Montreal, Telefilm Canada announces that seven English-language projects across the country will move forward through the selective and performance component of the national feature film production programs of the Canada Feature Film Fund, the Low Budget Independent Feature Film Assistance Program and the Theatrical Documentary Pilot Program.
“Telefilm Canada is committed to supporting talented creators who turn out high-quality works that speak to audiences at home and around the world,” said Wayne Clarkson, the Corporation’s Executive Director. “The investment decisions announced today are rich in diversity. They illustrate Canada’s vibrant imagination and we are confident that they will make their mark with the public.”
Adoration (Ontario/Nunavut region; Producers: Atom Egoyan, Jennifer Weiss and Simone Urdl; Director/Writer: Atom Egoyan; Distributor: Maximum Film Distribution Inc.; Telefilm investment: $2.8 million) is the story of a Toronto school teacher who uses a news story about a man who put his pregnant girlfriend on a flight to Israel with explosives in her hand luggage. A security guard discovers it and saves the passengers on the plane, including the young woman and her unborn child. This dramatic news item is used by the French teacher as the basis of a school exercise. Simon, a 17-year old student, is inspired by this event and retells the story from the point of view of the couple’s child. Using his own familial drama as a backdrop, he concocts a “project” around this created persona and using the Web, sends it out into the world – with unexpectedly widespread and forceful results.
Blindness (Ontario/Nunavut region; Executive Producer: Gail Egan, Potboiler Productions; Producers: Niv Fichman, Sonoko Sakai, Bee Vine Pictures Inc. (Japan), Andrea Barata Ribeiro, O2 Films (Brazil); Writer: Don McKellar; Director: Fernando Meirelles; Distributor: Alliance Atlantis Motion Picture Distribution; Telefilm investment: $2.5 million) is a metaphor for the world in the 21st century. A plague of blindness strikes a nameless city. After a few cases are reported, the state and the military begin to round up the newly blind, quarantining them in an abandoned mental hospital. The first group of seven people forms the core of the story: the first victim and his wife, the eye doctor who treated our first victim; his wife, the car thief, the prostitute, the small boy. It is their progress through this nightmare world of death, filth, fear and destruction that we follow – as society and morality crumble around them.
The Cassandra Syndrome (Quebec region; Producers: Lucie Tremblay, Jeremy Edwardes, Brice Garnier, Mark Achbar, Elizabeth Carson, Liette Michaud; Writers: Harold Crooks, Louis Caron, Denis Delestrac; Director: Denis Delestrac; Distributor: Capri Releasing; Telefilm investment: $444,400 through the Theatrical Documentary Pilot Program) examines the origins and reality of the militarization of space. In a language tinted with irony and peppered with shocking facts, the film opens a debate that until now has been reserved for the specialists, some of whom maintain that the arms race in space can only lead to apocalypse.
Mr. Nobody (Quebec region; Producers: Christian Larouche, Philippe Godeau, Jean-Yves Asselin; Writer/Director: Jaco Van Dormael; Distributor: Christal Films; Telefilm investment: $2 million) is the story of Nemo. As he lies on his deathbed, time ceases to exist and he relives his life not only as what it was, but what it could have been.
Stone of Destiny (Western region; Producers: Rob Merilees, Andrew Boswell; Writer: Charles Martin Smith; Director: Charles Martin Smith; Distributor: Alliance Atlantis Motion Picture Distribution; Telefilm investment: $3.5 million) is the dramatization of the true story of Ian Hamilton’s bold gesture to draw international attention to the Scottish separatist cause. Fuelled by intense patriotism, Ian and three other collaborators decide to travel to London and repatriate the Stone of Destiny – symbolic relic designating the ruler of Scotland – from Westminster Abbey.
Sheltered Life (Western Region; Producers: Andrew Koster and Lori Lozinski; Writer: Katherine Schlemmer; Director: Carl Laudan; Telefilm investment: $200,000 through the Low Budget Independent Feature Film Assistance Program) is the story of 16-year-old Josephine Nash and her mother, Candice, who over a period of a several days, come to terms with the unspoken rules that govern their relationship. A small room with two narrow beds in a women’s transition house brings them face to face with the truth: as their psychological relationship to violence changes, so do they.
Timekeeper (Quebec region; Producers: RÃ©al Chabot, Dean English, Lorraine Dufour; Writers: Louis BÃ©langer, Lorraine Dufour; Director: Louis BÃ©langer; Distributor: Christal Films; Telefilm investment: $3 million) takes place in the Northwest Territories in the late sixties: the workers building the railroad aren’t very happy with Martin Bishop’s arrival. At 16 years old, Martin is naÃ¯ve and idealistic and this threatens those who are trying to make crooked bucks off the whole operation. Martin won’t play their game and the foreman, a real tyrant, decides to make him pay dearly for his honesty.