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Telefilm Canada and the Rogers Group of Funds announce their support of seven Canadian theatrical documentaries
Toronto, April 15, 2015—Telefilm Canada and the Rogers Group of Funds are pleased to announce the latest Canadian English-language and French-language feature-length documentaries to receive funding support under the Theatrical Documentary Program. The seven selected projects obtained a total of $625,000 for production or post-production. They are: Nettie Wild’s Faultlines; Mila Aung-Thwin’s Let There Be Light; Rama Rau’s League of Exotique Dancers; Jamie Kastner’s The Skyjacker’s Tale; Léa Pool’s En attendant maman; Francis Legault’s Le Goût du pays; and Michel La Veaux’s Hôtel La Louisane.
“Thanks to our public-private partnership that has existed since 2007, Telefilm and the Rogers Group of Funds have supported 54 documentaries with a total investment of just over $7 million,” said Carolle Brabant, Telefilm’s Executive Director. “Since 2003, Telefilm has also provided support for this genre through other initiatives, most notably marketing dollars that help projects find audiences at home and internationally. I salute the documentary filmmakers who contribute greatly to the diversity and success of our cinema, and who offer a unique Canadian perspective on personal, social, economic and political issues of universal interest.”
Robin Mirsky, Executive Director, Rogers Group of Funds, added: “Rogers is proud to participate with Telefilm again this year, helping to recognize our talented Canadian documentary filmmakers around the world. This partnership is proof of Rogers’s commitment to this important genre as we continue to shine a spotlight on the talent this country has for unique and creative story telling.”
Since 1994, the Rogers Documentary Fund has supported documentary filmmakers in Canada with more than $27 million in direct support for more than 500 films.
Faultlines (Western Region)
Director and writer: Nettie Wild (FIX: The Story of an Addicted City, A Place Called Chiapas)
Production: Canada Wild Productions
Distribution: Canada Wild Productions
Faultlines is a cinematic conversation with the North at a time when the land and its people face irrevocable change. It’s a feature documentary that experiments with form and yet still tussles with one of the deepest issues troubling our times: how to mine the Earth without destroying the very planet itself. In contrast to most documentaries that are packed with experts forecasting environmental doom, director Nettie Wild’s “art film with politics” explores the physical and spiritual landscape of a community grappling with the very real possibility of enormous environmental damage while pursuing the promise of great wealth.
Let There Be Light (Quebec)
Director: Mila Aung-Thwin (Too Colourful for the League)
Writers: Mila Aung-Thwin, Bob Moore
Production: Eye Steel Film
Distribution: Eye Steel Film Distribution
In the south of France, scientists from 37 countries are building the most complex machine ever attempted. It will be capable of creating clean energy for the next 100,000 years, but will take decades to construct. Meanwhile, in Vancouver, B.C., an entrepreneur with a dream believes he can also create a miniature sun on earth, but faster and cheaper. In Palo Alto, an astrophysicist studies the crossover between the Bible and quantum physics to find the underlying energy source of the Universe. Let There Be Light follows the scientists who are obsessed with solving the energy crisis before our time runs out.
League of Exotique Dancers (Ontario and Nunavut)
Director and writer: Rama Rau (The Market)
Production: Storyline Entertainment
Long before Madonna and Lady Gaga appeared on the scene, there were the Living Legends, star performers from burlesque’s Golden Age. League of Exotique Dancers is an intimate, character-driven film that looks into vintage burlesque’s world of fun, frolic and feathers while uncovering the stories of poverty, racism and sexism that was rampant under all that glitter.
The Skyjacker’s Tale (Ontario and Nunavut)
Director and writer: Jamie Kastner (The Secret Disco Revolution)
Production: Cave 7 Productions
Distribution: A71 Entertainment
Wrongly convicted of murder, a man hijacks a plane with 200 passengers and gets away with it. Thirty years on, he’s still at large: tough, articulate and darkly humourous. Suddenly as the world’s geo-political landscape shifts, his safe asylum is no longer so safe, he faces deportation and a 90-year prison sentence. Filmed for the first time, his story unfurls as a political thriller, a murky morality play, a whodunit.
En attendant maman (Quebec), a minority Canadian coproduction with Switzerland
Director and writer: Léa Pool (Pink Ribbons, Inc.)
Distribution: Les Films Séville
Most women who are in prison are also mothers. Incarcerating a mother may involve a violation of her rights, as well as the rights of her children. When a woman is sent to prison, her infant or young child may end up in prison with her or be sent to live with the mother’s relatives or taken in charge by the state (youth protection, adoption). These situations may pose a risk for the child. By presenting several interwoven, deeply moving stories from three continents, we will attempt to draw a portrait of these children of the shadows, who have been forgotten, are invisible—and who bear the scars for the rest of their lives.
Le Goût du pays (Quebec)
Director and writer: Francis Legault
Distribution: Les Films Séville
The feature-length documentary Le Goût du pays is an ode to maple syrup and to the people who produce it. A meeting between Gilles Vigneault and Fred Pellerin forms the heart of the film. The two men gather in springtime in a sugar bush, where together they perform the quasi-alchemical sugaring off ritual and, at the same time, offer their deeply felt thoughts on Quebec society.
Hôtel La Louisiane (Quebec)
Director and writer: Michel La Veaux (Pierre Perrault parle de l’Île-aux-Coudres)
Production: Les Films Outsiders
Distribution: K-Films Amérique
Hôtel La Louisiane is a film that essentially looks at the topics of freedom and dignity. The freedom of people who choose to live in places that are a source of true inspiration. Dignity as embodied by the hotel’s current owner, who kept a promise made to his father to preserve the hotel’s mission as an affordable place to live for artists, not to mention for students looking for interesting work—jobs they could never get in other hotels. Freedom because the hotel is also a tolerant, non-judgemental place. This film isn’t only about a legendary site in Paris; it also explores a lifestyle imbued with universal values, an authentic approach to life that transcends cultural borders and barriers.
Theatrical Documentary Program highlights
Over the years, the Program has supported such high-profile projects as Waterlife (Kevin McMahon); Manufactured Landscapes (Edward Burtynsky); Sharkwater (Rob Stewart); Reel Injun (Neil Diamond); Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel (Brigitte Berman); Last Train Home (Lixin Fan); Fight Like Soldiers, Die Like Children (Patrick Reed); Saving Luna (Michael Parfit and Suzanne Chisholm); China Heavyweight (Yung Chang); La nuit, elles dansent (Isabelle Lavigne, Stéphane Thibault); Prom Night in Mississippi (Paul Saltzman); Bestiaire (Denis Côté); Les Équilibristes (Violette Daneau); Pierre Falardeau (Carmen Garcia and German Gutierrez); and The Bodybuilder and I (Bryan Friedman).
About Telefilm Canada
Telefilm is dedicated to the cultural, commercial and industrial success of Canada’s audiovisual industry. Through its various funding and promotion programs, Telefilm supports dynamic companies and creative talent here at home and around the world. Telefilm also administers the programs of the Canada Media Fund. Visit telefilm.ca and follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/telefilm_canada and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/telefilmcanada.
About the Rogers Group of Funds
The Rogers group of funds offers support to Canadian independent producers with three different types of funding: Rogers Telefund, which offers loans to Canadian independent producers; Rogers Documentary Fund, Canada’s premier source of funding for documentary films; and Rogers Cable Network Fund, an equity investor in Canadian programs with a first play on a Canadian cable channel. Three different types of financing. Three different funds. All from one source—Rogers. www.rogersgroupoffunds.com
Douglas Chow, Head, Public Relations, Telefilm Canada
(416) 973-6436 ext. 2548, or 1-800-463-4607