A year ago in Sundance we interviewed Telefilm Canada’s Carolle Brabant who had taken the reins of Telefilm the previous March. While often the Canadian films are waiting to premiere at Cannes or Toronto. This year the number of upcoming greats which might make it to Cannes include Xavier Dolan’s latest Laurence Anyways (ISA: MK2), and Deepa Mehta’s Midnight’s Children, based on a 1981 book by Salman Rushdie that deals with India’s transition from British colonialism to independence and the partition of India. It won both the Booker Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 1981 and was awarded the “Booker of Bookers” Prize and the best all-time prize winners in 1993 and 2008 to celebrate the Booker Prize 25th and 40th anniversary. It was also added to the list of Great Books of the 20th Century, published by Penguin Books.
Also coming up is the uncharacteristically quickly produced latest from of David Cronenberg,Cosmopolis, based on Don DeLillo’s novella and starring Twilight’s Robert Pattinson, a study of capitalism that takes place in a billionaire’s limo in a slightly futuristic New York metropolis, which since Cannes, Kinology has already presold for Canada to eOne, France to Canal+, Hong Kong to Tomson, Switzerland to Ascot Elite and the Ukraine to Top Film Distribution. 7 other Canadian features are also in the works.
From micro_scope, the producers of Incendies and Monsieur Lazhar (which makes this their second year in a row as an Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film) comes ’Inch’Allah directed by Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette and which will star Evelyne Brochu as one of three women in a clinic in Jordan for Palestinian refugees.
The Canadians have already exceeded their Oscar nominations from last year where they had 4 nominations: Incendies for Best Foreign Language Film, Barney’s Version in the Makeup category (Adrien Morot). This year in the Best Foreign Film category, they have 2 films: Monsieur Lazhar and Agnieszka Holland’s In Darkness which began as a Polish/ German/ Canadian co-production and received most notably development funds from Telefilm Canada. There was no production financing because to have that the film must be in French, English or Inuit.
They also are proud of Christopher Plummer who has been nominated for Best Supporting Actor, Howard Shore, nominated for Best Original Score, David Giammarco for Sound Mixing for Moneyball. One of the producers for Beginners is Canadian Miranda de Pencier, born and raised in Toronto. Graduate of Canadian Film Centre. And finally there arer two animated shorts from National Film Board of Canada (Dimanche/ Sunday) from Quebec and The Wild One. All that is missing is any mention of David Cronenberg’s brilliant brainy movie A Dangerous Method (ISA: Hanway).
This Year of the Dragon looks very propitious, even more so because Carolle Brabant herself was born in the Year of the Dragon. Speaking of Chinese, Telefilm Canada is also launching a new initiative with China, China Gateway, which will take place this year at the Whistler Film Festival. Of their 57 co-production treaties the one with China will be emphasized this year.
What a difference a year makes. So much has been accomplished since our interview last year at Sundance. All we need to do now is wait and count the prizes. Inch’Allah, Ojala, Kine-Hora and ptu-ptu-ptu.