Stimulating our creative talents
In 2013-2014, as it marked a major milestone with Bell Media’s acquisition of Astral Media, Fonds Harold Greenberg continued to provide financial support to film and television projects to help bring them to fruition.
What you will read on the following pages, whether the number of projects we have supported or the funding we have provided, reflects Fonds Harold Greenberg’s core mission: through its various programs, stimulate the creation of French-language works by Canadian creative talents.
Since the French-language program was created 18 years ago, the industry landscape has changed dramatically and will continue to evolve. But one element remains unchanged: the creative talent behind all the productions. And every year, our established authors, directors, artisans and performers are joined by inspired and highly talented newcomers with remarkable potential.
In this highly promising context, Fonds Harold Greenberg continues to play a key role in providing our filmmakers with the resources they need to give voice to our cultural identity through works that speak to Canadian audiences as only Canadian productions can.
Significant capital injection
In 2013-2014, the funding and consumption of feature films continued to evolve, and in a way that did not mitigate the traditional high risks associated with this industry of prototypes. In this context, the injection of additional funds totalling $22.8 million in spring 2014, to be distributed over seven years, was an unexpected windfall for independent producers. Not only will this new contribution enable Fonds to bolster its presence, it will make it a significant and even essential partner for the completion of some projects. Of the total, $18.8 million will be used for the production of feature films, and $4 million will be dedicated to the development of television concepts.
The Fonds team enthusiastically welcomes this new capital and is very encouraged by this vote of confidence by Bell Media.
Making our service even more efficient and ensuring that the funding we provide is better aligned with a perpetually changing market is central to our priorities. With this in mind, the injection of new capital has allowed us to expand our funding by adding a category for feature films and another to stimulate the development of television formats. They have already produced results.
Feature films. Fonds was already supporting the development of feature films through story optioning, script development, and polish and packaging. With the new contribution of $18.8 million over seven years, we have been able to add production assistance to expand our offering. Fonds’ involvement in film production after a five-year absence has resulted in its financial participation in 10 highly promising films.
Our selection encompasses a broad variety of genres, from mainstream productions—such as Philippe Falardeau’s upcoming film (Guibord s’en va-t-en-guerre, starring Patrick Huard in the title role) and the adaptation of François Bouvier’s comic strip Paul à Québec—to art films by such filmmakers as André Fortier (Bébés fourneau) and André Turpin (Endorphine), and Le journal d’Aurélie Laflamme: Les pieds sur terre, a film by Nicolas Monette aimed at a young audience.
Television formats/concepts. We strive to adapt the support we provide to match producers’ needs. This has led to a new category for development assistance for TV formats/concepts as well as a conversion assistance of an existing Canadian TV series into a format mode. This initiative, which fills a gap in the range of funding programs in Canada, aims to stimulate the emergence of innovative formats developed from original Canadian ideas that have potential for adaptation to the international market and that draw on our creative talents. The producers of the wildly popular television series Les Beaux Malaises were the first to receive funding in this section.
Once again this year, Quebec’s film industry, with its abundant wellspring of creativity, impressed audiences and saw its quality acknowledged both at home and abroad. Successful productions in which we were involved include 1987, by Ricardo Trogi, which surpassed the $2 million mark at the Canadian box office, and Félix et Meira, the second feature film by Maxime Giroux, named best Canadian film at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.
The quality of governance depends on committed directors with complementary expertise. For this, we offer our heartfelt thanks to the colleagues who serve on our board for their tireless support, their exemplary attentiveness and their insights. In addition, we would like to express our deepest gratitude to Louise Baillargeon, outgoing member of the board. Throughout her 10 years of dedicated service, she contributed her administrative skills and shared her passion for the film and television community with us. We also applaud our excellent Fonds staff members and thank them for their professionalism and loyalty.
The funding to film and television productions is essential to strengthening our cultural identity and a broadcasting system that is distinctly Canadian. It’s obvious that without the continued support of Bell Media, we would not be able to carry out our mission. We are therefore very grateful for their invaluable support and ongoing collaboration.
Co-Chair Board of Directors