Barrie Dunn founded Pictou Twist Pictures after spending 15 years at the helm of Trailer Park Productions, creators of the hit franchise, Trailer Park Boys. Our focus at Pictou Twist is on political dramas and thrillers, stories of individual and collective struggle, and irreverent comedies. We have several feature films and television projects in development with our Canadian, Latin American, European and American partners.
Barrie is the Writer/ Producer of the $7 million Canada-Cuba feature film, THE CUBAN FIVE, which is scheduled to go into production in 2020. He is a co-creator, producer and writer of the hit television series,TRAILER PARK BOYS, which critics have called "groundbreaking", "hilarious" and "subversive". Consistently the highest-rated program on Showcase during its seven-year run, it won numerous awards, including Best Series.
He produced and co-wrote the feature film, AFGHAN LUKE, which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film earned a Best Screenwriting nomination from the Writer's Guild of Canada. He co-produced and wrote the four-hour television mini-series drama, CANADA RUSSIA ‘72 for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He produced three feature films based on the TRAILER PARK BOYS franchise.
Barrie was a co-recipient of the inaugural CBC/ Atlantic Film Festival Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Film and Television Industry. He studied philosophy and theology and graduated with a degree in Law from Dalhousie Law School, where he has frequently guest lectured in Entertainment Law. He also graduated with distinction in Theatre from the Drama Studio London.
As President of Pictou Twist Pictures, Barrie oversees the writing and development of several feature films and TV series with Canadian, American, Latin American and European partners, including Assassin Nation, a satirical End of the World geopolitical thriller; The Corsican, a look at Napoleon through the eyes of his vindictive older brother, Joseph of New Jersey; Patria o Muerte, a limited drama series about how the Cuban Revolution united a country but destroyed a family; Mi'kmaq Purple Hearts, a feature film about two Indigenous brothers from Pictou Landing First Nation who fought in the Vietnam War; the comedy series, One Whore's Town, about the battle between two women in a coal mining town in rural Cape Breton; and the comedy drama feature, Three Schizophrenics Walk Out Of A Bar.
Patrick is a Toronto-based writer who has written for American, British and Canadian magazines and newspapers on conflicts in Europe, Africa, South America and Asia, including Afghanistan before and after 9/11.
During the U.S. invasion of Iraq, where he lived for two years, Graham was the London Observer correspondent and wrote about the war for The New York Times Magazine, Outside, The Guardian, The National Post, The Walrus Magazine and The Globe and Mail.
His June 2004 cover story for Harper's Magazine 'Beyond Fallujah: A year with the Iraqi resistance,' a groundbreaking article about the tribal insurgency in Anbar Province, won an Overseas Press Club of America award for foreign magazine reporting.
Graham has written for Harper's about Colombia and the Arab Awakening, and published an eBook with Doubleday about the war in Libya.
He co-wrote the feature film, AFGHAN LUKE. Loosely based on his reporting in Afghanistan, the film starred Nick Stahl and Lewis Black.
Graham won the Kurt Schork Award for freelance journalism from Columbia University and has an M.A in Classics from Dalhousie University. He received an honourary doctorate from the University of King’s College in 2016.
René is a writer on The Cuban Five and Patria o Muerte as well as a consultant on Cuban and Latin American issues.
Born in Chicago, Illinois, René moved back to Havana with his parents after the Cuban Revolution. He was five years old.
As a young man, he studied to become a Professor of Physics. Later, after his military service, he volunteered to serve in Angola as a tank gunner. In 1982, he graduated as a civil pilot and served as a pilot instructor in Havana until December 1990. He was then recruited by Cuban State Security to go on a covert mission to Florida to infiltrate counterrevolutionary groups, many of which were anti-Castro terrorist organizations committing acts of terror against Cuba.
His wife, Olga Salanueva, joined the mission in 1996. In 1998, René and several other Cuban agents were arrested by the FBI on charges of conspiracy to commit espionage. Of the ten agents arrested, five immediately copped plea deals while René and four others were determined to plead their innocence.
On December 6, 2000, the Cuban Five, as they became known around the world, faced a 17–month trial, referred to by international legal scholars and Nobel laureates, as a “travesty of justice”. René was sentenced to 15 years in federal U.S. prison.
After serving his full sentence, René returned to Cuba in 2013. He and his four colleagues – The Cuban Five - were awarded “Heroes of the Republic of Cuba”.
IRMA GONZÁLEZ SALANUEVA
Director of Development
Irma is Director of Development for Latin America and a producer for Pictou Twist Pictures. A graduate of the University of Havana with an undergraduate degree (Summa Cum Laude) and a Masters degree in Psychology, Irma is currently working on her Ph.D. She has worked on several major film productions, including the U.S. blockbuster Fast and Furious 8, the Chinese reality show, Encounter, and has served as a Producer, Consultant and Translator for the feature film, The Cuban Five, and the television series, Patria, both currently in development with Pictou Twist.
She has worked as a producer and translator for Vedado Films, and was production co-ordinator for Madonna’s 2017 trip to Cuba to celebrate her 58thbirthday. She has also served as personal assistant, translator and coordinator for actor Joe Manganiello and racing driver Rodin Younessi during their recent visits to Cuba.
In addition to her considerable work in the entertainment industry, Irma has served as a translator for several organizations, including Logan University and Royal Caribbean. She also translated the script of The Cuban Five for both Pictou Twist and Cuba’s film agency, The Instituto Cubano del Arte e Industria Cinematográficos (ICAIC).
She has studied film production with renowned Cuban producer, Frank Cabrera, and is a member of the Cuban Associations for Audiovisuals (ACAV). She represented Pictou Twist Pictures at the recent Bogotà Audiovisual Market where she helped develop productive relationships with senior Colombian producers, filmmakers, actors and writers.
Irma is fluent in both Spanish and English (she lived four years in the USA), and has a working knowledge of French.
Director of Development
As Pictou Twist's Director of Development for Europe East, Yuriy is responsible for overseeing the development of feature films, series and documentaries under the auspices of the various international co-production treaties with our eastern European partners.
A former pilot with the Soviet Naval Air Force, Yuriy immigrated to Canada in the early 1990s where he quickly established a career in the commercial airline industry that included several years as an ice pilot in the Canadian North.
Yuriy joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 2007 as a pilot; in 2011 he was transferred to the Commander of MARLANT where as a Policy Analyst he advised on strategic and operational missions and operations. His two secondments to the Strategic Joint Staff Office quickly led to his promotion to the Trinity Intelligence Department as an Intelligence Analyst.
Yuriy has written several fiction and non-fiction novels and scholarly articles. He has also worked as an actor, including his critically-acclaimed performance as Soviet head hockey coach, Vsevolod Bobrov, in the four-hour drama, Canada Russia '72, for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
Yuriy is fluent in English, Ukrainian, Russian and German.