Fact Sheet

  • Running time: 82 minutes
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Language: English
  • Rated "R" for language, some sexual references
    and brief drug use (United States, MPAA)
  • Country of origin: Canada
  • Format: DCP/2.39/Colour
  • Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
  • World Premiere: December 3, 2015 at the Whistler Film Festival (Canada)
  • Distributor: Freestyle Digital Media.
  • Publicity: Prodigy, 2601 Ocean Park Blvd. Suite 300A | Santa Monica, CA 90405
    P: 310-857-2020 x 132 C: 530-591-0895
  • Production company: Autumn Productions.
  • Camera format: Digital SLR
  • Shot entirely on location in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.
  • Directed, produced and co-written by Brian Stockton, a Saskatchewan-based filmmaker and educator with a long career in filmmaking. He currently teaches film at the University of Regina.
  • The story was originally developed in 2012 by two of Brian's students: Matt Yim and Ian Schneider who worked on the story with Brian.
  • A fifty page outline for the film was written by Brian Stockton with James Whittingham.
  • It was used as a shooting script and the dialogue was largely improvised by the actors.
  • The film shot in Regina in August of 2013 with financial support from the Saskatchewan Arts Board and The Saskatchewan Filmpool Cooperative.
  • Stockton directed James Whittingham in a segment for an omnibus feature film in 2012 called I Heart Regina. The segment was entitled "Ice" and featured James as a slacker who throws a party when his landlord leaves town.
  • Stockton wanted to work with Whittingham again in a long form feature based on his experience with I Heart Regina.
  • The cast developed dialogue in rehearsals prior to shooting, however, not all scenes were rehearsed.
  • Principal photography spanned twenty-two days, mostly over an eighteen month period. One week of sporadic second unit photography also took place.
  • Pre-production to completion took two years.
  • Due to the length of production, two cinematographers were used: Preston Kanak and Jason Rister.
  • Principal photography took place for two weeks in August, 2013, two days in December, 2013, four days in May 2014, and five days in December, 2014, as well as a few other days interspersed.
  • An Indiegogo campaign was launched at the end of 2013 that raised over seven thousand dollars.
  • Telefilm Canada funded the film after it was mostly shot.
  • Private investors also helped contribute to the film's total budget.
  • Jason Hujber began editing the film in Vancouver, BC in the fall of 2014.
  • Full-time post-production took place in Regina, Saskatchewan in the spring and summer of 2015. Companies involved included Java Post Production, Talking Dog Studios, and Studio One (Jason Plumb).
  • Much of the music in the film comes from Regina bands including Rah Rah and Library Voices.
  • Los Angeles-based musician Lisa Marr (Cub, The Lisa Marr Project) wrote the lyrics for the original song for the film, "In Time." It was then recorded by Regina's Library Voices at Studio One in Regina.
  • This is the first release for Autumn Productions (David Hansen and Johnny Mac, executive producers.)
  • Examples of other improvised feature films: The One I Love (2014) w/ Elizebeth Moss, Blue Valentine (2010) w/ Michelle Williams, American Hustle (2013) dir David O Russel, Like Crazy (2011) dir Drake Doremus, The Trip (2010) w/ Steve Coogan


James Whittingham (James Pittman)

  • Comic actor and writer
  • 50 years old
  • Plays James Pittman a fine arts professor with a successful street photography book. He befriends a young artist, Lucy, on his year-long Sabbatical.
  • First worked with Stockton on a short called Strike Me Silly in 1989. Directed by Brett Bell.
  • Starred in Stockton's segment for the omnibus feature I Heart Regina in 2012.
  • Also graduated with a film degree from the University of Regina several years after Stockton.
  • Appeared in Stockton's documentary entitled My Dinner with Generation X
  • Whittingham is most noted for his television comedy career which began on community access television and he later starred in the 1997 season of Just for Laughs (CBC).
  • Whittingham contributed to the screenplay along with Stockton.
  • Whittingham is based in Regina, Saskatchewan.

Laura Abramsen (Lucy)

  • Screen actor and recent theatre school grad.
  • 24 years old.
  • Plays "Lucy" a young artist who befriends a middle-aged photographer.
  • Lives in Toronto, Ontario.
  • Born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario. Moved to the small town of Assiniboia, Saskatchewan in high school.
  • Attended The University of Saskatchewan and the University of Regina.
  • Starred in Matt Yim's short April Doesn't Hurt Here, which was included in TIFF's Top Ten Festival.
  • Graduated from the University of Regina Theatre Program in May 2015.
  • Had the lead role in 3 feature films while still in university. 
  • Stars in the lead role of Audrey in Matt Yim's soon-to-be-released feature Basic Human Needs.
  • Also appears in Robin Dunne's upcoming family feature A.R.C.H.I.E.
  • Co-hosted the Saskatchewan Independent Film Awards (The SIFAs) with James Whittingham in 2014.

Bernadette Mullen (Jillian)

  • Plays Jillian, a medical research scientist on the verge of a breakthrough that would eliminate the need for men in reproduction. She's married to James Pittman, the protagonist.
  • Recent graduate of the University of Regina theatre program.
  • Lives in Weyburn, Saskatchewan

Mike Gill (Shane)

  • 25 years old
  • Lives in Vancouver, BC.
  • Plays Shane, the boyfriend of Lucy.
  • Background in theatre and improv.
  • Raised in Regina, Saskatchewan.

Candy Fox (Lucy's roommate Penelope)

  • Candy is a veteran actor, having launched her career in her teens with the APTN series Moccasin Flats. She is also a respected filmmaker.
  • Candy is from Payepot First Nation, Saskatchewan.
  • She has directed several documentary shorts, including Being Two-Spirited, which won Best Documentary at the Living Skies Student Film Festival, Brown Rock WomanThe Soul Within, and Backroads, a selection in the 2015 TIFF Student Shorts Festival.

Ken Wilson (Dean Vernon)

  • Ken is a university educator and writer in Regina, Saskatchewan. This is his feature film debut.

Trevor Aikman (James's friend Trevor Scott)

  • Trevor is a Regina-based actor, improviser and television editor.

Paul-Gui Crepeau (Malcolm Anders)

  • Sadly Mr. Crepeau passed away in early 2015 after his scenes were completed.
  • He played James's nemesis, a blind photographer.
  • Paul was an accomplished filmmaker and respected actor with a long and storied stage career. He told us he had a blast making The Sabbatical.
  • The film is dedicated to him.

Kevin Allardyce (The Doctor)

  • Kevin was a part of a comedy team with James Whittingham in the 1990s called James and Kevin. They starred in a comedy series on local television in Regina called The James and Kevin Show but The Sabbatical marked the first time in 14 years that they worked together. Their last project was a network TV pilot in 2000 called Screwheads. Kevin lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Kate Abramsen (Kate)

  • Kate is famous for being Sabbatical star Laura Abramsen's sister.
  • This is her feature film debut in a speaking role.
  • Kate plays a student award-winner who annoys James with her harsh professor evaluation.


The Sabbatical on IMDb.