Saleken lives in Vancouver, BC. He has a BA in film and television studies from the University of British Columbia, and he attended the 2010 Werner Herzog Rogue Film School in New Jersey.
In 2013, Saleken won the Most Promising Filmmaker award at the Spokane International Film Festival. His short films have screened at film festivals around the world. Patterson’s Wager is Saleken’s first feature film.
When asked about the idea for this film, Saleken explains: “The main idea for Patterson’s Wager came from a short story called 12:05 that I wrote a few years ago. I enjoy putting one fantastical element into an otherwise realistic story. In the case of the short story (and, later, screenplay), I decided to explore what would happen if someone had the unpredictable and uncontrollable ability to see two minutes into the future.”
The film boasts a stellar cast of talented Canadian actors, including Fred Ewanuick (Corner Gas, Dan for Mayor), Chelah Horsdal (Hell on Wheels, Arrow), Alex Zahara (Once Upon a Time), Michelle Creber (Strange Empire), Anne Openshaw (The Grey), and Garry Chalk (AMC’s The Killing).
Saleken wrote Patterson’s Wager in the summer of 2012, his seventh feature screenplay. In early 2013, as he was experiencing some festival success (including Winnipeg Real to Reel Film Festival) with his short film The Vehicle, he says, “I started seriously considering the idea maybe I should empty my savings account and actually make one of these screenplays.”
The film was written, directed, produced, edited and self-financed by Saleken. He is amazed and proud of what was achieved.
“Thanks to an all-volunteer crew and great cast (who all agreed to work for only $100 a day), we managed to get the whole movie done in only 12 ½ days, considering it had 20+ speaking parts, three different time periods and 19 locations, which ranged from a casino to an 1885 logging camp.”
Saleken says he was in a constant state of appreciation.
“There were numerous times while on the set that I found myself amazed at the fact that all of these people bustling around me were there for the sole purpose of bringing to life these words I had typed onto my computer a year previously. It was a rather humbling notion to consider.”
He continues, “In the end, though, I really could not be more proud of the finished movie. There is really nothing that I would go back and do differently. This is exactly, and then some, the movie I wanted to make.”
Paul H. Boge, WR2R Film Festival founder and coordinator, finds that “one of the greatest joys in doing film festivals is having a world premiere.”
In 2013, the WR2R Film Festival screened two world premieres in the feature documentary category: The New Northwest Passage by author and filmmaker Cameron Dueck and Living with Lava by Theo M. Goble from London, England.
Patterson’s Wager will screen on Fri. Feb. 20 at 6:30 pm and on Sat. Feb. 21 at 8 pm.
The 5th annual Winnipeg Real to Reel Film Festival will take place Feb. 17-22, 2015 at the North Kildonan MB Church, 1315 Gateway Road. For more info check out www.winnipegfilmfestival.com