz


WATCH ABOVE: Two Edmonton filmmakers could win an Academy Award. Their feature documentary has made the Oscar long list. Laurel Gregory has their story.

EDMONTON — A documentary produced by an Edmonton man is one of 134 being considered for the 2015 Academy Awards.

“It’s really amazing to see we’ve made it that far,” said Adam Scorgie.

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His film Culture High examines the marijuana laws around the world and is his second feature on cannabis.

READ MORE: Five things you need to know about marijuana use

The first was The Union: The Business Behind Getting High which did the festival circuit in 2007, then came out on DVD two years later.

“We thought we were done at that point…no more drug war films, no more pot films. And then the audience just kept sending us – we were receiving thousands of online messages and emails, ‘you have to do another one, and you have to look at all the new evidence and how so many countries have changed policy,'” he said. “So really, this one was demanded by the audience.”

When it came to funding the film, Scorgie and his team turned to Kickstarter and were surprised to see $240,000 pour in within 42 days. Scorgie says that was a Canadian record for the industry.

The documentary has been well-received since making its theatrical debut earlier this year in New York and Los Angeles.

It has also secured coveted slots in the UK’s upcoming Raindance Film Festival, the Reykjavik International Film Festival as well as the Warsaw Film Festival.

“We’re the little engine that could,” Scorgie said.

“We’re the little film that couldn’t get financed traditionally, that’s about a subject matter that’s very taboo. We’re a small team out of Canada that’s going after this.”

Scorgie and the rest of his team will have to wait until December to see if they make the shortlist, which will include 15 of the 134 documentaries.

The 87th Academy Awards nominations will be announced on Jan. 15, 2015. The awards themselves will take place Feb. 22.

Whatever happens, Scorgie is just happy to have made it this far and hopes his film has an impact.

“It’s sparking conversation and sparking people to look at this in an alternate way. And that’s all we wanted to do: make a great film that inspired you to come to your own informed conclusion.”

WATCH: The trailer for ‘Culture High

You can watch the full film on Shaw On Demand or order it on Vimeo.

© 2014 Shaw Media

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