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With this funding, PKP will produce three Albertan films written and directed by women: Auryon, The Stand Up, and The Weather. Completing these 3 films will be invaluable not only to the careers of the five PKP founders (Vanessa Wenzel, Cayley Wreggitt, Elaine Yang, Siobhan Cooney, and Dani White), but also to the countless artists that are involved in the production process. We want to help bring respect and jobs to Calgarian and Albertan talent by showing the world what Calgary has to offer!





Prairie Kitten Productions was founded by 5 University of Calgary undergraduates/alumni to create compelling Albertan films of all genres written and directed by women. This summer, PKP hopes to produce 3 vastly different films:


  1. Auryon - a young woman seeks revenge for an assault she was forced to watch.

    • Written & Directed by Vanessa Wenzel - Starring Elaine Yang & More - 10 minutes - Location: Calgary & Springbank, AB.

  2. The Stand Up - after Liam gets stood up by his date, he and his reluctant barista, Emma, go on a wild adventure trying to find the girl, and maybe true love.

    • Written by Cayley Wreggitt - Directed by Vanessa Wenzel and Danelle White - Starring Liam Whitley and Haley Petrowich - 35 minutes - Location: Downtown Calgary.

  3. The Weather - based on the short story "The Weather" from Deborah Willis' book Vanishing and Other Stories (finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award), this short film follows the influence that a city girl has on the lives of an aging cowboy, Braden, and his daughter, Edith, after Braden's wife leaves him. 

    • Adapted for the Screen by Deborah Willis - Directed by Vanessa Wenzel - Starring Kris Demeanor, Siobhan Cooney, Natalie Marshall, and Tori Darr - 11 minutes - Location: Rockyview, AB.


For more information about us and our films, check us out on: 




Each film has a budget between $1500 - $2000, making the total for producing all three films $5000. 



Because our cast and crew have generously offered to volunteer their time and talent, our budget will be reserved for: 

  • FOOD: 3 - 5 shoot days lasting 10 - 15 hours for each film. 

  • EQUIPMENT: lens adapter, flags, diffusion, lights, slider, crane, generator, AC cables, dolly, dolly track, green screen, location audio kit, lav mics. 

  • PROPS: we have been able to scrounge up a lot of our props for free, but each film has a couple crucial and iconic items that will need to be bought.

  • LOCATION RENTAL: approximately $850 to rent locations and to attain permits for filming in certain areas of the city. 

  • EDITING SOFTWARE: Adobe Premiere Suite rental fee is USD 49.99/month - we hopefully will only need it for one month!

  • HARD DRIVES: After one too many hard-drive crashes, we are hoping to invest in another 4TB external hard drive to make sure we are triple backed up. 

  • MARKETING/DISTRIBUTION: film festival entrance fees, advertising via Google, Facebook, and YouTube, website/domain fees.  

Any amount over our budget will be distributed as honorariums to pay our cast and crew.



Depending on your donation, you will receive:

  • your name in the closing credit sequences of our films

  • a Prairie Kitten Production poster

  • a Prairie Kitten Production T-Shirt

  • a headshot session with director Vanessa Wenzel

  • a 3 scene demo reel written, shot, and edited by our team

  • a DVD copy of all three films signed by the directors, writers, and actors!

  • endless gratefulness from countless artists (actually about 30) who are one step closer to not starving


Completing these 3 films will be life-changing for our founding members. These debut films will be instrumental in setting the tone for our careers as directors, writers, and actors. With these films, we will be able to:

  • enter film festivals worldwide, allowing us to network with key players in the film industry (producers, distributors, casting directors, etc) and to have our work seen in places that count. 

  • offer powerful demo reels and trailers when applying for grants around the province, the country, and the world. 

  • offer powerful demo reels when applying for jobs in the film industry. 

  • begin communicating our artistic visions and sharing our stories.

Ultimately, we are hoping for these films to become the foundation from which we launch our respective careers. 

Furthermore, our mission is to produce unique work that reflects the modern Albertan community. As emerging artists entering the working world, we discovered a lack of opportunity to exhibit the strength and quality of work produced from the female perspective. PKP was founded to inspire not only ourselves, but also the greater local community to celebrate art by women. Furthermore, while the Albertan film industry prides itself on crews of highly skilled technical workers, we have found that above-the-line creative roles are often filled by non-Albertan talent. We hope to help rectify this by fostering Albertan voices in creative roles. We also pride ourselves in acknowledging and embracing the growing diversity in our community. By developing significant and compelling roles for women of colour, we hope to further encourage inclusivity in the entertainment industry. By contributing to our campaign, you are not only supporting our films, you are also helping us promote these values. 


So far, we have been fortunate to have very little holding us back!... aside from a lack of funding. However, the major issues that are commonly faced by indie films are: 

  • Weather: about 2/5 of the content of our films will be shot outside. A lack of cooperation from the weather does have the potential to delay our shooting schedules. The key to reducing this risk is to aim to shoot outdoor scenes early in the production process and to have back-up schedules for each shooting day. 

  • Filming Permits: acquiring permits to shoot in popular locations around Calgary can be a difficult, lengthy, and pricey process. However, a little bit of exploring in combination with some creativity in shooting technique can go a long way to compensate for problems permit-wise.

  • Money: unexpected costs and running out of money mid-production. We have many spreadsheets filled with budget plans; however, if these fail us and we do end up running out of money, there are actually quite a few grants that are more likely to fund you if you have a chunk of the principal photography done. Ultimately, the further along we get in the process, the easier it will be for us to get funding. 


As students and artists, we understand that financial support isn't always a possibility. Here are some other ways you can contribute to our project!

  • SHARE! Share our campaign on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or whatever tickles your fancy. Social media traffic not only helps us get the word out about our projects, it is also very favourable in the eyes of potential funders and investors. Check out the Indiegogo share tools!

  • COME TO OUR CATAPULT LAUNCH PARTY! On June 29th. Tickets range from $12-$25 for a night of music, beer, and entertainment on the set of our film The Weather. For more information, check out our event page:

  • VOLUNTEER! If you live in/around Calgary and have always wanted to try working on a film set, feel free to contact us through our website because we are always looking for hardworking and passionate Production Assistants!

  • EQUIPMENT! We can always make use of film equipment like flags, diffusion, c-stands, lightbulbs, apple boxes, sand bags, wedges, clamps, clothes pins, etc. If you have something you'd like to donate but are unsure if it will be useful for us, feel free to drop us a line!

  • DONATIONS FOR OUR FUNDRAISER! We are looking for gift baskets for our silent auction and raffle. If you have a basket that you can put together or if you have any special skills that you would be willing to auction off (i.e. photography, massage therapy, manicures, etc) that would be very helpful. Send us an email!

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