Ahead of the SXSW debut of their latest film, “Slash/Back,” three of the thriller’s producers —- Scythia Films’ Dan Bekerman and Stellar Citizens’ Chris Yurkovich and Alex Ordanis —- announced the launch of the new full-service production company, Good Question Media.
Bekerman, Yurkovich and Ordanis will serve as partners and producers in the new venture, which will oversee film and television projects, supporting them from inception through distribution and packaging with the Good Question Media development fund.
As one of the very few Canada-based private equity funds, the company is uniquely positioned to access the international treaty funding systems. But that’s just one way the veteran producers aim to use their combined expertise.
“We’ve always been united in the belief that a fundamental strength of storytelling is its ability to challenge how an audience thinks or sees the world,” Bekerman, Yurkovich and Ordanis told Variety in a joint statement. “To come away from a film, art house or blockbuster, with some new idea or question changing how they see life and the world around them.”
Their company name represents their primary ethos, reminding the producers to ask the most fundamental “good question” of all before signing on to a project: “Why does his story need to exist?” and “Are we the right people to help it flourish?”
If it’s purely content for content’s sake, that question has a quick answer: “No.” Instead, the team prides itself on nurturing both the filmmakers’ creative vision and the story idea itself, while charting a clear course to production.
Bekerman, Yurkovich and Ordanis’ combined expertise brings together decades of experience in creative producing, financing, international co-productions and service productions, having completed over 25 combined features in the last five years. Prior films include Robert Eggers’ “The Witch,” starring Anya Taylor-Joy; “Come to Daddy” with Elijah Wood; “Percy Vs Goliath,” starring Christopher Walken, Christina Ricci and Zach Braff; and “Falling,” Viggo Mortensen’s critically acclaimed directorial debut.
It’s unique stories like those and “Slash/Back” — an action/sci-fi thriller that follows teen heroes doing battle with aliens, from filmmaker Nyla Innuksuk — that the team look for in future projects. (The film is also produced by Innuksuk, Stacey Aglok McDonald, Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, Ethan Lazar, with Hussain Amarshi and Neil Mathieson as exec. producers.)
“That clarity of vision translates to the audience; they can feel it,” Bekerman noted. “That can create a sense of excitement, a sense that you’re discovering a world you’ve never been to before. So when we can work with someone who can open up a world like that, that maybe not everyone has been to, that’s exciting. And you can’t get there by not being open to exploring new things and open to good questions.”
Yurkovich added: “From a $30,000 indie movie to a billion-dollar blockbuster, it’s about raising thoughts in the minds of audiences, so they leave the theater thinking about something they never thought about before.”
Good Question Media is currently based in Toronto and Vancouver. But, as the company aims to affirm their identity as producers based in Canada versus Canadian producers, they will expand to Los Angeles with the hiring of Jordan Hart, who has been tapped to serve as Vice President of Development. Hart will oversee Good Question Media’s film and television slate, which currently includes “Slash/Back,” as well as “Ivy” for Netflix, which will star Alice Braga.
“I’m thrilled to join a company with such a successful track record of championing diverse voices and unique narratives,” said Hart. “This is a team that empowers filmmakers to follow their creative instincts across genres, tones, and formats and I look forward to continuing to bring those stories to the screen.”
As a result of the pandemic, SXSW marks a reunion for the quartet, who haven’t been together in person for nearly a year, as well as Hart, Yurkovich and Ordanis’ first-ever hellos. Even by Zoom introduction, though, it was evident that Hart’s sense of taste, track record and “powerhouse” reputation fit the bill.
Prior to joining Good Question Media, Hart served as director of development for the Oscar-, Emmy-, and BAFTA-winning company, Little Monster Films, developing projects including “Edge of The Unknown” and “Photographer” for NatGeo, among other films and series.
“With Jordan, we’re excited to expand our reach, support new collaborators and find more stories asking good questions we haven’t heard before,” added Bekermen, Yurkovich and Ordanis.
Good Question Media is represented by UTA.
Dan Bekerman, Chris Yurkovich, Alex Ordanis and Jordan Hart of Good Question Media. (Courtesy of Josh Hailey)
Variety's Angelique Jackson contributed to this post.