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BlackBerry Movies: Canadian Film Documentaries on the Rise and Fall of Research in Motion

The story of the tarnished Canadian jewel that BlackBerry is aiming for in the movies.

The producers say filming ended in a lengthy production run that recounts the ups and downs of the device – once affectionately known as the CrackBerry among its most obsessed users.

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BlackBerry revolves around the masterminds at Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM), the technology company based in Waterloo, Ont., was responsible for creating the world’s most popular smartphone brand years before Apple’s iPhone hit the market.

A representative for Canadian distributor Elevation Pictures said the film will star Glenn Howerton, the It’s always sunny in Philadelphiaas co-CEO Jim Balsillie, while Ottawa-born Jay Baruchel, best known for his comedy Knocked Upwill play business partner and company co-founder Mike Lazaridis.

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BlackBerry adapted from a non-fiction book Loss of signal: BlackBerry’s spectacular rise and fallwritten by Globe and Mail reporters Sean Silcoff and Jacquie McNish.

The film was shot primarily in the Hamilton area by director Matt Johnson, whose previous work includes The Dirties, Operation Avalanche and TV documentary comedy Nirvanna the Band the Show.

Other members include Cary Elwes of Mission: Impossible – Dead ReckoningSaul Rubinek from True Romance and Michael Ironside from Total hits.

RIM was founded in 1984 by Lazaridis and Doug Fregin, two business partners who had previously worked together in the failed LED signage business. After a decade of researching various other technology projects, they turned their attention to the two-way communication system that would become the basis of BlackBerry devices.


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Balsillie, a Harvard graduate, rebuilt her home at the age of 33 to invest $250,000 in the idea. In the mid-1990s, the company launched its first handheld pager on the way to building a device that cemented its reputation.

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For years, the BlackBerry was the dominant smartphone, seen in the hands of everyone, from celebrities to commoners. The brand enjoyed that status until the iPhone came out in 2007. A year later, RIM released a keyboard-and-touchscreen device that turned out to be the beginning of the demise of the brand. it on the consumer market.

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Behind the scenes, there have been numerous outages and uncertainty among the company’s board of directors over where the BlackBerry brand will go next.

At its peak, RIM was the most valuable company in Canada, with a market value that surpassed even the country’s largest banks.

BlackBerry sponsored by XYZ Films, intends to sell the film to global distributors at the Toronto International Film Festival in September.

© 2022 Canadian Press

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