Telefilm Canada to finance five French-language low budget independent feature films

Montreal, August 3, 2009 – Telefilm Canada is pleased to announce its latest investment decisions as part of the Low Budget Independent Feature Film Assistance Program. Twenty-three projects were submitted for the May 11, 2009 application deadline, and Telefilm has selected five French-language projects.

“The increasing number of applications as well as the quality of projects submitted ensure that the independent film assistance program remains very vibrant. Of course, the choice of projects is a real challenge and we are pleased to be able to finance five films this year, including one French-language film from a Toronto director”, stated Louise Deslauriers, National Feature Film Executive – French language.

In addition to encouraging innovation, the Program contributes to the diversity of our cinema. Below is the list of French-language productions that will receive financing from Telefilm Canada:

Boucherie Halal, written and directed by Babek Aliassa, Ontario
Hédi and Jamila, a Muslim immigrant couple, open a halal butcher shop in a small Canadian town.  Their future is put in jeopardy when Hédi’s father, concerned for his reputation when it turns out that Jamila cannot have children, urges his son to break up with his wife. Jamila, on her own for the very first time, realizes that she must leave her community if she wishes to become liberated as a woman.  Things get complicated when one of Jamila’s friends has good reasons for wanting her soon-to-be-born daughter to be adopted.

Curling, written and directed by Denis Côté (majority coproduction with France)
In a rough countryside at the end of the world, Curling portrays the singular life of a father and his 10-year-old daughter. Between the regular bits of work that sustain them, Jean-François clumsily spends time with Julyvonne, while keeping her isolated from the world.  The delicate balance that they have built is threatened by the appearance of some dead bodies. What result will this discovery have on their relationship?

Journal d’un coopérant, written and directed by Robert Morin (post-production)   
Jean-Marc is an electronics technician. Hoping to exorcise his inner demons, he becomes a volunteer in Africa. However, he quickly discovers the contradictions of the international aid system, which merely perpetuates North-South inequalities. As a result, his disillusion reopens the wounds from which he was trying to escape by taking refuge far from Canada. Seen through a camera viewfinder, this look at Burundi will not leave anyone indifferent.

De grandes espérances, written and directed by Ivan Grbovic
Rami is a young Lebanese man suffering from Little’s Disease. Until now, his life had been marked by his tender relationship with his father and his shyness toward women.  Assuming a false identify, he enters into a relationship with an unknown woman on the Internet.  He painstakingly arranges a meeting with her, but decides not to go at the last minute out of fear of humiliation.  Stricken with shame, Rami nonetheless manages to assert his role within his family and overcome his shyness toward women.  The director captures this story of transformation via a remarkable cinematographic vision.

Sortie 67, written and directed by Jephté Bastien
Jecko, an eight-year-old Métis-Haitian Québecois living in Montreal’s Saint-Michel district, has his childhood shattered when he sees his father murder his mother – a crime that he promises to avenge. Recruited by a street gang after bouncing from one foster family to another, he embarks on a life of violence until he decides to take control of his destiny by refusing the seemingly inevitable path set before him. Jecko’s discovery of more humane values leads him on a different journey, despite the risk of being rejected by his peers.

Developing and promoting the Canadian audiovisual industry
Telefilm Canada is a federal cultural agency dedicated to the development and promotion of the Canadian audiovisual industry. Telefilm provides financial support to the private sector to create distinctively Canadian productions that appeal to domestic and international audiences. The Corporation also administers the funding programs of the Canada Feature Film Fund, the Canadian Television Fund and the Canada New Media Fund.

To learn more about Telefilm Canada, watch the complete webcast of the Corporation’s first annual public meeting, held April 8, 2009, at www.telefilm.ca.

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Media Inquiries
Alejandra Sosa – Communications Officer and Press Attaché
1-800-567-0890, sosaa@telefilm.ca