Canada’s Paul Fler talks producing upcoming drama series ‘Twentynine Palms’

Paul Fler was just a child when he discovered his passion in life. At the time, he was growing up in the small town of Campbellford, Ontario, and like many children his age, he was mesmerized watching the Star Wars franchise. When he was watching a behind-the-scenes documentary of the making of the films, he was blown away by the process that it took to make such magic come to life. He knew even at that young age that he wanted to one day make movies and create films and television shows that would enchant his audiences.

Now, Fler is an internationally sought-after Producer, living his childhood dream. Audiences all over the world have enjoyed his work, such as his feature Son of the Sunshine, which was nominated for a Genie (Canadian Screen Award) for Best Original Screenplay and was called a “gem of filmmaking genius” by the National Post. The film played at nearly 20 international film festivals and won several audience and best picture awards. More recently, his film The End of War was nominated for Best Short Film at the Woodstock Film Festival, and currently has almost 20 million views on YouTube. He has an array of experience, producing and directing 

numerous commercials that have won awards and recognition at the Clio Awards, Epica Awards, Communication Arts, The Marketing Awards, Advertising and Design Club of Canada, Strategy Awards, Canadian Marketing Awards, Applied Arts Advertising Annual, and the Atomic Awards. He also has an extensive music video background, working with superstar artists like Drake and The Weeknd. Undoubtedly, Fler is an extraordinary producing talent.

“As a professional producer, I get to make a living doing something I love. Every day is different. There are new problems to solve, new creative projects to get involved in, and the pace is always changing. My brain needs variety and producing provides that absence of uniformity,” said Fler.

Fler is currently hard at work on his upcoming television series Twentynine Palms, a collaboration with his longtime creative partner Chris Cunningham and writer Mike Doyle. Twentynine Palms is a character-driven crime drama. It is inspired by conspiracy theories that have, more recently, become revelations involving human trafficking rings and abuse in various industries and institutions. The story follows a small-time private detective named Lionel Viser. Haunted by the unexplained childhood disappearance of his sister, which has fractured his family, he spends his lonely hours investigating insurance fraud just outside Twentynine Palms Marine Base in Yucca Valley, California. When an esteemed Marine Corps major commits suicide and his daughter discovers a disturbing videocassette among his belongings, Lionel gets a case that will forever change him as he uncovers a generations-spanning conspiracy in Hollywood and outside of Twentynine Palms Marine Base.

“This is a dark tale, but not a bleak one. It is the story of a man’s descent into a world of conspiracy, darker than most want to believe is possible, and his brazen attempt to shine a light on this world. More importantly, it is the story of four very different people who have been scarred by the same enemy, and who help each other overcome their worst fears about the world and themselves,” said Fler, “Ultimately, Twentynine Palms is about human connection. The attention remains on the characters throughout the series, even as the plot grows more intertwined, the drama more intense, and the revelations more disturbing. They each yearn to be a force for good in the world, and to know that justice and love are possible.”

The idea for the series began when Fler and Cunningham were talking about conspiracy theories that intrigued them. He wanted to explore that in a series, and brought on Doyle to write the pilot. The three of them are a tremendous team, and are very open to sharing ideas, talking them through, and working everyone’s opinion into the storyline. 

“We developed this project before the Jeffrey Epstein stuff broke and before the Weinstein allegations came out. It is something I always had suspicions about – there were already a lot of theories about Epstein’s disgusting lifestyle on different message boards long before he was officially charged – and we started developing a series that deals with human trafficking and an industry that can really take advantage of people in a cruel and destructive way. Powerful people using their status to hurt others. It’s a dark series but it’s an important reminder that power that goes unchecked and unchallenged can be destructive,” Fler described.

When it came down to making the pilot, Fler not only was a producer, but also co-director, getting to really explore his creative side of producing and being a driving force of the show’s success. He enjoys having so much control over the project, and working alongside his two close friends. 

“It feels like being back in high school and shooting a short film with your buddies. Doesn’t get better than that,” he concluded.

The series is still in production and has no premiere date as of yet, but be sure to keep an eye out for Twentynine Palms when it makes its way to your screen.

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