Telefilm Canada to fund the production of six French-language feature films

Montreal, May 29, 2020 – Telefilm Canada is providing nearly $8 million in funding for six French-language feature films. The projects selected reflect gender parity and represent several genres and themes. Telefilm Canada fosters and encourages the development of the Canadian audiovisual industry through its financial support.

“The current context has created much uncertainty for our industry, which will have significant repercussions for us all and requires greater caution on our part,” said Christa Dickenson, Executive Director of Telefilm Canada. “The decisions announced today obviously take this uncertainty into account. Moreover, we are closely monitoring the situation with our industry partners with respect to the resumption of feature film shooting and the reopening of movie theatres so as to adapt our actions and thus better support the industry going forward. In the meantime, the stability of our funding allows these talented creators to work on promising films.”

Given the uncertainty and in order to adjust to the industry’s needs, Telefilm is postponing its next application deadline. However, other funding decisions may be announced at a later date.

As a reminder, in addition to continuing to support Canadian film production through its regular programs, Telefilm recently made available a COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund to help its clients remain active.

The films selected are:

Arsenault et Fils

Director and screenwriter: Rafaël Ouellet
Production: La maison de prod

Profiting from illegal hunting, the close-knit Arsenault family has reigned supreme for several generations in a small village in the Bas-du-Fleuve region. The return home of Anthony, the reckless youngest son, and the arrival of Émilie, a radio host with a strong hold on Anthony and his older brother Adam, will soon test the harmony of the clan and their future dealings.

Babysitter

Director: Monia Chokri
Screenwriter: Catherine Léger
Production: Amérique Films

Coproduction: Phase 4 Productions (France)

Cédric loses his job at Hydro-Québec after making a sexist joke that goes viral. At the urging of his brother, a well-meaning nerd, Cédric starts therapy and writes Sexist Story, a groundbreaking book that challenges misogyny. Exasperated by her boyfriend’s self-examination, Nadine, in need of some excitement and adventure, finds herself tempted by the astonishing games initiated by the mysterious babysitter. Adapted from the play, Babysitter is a comedy that delves even further into the unconscious, the desire to dominate the other, and the drifting apart of the couple.

Béluga Blues

Directors: Christine Dallaire-Dupont and Nicola Lemay
Screenwriter: Andrée Lambert
Production: Productions 10e avenue

At an age when he should normally be white, Katak is a small, young beluga whale who is still grey. Because of his colour, he must stay with the highly overprotective females in his pod. If more belugas were born, he might not be treated like such a baby whale any more! But the pod, threatened with extinction, seems unable to reproduce. Katak can’t stand being laughed at any more. When his grandmother tells him that, before she dies, she would like to see her lover again, whom Katak never knew, he decides to grant her wish and secretly leaves for the Arctic to find his legendary grandfather. During the dangerous journey, he encounters Cyrano, a skittish sturgeon with a complex about his big nose, and forms an unlikely friendship with Jack-Lyn, a killer whale afraid of blood, while pursued by her father, the cruel Jack-Knife.

Lignes de fuite

Directors and screenwriters: Catherine Chabot and Myriam Bouchard
Screenwriters: Catherine Chabot and Émile Gaudreault
Production: Cinémaginaire

A dramatic comedy that depicts an eventful reunion between three high school friends. As the evening unfolds, the young thirtysomethings form an increasingly volatile trio. Alcohol, an impromptu pregnancy test, heated discussions about their generation, personal questions, arguments about the relevance of having children and the fate of humanity all result in an increasingly explosive cocktail that will put their friendship to the test.

Norbourg

Director: Maxime Giroux
Screenwriter: Simon Lavoie
Production: Les Films du Boulevard

Montreal, 2001. At the Québec Securities Commission, Norbourg and its young CEO, Vincent Lacroix, are all anyone is talking about. Chief Inspector Éric Asselin is assigned to monitor the firm’s activities. Instead of looking into Norbourg’s operations, Asselin develops a fascination for Lacroix, and soon leaves his position as an investigator to become the financier’s right-hand man. Together, they set up a fraudulent system through which they will embezzle millions to get rich. But the fun can’t go on forever. When things start to close in on the company, Asselin reports Lacroix to the RCMP, hoping to get away with the crime. In the meantime, Norbourg will have successfully extorted $130 million from thousands of investors who find themselves ruined overnight.

Soleils Atikamekw

Director and screenwriter: Chloé Leriche
Production: Les Films de l’Autre in collaboration with the Manawan Atikamekw Council

On June 26, 1977, a van carrying seven people plunges into the Rivière du Milieu, north of Saint-Michel-des-Saints. Two Quebecers escape, but five young people from the Manawan community lose their lives. Produced in collaboration with the Conseil des Atikamekw de Manawan, Soleils Atikamekw is freely inspired by the dreams, impressions and memories of the family and friends of the victims of this tragedy.

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 – English Market
Telefilm Canada
647-475-4910
brian.mullen@telefilm.ca