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Telefilm Canada Celebrates 25-year Partnership with the Atlantic Film Festival

17 September 2009

2009 also marks 25th anniversary of Telefilm’s Atlantic office

Halifax, September 17, 2009 – Telefilm Canada (TFC) is proudly announcing its partnership with the 29th edition of the Atlantic Film Festival, This year marks two milestones: the 25th anniversary of both Telefilm’s partnership with AFF and the opening of its Atlantic Regional Office in Halifax, which was established in 1984.

TFC financed 20 of the 24 feature-length Canadian films screening at this year’s festival. These include two features by first-time Atlantic Region filmmakers – Sherry White and Adrianna Maggs – both from Newfoundland and Labrador. In 2009, Sherry White’s Crackie was short-listed for Cannes and premiered at TIFF while Adrianna Maggs’ Grown Up Movie Star was picked up for release by Canadian distributor Mongrel Media.

The Atlantic Film Festival was Telefilm Atlantic’s first industry development client back in 1984,” said Gordon Whittaker, Regional Director-Business Development and Feature Film Executive – Atlantic Region. “Since then our organizations have been joined at the hip helping Canadian films reach audiences locally and around the world. We’re thrilled that the high-quality and varied selection of films from across Canada being screened at this year’s festival reflect the diversity of Canada’s filmmaking talent.”

Since the Halifax office opened, Telefilm has invested more than $78 million in Nova Scotia’s feature film and new media industries, and more than $108 million in the Atlantic Region as a whole.

“Telefilm in general and the Halifax office in particular, since its inception in 1984, have worked to ensure that East Coast voices have been, and continue to be expressed on film and television across Canada,” said Michael Donovan, Chair and CEO, DHX Media and a long-time Telefilm client.

Strategic Partners
Telefilm’s Atlantic Office is also a founding supporter of Strategic Partners, the international TV and film co-production market held each year during the AFF.

“SP has become an internationally recognized co-production market attracting high-calibre industry professionals each year. We’re proud to have been one of the original supporters that made SP a reality back in 1998,” said Sheila de La Varende, Director, International and National Business Development, Telefilm Canada. “Because SP draws local, national and foreign producers, broadcasters, financiers and distributors to Halifax to network and pursue deals, it has become a forum for the Canadian audiovisual industry to do business with each other and the world.”

Industry initiatives
The Telefilm-sponsored Inspired Script program offers a unique opportunity for four Atlantic Canadian writers to develop their feature film outlines to treatments and pitch them to a panel of industry professionals at the 2009 Atlantic Film Festival.  The program winner will be eligible to receive up to $20,000 in development financing from Telefilm and the Harold Greenberg Fund and will also receive a live read-through with local actors at Script Out Loud during the 2010 Atlantic Film Festival.

Telefilm Canada-financed films at 2009 Atlantic Film Festival

Title – Category


A Shine of Rainbows – Special Presentations

Vic Sarin

A Wake

Penelope Buitenhuis

Cooking with Stella – Telefilm Canada Gala

Dilip Mehta

Crackie* Atlantic Focus

Sherry White

Dédé, à travers les brumes

Jean-Philippe Duval


Bruce Sweeney

Grown Up Movie Star* Atlantic Focus

Adrianna Maggs

High Life

Gary Yates

J’ai tué ma mère (I Killed My Mother) – That’s So Gay

Xavier Dolan

Leslie: My Name is Evil

Reg Harkema

Love and Savagery – Atlantic Gala

John N. Smith

Passenger Side

Matthew Bissonnette


Denis Villeneuve

Suck – Music & Image Gala

Robert Stefaniuk

The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus – Special Presentations

Terry Gilliam

The Trotsky – Closing Gala

Jacob Tierney

Trailer Park Boys: Countdown to Liquor Day – Opening Gala (World Premiere)

Mike Clattenburg

Year of the Carnivore

Sook-Yin Lee

You Might As Well Live

Simon Ennis

Zooey & Adam

Sean Garrity

* Indicates Atlantic Canadian filmmakers making their directorial débuts at the AFF

Developing and promoting the Canadian audiovisual industry
Telefilm Canada is a federal cultural agency dedicated to developing and promoting 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 Canadian Feature Film Fund, the Canadian Television Fund and the Canada New Media Fund. Visit


For additional information, please contact:
Michael Dunn
Communications Officer, Telefilm Canada
902-426-8425, ext. 2721 or 1-800-565-1773