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Ian DimermanBy MYRON LOVE Ian Dimerman has long had a passion for making movies – but only in the past year has he devoted himself full time to the business.

The current project for Winnipeg-based Inferno Pictures is “How it Ends”, a production featuring actors Forest Whitaker and Theo James. The apocalypse-themed film was shot in Winnipeg throughout August and September. At one point in early September, the filmmakers arranged to have the Arlington Bridge closed to traffic for a week to allow filming at the location.
“Netflix spent millions of dollars in Winnipeg during the production, not only for salaries for the hundreds of people working directly on the film – but also for hotel rooms, catering and other related costs,” Dimerman points out.
Dimerman and his crew set up temporary quarters in a vacant warehouse in the Inkster Park Industrial area. Accompanied by the producer, this reporter toured the premises viewing the different sections – areas such as wardrobe where new clothing had been treated to look ash- and sweat-stained, the area where sets were being built by carpenters, a room with a car covered in ash and many more insights as to how the magic happens.
“Making a movie is an intense process,” Dimerman notes. “You are employing a lot of people. You are spending a lot of money in a short time and trying to stay on budget. It can be really stressful.”
Dimerman did have some experience in the performing arts before he left Winnipeg for Toronto. He sang at the Hollow Mug and was a member of Chai. He played a lead in a Winnipeg Jewish Theatre production. In Toronto, he was also part of a klezmer band made up of former Winnipeggers.
He originally moved to Toronto for university, earning an MBA from University of Toronto. After graduation, he went to work for a major chartered bank. He recalls that he wasn’t enamoured with banking and may not have stuck with the bank for long except for the serendipitous opportunity to join the bank’s specialized financing division for film and television productions after putting on a performance at a staff function.
“I found myself working with clients all over the world,” he recounts. “I loved it. After a time, I moved to another chartered bank where I was in charge of the bank’s film financing division for English Canada. I would attend film festivals and television market sets and sit on panels to discuss film financing. Our bank became the second largest film financing agency in Canada.”
About 15 years ago, Dimerman married the former Jennifer Narvey – they actually grew up across the street from each other in Garden City. In 2008, they decided to move back to Winnipeg.
“Our families were in Winnipeg,” he says. “We wanted to start a family of our own and be close to our families.”
Back in Winnipeg, Dimerman initially worked as a consultant. “I was working with the National Screen Institute of Canada’s national Film and television training organization,” he says. “Through that work, he came into contact with a local filmmaker operating Inferno Pictures.
“The company wasn’t doing much at that time,” he says. “I still had all these great contacts from my days in Toronto. We decided to join forces and put the word out and work started to come our way.”
Among Inferno Picture’s projects have been “White Out”, a film for Warner Brothers – starring Kate Beckinsale – which was filmed north of Gimli; “Hockey Goons (which Dimerman describes as one of the most successful English Canadian films made within the last decade); “Mr. Hockey: The Gordie Howe Story” for CBC; a Hallmark Christmas movie, a Canada-France horror film and a Disney movie called “Bunks” that was filmed at BB Camp.
For most of that period, his day job was working as vice-president at a local financial institution.
He notes that the film industry in Manitoba is booming thanks to a long-running provincial government incentive program which is one of the best in Canada and the extremely talented and experienced crew base in Manitoba. The industry creates thousands of jobs in the province and injects tens of millions of dollars into the provincial economy.
“The only real challenge we have to deal with is travel,” he says. “There are not a lot of direct flights between Winnipeg and major American cities.”
Dimerman credits the support of his wonderful family and especially his wife, Jennifer. “Jennifer (who also works for Inferno Pictures) has been my co-pilot. She is a big part of my success.”
Dimerman also believes in giving back to the community. He served on the board of the Jewish Child Family Service, for example, for several years and was the treasurer at one point. Right now though, filmmaking takes up almost all of his time.
“This is a really exciting time,” he says. “We continue to be very busy.”

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