Thursday, June 24, 2010

Who's Running the Canadian Film Industry?

It's been a while.

Had an interesting couple of weeks media-wise. Sent an application for funding to The Harold Greenberg Fund and SODEC for a feature project I'm developing around the same time an article appeared in The Gazette about the new heads of Telefilm and SODEC.

So I got a little hot under the collar and shot a letter off to the Gazette. Silly people printed it.

The Thursday before, I got interviewd on The Tommy Schnurmacher Show on CJAD about the plight of English screenwriters in Quebec.

The point? It's so damn hard to be a screenwriter in this country to begin with, the government agencies supporting our craft seem to forget that it all starts with a screenplay

Quoting Doug Taylor, writer of Splice, in the latest issue of Canadian Screenwriter:

"Telefilm needs to open up its process at the bottom. It could finance many scripts and stories this way. Scripts cost a lot less money than shooting movies."

You can click the jpg above to read the letter. Here it is if you don't want to bother:

June 21, 2010

As a screenwriter/filmmaker/delusional romantic living in Montreal, I was interested to read your feature on the new heads of Telefilm and SODEC. It's interesting to learn who is helming what in our industry, especially such important cultural institutions as these.

What's disconcerting is to discover that an accountant has been put in charge of Canada's artistic soul in one case, and a bureaucratic fossil, one of the people responsible for the flotsam littering the shores of our country from the sinking of English-Canadian cinema (phew!), in the other.

Thank our lucky stars that Quebec's francophone filmmakers keep producing such great movies.

But I ask myself, what is wrong with English screenwriters? Do we drink the same water? Is it something in our genetic makeup? Or are we dramaturgically challenged in some profound, irreparable way? Yes, perhaps there's some of that at play, but the policies of these public institutions might have something to do with it.

Vince DC