Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs 519 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

May 04, 2006

U of G Campus, Students to be Featured in Film

There’s no better way to spend a summer than following a dream and showcasing your hometown. At least that’s Thomas Gofton’s view. Beginning May 23, the third-year psychology and theatre studies student begins production on his debut film, Four Aces, which is set in Guelph and features the University of Guelph as one of its main backdrops.

“It’s my way of giving back to my hometown and my school,” said Gofton, who started writing the film’s screenplay during the winter break. “I want to use Guelph and U of G as settings because I take pride in them and I want to give them both recognition and appreciation. That’s the point of doing this film.”

The film will be directed by U of G graduate Michael Chudnovsky, who is co-producing the film with Gofton and James Poirier. Director of photography is Guelph-born Derek Montalbetti, who recently graduated from the New York Film School. Filming is scheduled to last a month.

Filmmaking is something Gofton has been interested in doing since high school, but never had a chance to pursue until now. He enrolled in U of G’s psychology program because he was considering a career in teaching or child psychology. But he also wanted to further his interest in film, so he’s been taking theatre studies courses to learn more about acting and script writing and analysis.

“Thomas is one of a growing number of students in Guelph and area who have an intense passionate determination to make films,” said Prof. Paul Salmon, English and Theatre Studies, who taught Gofton in a Canadian film course this winter.

Four Aces is a romantic comedy about four young men who have been close friends since childhood. They’re all attracted to a young Australian woman named Jessie, who comes to Guelph to work for a year before beginning her studies at U of G. The four men befriend her, and slowly but surely, each of them starts to fall for her.

“Jessie’s parents are Canadian and both graduated from U of G’s marine biology program at a time when Guelph was one of the only schools in the country that offered it,” said Gofton. “She’s been backpacking around the world and has decided to pay tribute to her parents by coming to U of G.”

Cast in the role of Jessie is Casey Dutfield, a fourth-year theatre studies student. The four young men are played by John Battye, who recently completed his second year of theatre studies; theatre studies graduate Andrew Ferguson; Gofton; and Guelph native Ryan Barrett. Biological sciences student Christina Maio has also been cast in a principal role, playing the partner of Gofton’s character.

With a $30,000 budget, Gofton has his cast and crew in place and is making final arrangements to secure shooting locations. Van Gogh’s Ear, Café Chopin, Thomas Video, the Aberfoyle Mill and the grounds at U of G are among the locations that have been confirmed.

Although much of the pre-production legwork has been taken care of, Gofton is still actively seeking film extras of all ages. To assist him in his search, he’s staging a concert at Van Gogh’s Ear May 11 at 8 p.m. The evening will feature a number of musical acts. Everyone attending the concert will have a chance to sign up for the film. Those interested in signing up but unable to attend the May 11 event can contact Gofton at 341-0870 or

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338 or Rachelle Cooper, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982.

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