Pubdate: Fri, 06 Jul 2007
Source: Kelowna Capital News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2007, West Partners Publishing Ltd.
Author: Adrian Nieoczym


A Kelowna man's documentary film about the marijuana industry is
making waves on the film festival circuit.

The Union: the business of getting high, won
outstanding feature documentary honours at the
Winnipeg International Film Festival last month.
Next month, it is slated to appear at the Rhode
Island International Film Festival.

And the film's producers are hoping to make the cut when the Vancouver
festival announces its roster on Sept. 8, said Adam Scorgie, 27, who
stars in the film as an interviewer and is its executive director.

"We didn't want to make a hippie film," that celebrates marijuana use,
said Scorgie. "We wanted to bring up the facts and let people know,
even if they aren't directly involved, how it affects society."

The movie looks at the reasons marijuana continues to be illegal in
both Canada and the United States, even though a number of government
reports, including one by the Canadian senate, calls for pot to be
legalized. It then examines how the illicit industry, reported to be
worth $7 billion to the B.C. economy, operates and who profits from

In the film, Scorgie interviews celebrities like Tommy Chong and
Ultimate Fighting's Joe Rogan, as well as Senator Larry Campbell,
Vancouver's ex-mayor and a former member of the RCMP drug squad; Norm
Stamper, a former Seattle chief of police; and Jack Cole, who used to
be a U.S. undercover narcotics officer. All of them say marijuana
should be legal.

When his father, Bud Scor-gie, who owned Cheetah's nightclub, died
in 2003, Adam returned to his hometown of Kelowna. He'd been in New
York, where he was working as an actor and model, appearing on soap
operas and attending film school. At the time he'd just come up with
the idea for the film. New York production companies he'd talked to
wanted too much money to make the film so he found his team in
Vancouver. "Canada is actually well-known for documentaries," said
Scorgie, who made the movie with producers Graeme Flannigan, Stephen
Green, Kieran Maguire and director Brett Harvey.

Their intention was to focus just on the renowned B.C. industry but as
they started the interviews, they realized they were dealing with a
much bigger picture, said Scorgie, forcing them to broaden their scope
to include the whole continent.

Scorgie grew up in the bar business, working Cheetah's coat check when
he was 15, manning the door when he was 18 and bartending when he was
19. He saw first hand how much wealth was generated by local grow operations.

"You put two and two together. A 19-year-old comes in and drops
$2,000," he said. "And buys everyone a drink."

He also knew people who worked either as growers, or as clippers,
trimming the plants before they are sold. "I think its pretty hard not
to know people if you've grown up in B.C," he said.

Scorgie says he was surprised at what he learned making the film.
"Before this I was against marijuana," he said. "I'm not even a pot
smoker." But now he thinks pot should be legal and regulated like alcohol.

The film cost around $300,000 to make. The biggest backer is Scorgie's
stepfather, Jim Wright, who works for Cameron Oil Industries in Texas.

The accolades in Winnipeg have already netted the film offers for
distribution deals, one for the college and campus rights in North
America and another for the international rights.

"We've politely declined for now," said Scorgie. The plan is to do the
festival circuit for six months, with the hope of scoring a larger
distribution deal that will include rights for domestic and
international release as well as DVD rights.

Scorgie says he hopes to move back to the U.S., either to Los Angeles
or back to New York, with his girlfriend Lauren Harris and their
nine-month old daughter, Riley.

He wants to get back to acting.

"Hopefully, with a little steam from this, it will get me into some
rooms I couldn't get into before," he said.
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