Telefilm Canada funds production of 12 French-language feature films, half of which are directed or scripted by women

Montréal, July 24, 2019 – Telefilm is providing funding to 12 French-language feature films for a total of $16 million. From action, to more intimate stories, to social comedy, the selected projects represent a wide variety of genres and subject matter.

“Movie-lovers will be delighted, because there are films for all tastes and for all audiences,” said Christa Dickenson, Executive Director, Telefilm Canada. “At Telefilm, we’re also very pleased to see that half of the selected projects are directed or scripted by women, reflecting the diversity of Canadian talent.”

Selected projects:

Bootlegger
Director: Caroline Monnet
Writers: Caroline Monnet and Daniel Watchorn
Producer: Catherine Chagnon

Mani, a young lawyer, returns to her remote Indigenous community in northern Quebec. Determined to free the community from the paternalistic and outdated laws that govern it, Mani proposes holding a referendum aimed at removing the prohibition of alcohol on the reserve. This upsets the comfortable life of Laura, a white woman and bootlegger. The two women, each in their own way, must deal with the dizzying experience of taking charge of their respective destinies.

Crépuscule pour un tueur

Director: Raymond Saint-Jean
Writer: Martin Girard
Producer: Paul Cadieux

The year is 1979. A fearsome hitman, Donald Lavoie, works for Claude Dubois, a crime boss in southwestern Montréal. The hitman takes a young recruit under his wing, Serge Rivard, a hot-headed little thug who quickly involves Lavoie in a double murder. Thanks to the Dubois clan’s lawyers, Lavoie goes free. But that’s not the end of it for Detective Sergeant Patrick Burns, who tries to convince Lavoie to become an informant. Meanwhile, Dubois, as a test of Lavoie’s loyalty, asks him to kill a close member of his entourage. Lavoie disobeys the order, and then joins forces with other criminals to plan a bank heist so he can finance his exile to the South. Hunted by the Dubois clan on one side and Burns’s detectives on the other, Donald finds himself caught in an ever-tightening noose.

Guide de la famille parfaite
Director: Ricardo Trogi
Writer: Louis Morissette
Producer: Louis Morissette

The comedy Le Guide de la famille parfaite tells the story of a father and his 16-year-old daughter—who’s having a full-blown identity crisis—at a time when everyone seems to be moving at high speed through all aspects of life. As we watch their stories unfold, witness as they learn how to deal with their experiences. We see how difficult it is for parents to raise children in our high-performance society—parents who, by wanting the best for their children, end up suffocating them.

L’Île-aux-Paons
Director and writer: Julien Knafo
Producer: Barbara Shrier

It’s the beginning of winter, and a golf club on L’Île-aux-Paons hires a multinational corporation to genetically modify its turf so the club can stay open year-round. The island’s water becomes contaminated by a fertilizer that successfully melts snow—and also turns the islanders into mutants. The mutants try to spread this perfect lawn everywhere, while their bodies begin decomposing and turning into grass. Thirteen-year-old André watches as the devastating epidemic begins to grow and ultimately takes his parents, leaving him an orphan. Horrified, he must fight for his survival and that of his one-year-old sister. He meets Dan, a security guard and less-than-successful survivalist who has taken shelter in a deli, where he protects his 18-year-old daughter, who is infected. Dan is convinced that an antidote will soon be found. The corporation, meanwhile, tries to erase any evidence of its involvement in the crisis. Faced with the emergency, André and Dan, their protégés in tow, embark on a search for answers, which leads them to the golf clubhouse. There, the four have to confront the company’s henchmen, and the struggle won’t be easy…

Maria Chapdelaine
Director and writer: Sébastien Pilote
Producer: Pierre Even

The year is 1910. Around the Péribonka River, north of Lac Saint-Jean, Maria Chapdelaine, a desirable and resolute young woman, lives with her family on a homestead, where life is hard. Much to her mother’s regret, her father had brought them to the area. Maria meets François Paradis, a fur trader, who promises to return in the spring to marry her. On his way to visit her for Christmas, however, François dies after getting lost in a snowstorm. The following spring, Maria receives two marriage proposals. She has to choose between Lorenzo Surprenant, who offers her a life of ease in an American town, and Eutrope Gagnon, a farmer like her father, who has a homestead next to the Chapdelaines. Maria hesitates, and is tempted by life in the United States. But when her mother dies suddenly, she chooses to stay and agrees to marry their neighbour, Eutrope Gagnon.

Gallant: Confessions d’un tueur à gages
Director: Luc Picard
Writer: Sylvain Guy
Producer: Christian Larouche

Gallant chronicles the life of Gérald Gallant, one of the most prolific contract killers of our time. Gallant was responsible for 28 murders as well as some 15 attempted murders, mostly targeting high-ranking members of organized crime. This story tells of the extraordinary killer’s inner journey through a final confession delivered to God himself.

Mon cirque à moi
Director: Miryam Bouchard
Writer: Martin Forget
Producer: Antonello Cozzolino

Laura is a child of the circus who shares the bohemian life of her father, Bill, a clown. Laura’s new teacher, Sophie, becomes aware of Laura’s potential, taking her under her wing and even encouraging her to continue her high school studies at a private school. Sophie’s involvement, however, profoundly upends the family’s values, with Laura’s quasi-anarchist father believing that the only school that matters is the school of life.

Nadia, butterfly
Director and writer: Pascal Plante
Producer: Dominique Dussault

Nadia, 22, swims for Canada at the Olympic Games. For her, the prestigious competition represents the culmination of a life marked by sacrifice. However, Nadia’s fear of being trapped in the closed and short-lived world of high-level sport leads her to a controversial decision: to retire from her sport once the Games end. One last race, and it’s over. Well… not quite, because Nadia’s plan is to make as many memories as she can during the Games. Together with her training partner, Marie-Pierre, Nadia delves into the Olympic Village’s secretive, unbridled party scene, fueled by sex, drugs and alcohol. However, Nadia’s dizzying, fleeting experience of the Village’s excesses can’t conceal what she’s searching for, deep within herself: outside the world of swimming, who is she really?

Les oiseaux ivres
Director: Ivan Grbovic
Writer: Sara Mishara
Producer: Kim McCraw

Willy and Marlena. She’s the girlfriend of a cartel leader in Mexico, he’s in love with his boss’s—the cartel leader’s—girlfriend. Fearing the worst, the lovers flee, each on their own, to better survive. Willy thinks that Marlena is hiding out in Montréal, and in the hope of finding her, he travels to Quebec to work as a seasonal labourer on a farm belonging to the Vinet family. As friendships develop between the foreign workers on the farm, a rift grows between members of the Vinet family. Willy unknowingly attracts the amorous attentions of Julie, the farm’s owner, a situation that will have consequences for everyone—Willy is soon accused of a crime he didn’t commit. Les oiseaux ivres takes a look at the complex relationships between the exploiters and the exploited.

Added to the list are projects either in production or post-production, but for which funding had not yet been announced:

La déesse des mouches à feu
Director: Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette
Writer: Catherine Léger
Producer: Luc Vandal (Coop Vidéo de Montréal)

Chicoutimi, the 1990s. Catherine’s parents, too busy failing at their divorce, don’t notice that their daughter is growing up. Catherine intensely explores the world around her, not looking to become an adult. Most of all, she doesn’t want to become like her mother. She likes grunge, disorder and camping out in the woods. Set against the backdrop of a not-so-distant past, the film tells the story of Catherine’s adolescence—risky but, perhaps, essential in its riskiness.

Souterrain
Director and writer: Sophie Dupuis
Producer: Étienne Hansez

Maxime, a native of Val-d’Or in his early twenties, works in a mine far from the city. Fourteen days on at the mine, 14 days off at home. He splits his time in Val-d’Or between his girlfriend, with whom he patiently tries to have a child, and his childhood friend, Julien, who was disabled a year earlier following a car accident caused by Maxime. Since then, the guilt has been eating away at Maxime, and he wants to redeem himself. But his path is blocked by Mario, Julien’s father, who also works at the mine and who still blames Maxime for what happened to his son. One evening, after Maxime learns yet again that his girlfriend isn’t pregnant, an underground explosion shakes the city. Newly trained in mining rescue, Maxime descends deep into the mine that night, determined to bring back each of his co-workers alive… Through the foray into the daily lives of these workers, Souterrain highlights the contrast between the mine’s harsh underground conditions and the profound humanity of the men who work there.

Merci pour tout
Director: Louise Archambault
Writer: Isabelle Langlois
Producer: André Dupuy

Sisters Marianne and Christine Cyr have had a chilly relationship ever since the death a year earlier of their father, who was into shady business dealings. A comedic road movie, Merci pour tout follows the sisters as they travel to the Magdalen Islands to spread their father’s ashes and leave their personal problems behind. What they don’t realize is that they’re carrying their problems with them, both literally and figuratively.

About Telefilm Canada

Telefilm is dedicated to the cultural, commercial and industrial success of Canada’s audiovisual industry. Through funding and promotion programs, Telefilm supports dynamic companies and creative talent at home and around the world. Telefilm also makes recommendations regarding the certification of audiovisual coproduction treaties to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, and administers the programs of the Canada Media Fund. Launched in 2012, the Talent Fund accepts private donations which principally support emerging talent. Visit telefilm.ca and follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/telefilm_canada and on Facebook at facebook.com/telefilmcanada.

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Media enquiries:

Brian Mullen
Advisor, Public Relations
Telefilm Canada
647-475-4910
brian.mullen@telefilm.ca