Unravel the issues of local auteur cinema and its principal players to identify the concerns and challenges ahead.


Wednesday October 16, 2019

Agora Hydro-Québec du Coeur des sciences de l'UQAM

With the presence of

Francis Ouellette

By chance, Francis Ouellette was a truck loader, clown, shopping-mall Santa Claus, video store clerk, security guard, daycare educator, frustrated comic book writer, failed poet, dead-on-arrival film critic, and finally took care (rather well) of film distribution for FUNFILM. While he helps creators to make ”survive” their art in the world, he waits for the right moment to create his own.
In the meantime, it distributes between 5 and 6 Quebec auteur films per year, as well as several films from the international festival circuit.
And we survive: we must be doing something right.

Vanessa-Tatjana Beerli

Ambassador of Quebec cinema abroad through her activities at Ciné Tapis Rouge. Vanessa has collaborated with more than 20 countries in the programming of Quebec films, both at festivals and cinemas, film libraries, universities and French alliances. A consultant to several foreign partners, Vanessa is currently working on the creation of a film writing residency for Quebec directors abroad and on a feature documentary film featuring national cinemas and theatres.

William Woods

William Woods is a Toronto based Producer with a focus on feature films that have both commercial and philosophical merit. He began his career with the thriller Mean Dreams (Elevation, 2016), starring Sophie Nélisse, Josh Wiggins, Colm Feore and Bill Paxton, which premiered in the Directors Fortnight at Cannes and had its’ North American premiere at TIFF. Woods is currently in post-production on four features, Spinster (2019) starring Chelsea Peretti, The Rest of Us (2019) starring Heather Graham, Sophie Nélisse and Jodi Balfour, Hammer (2019) starring Will Patton and Mark O’Brien and Castle in the Ground (2020) starring Neve Campbell, Alex Wolff, Imogen Poots, Keir Gilchrist and Tom Cullen.

Woods graduated from York University with his Masters in environmental ethics. He also completed the Canadian Film Center’s Producer’s Lab, The Rotterdam Producers Lab and Trans Atlantic Partners co-production incubator.

Jean-Christophe J. Lamontagne

Jean-Christophe is passionate about promoting our cinema and founded H264 Distribution in 2015. He distributes among others Jeremy Comte's Fauve and Marianne Farley's Marguerite, both nominated for the Oscars® 2019. Its goal: to support the influence of our cinema through new media. He also co-founded the Festival Plein(s) Écran(s), the very first festival in the world to be held entirely on Facebook. In June 2019, it launched a new offer of aggregation services in an effort to improve the accessibility and distribution of Canadian works on major digital platforms.

Maria Gracia Turgeon

Passionate about innovative stories, she founded Midi La Nuit where she produced, among others, PRE-DRINK (Best Canadian Short TIFF 2017) by Marc-Antoine Lemire, Fauve (Oscars nomenee, Special Jury Award Sundance 2018, Telluride) by Jérémy Comte, The Colour of your Lips (Prix Écran Canadien) by Annick Blanc and Brotherhood (Best Canadian Short TIFF 2018, Sundance) by Meryam Joobeur.

Mario Fortin

Mario Fortin has been working in the film industry since 1973. Since his debut as assistant director of a movie theater, he has gained experience in all aspects of the administration of movie theatres. He has also touched on several aspects of the world of film distribution and production.

Since August 2001, he has held the position of President and Chief Executive Officer of Cinéma Beaubien. Since 2013, he has taken over the reins of the Cinéma du Parc to apply the same management. The two cinemas are distinguished by their management model that respects the principles of the Social Economy.

Mario Fortin was awarded the Prix du "Meilleur exploitant de salle du Québec" for 2004 and the Prix du gestionnaire culturel awarded by the Carmelle et Rémi-Marcoux Chair in Arts Management at HEC Montréal in 2013. He is a member of the Association de Propriétaires de Cinémas du Québec, the Association québécoise des cinémas d'art et d'essai, the Confédération internationale des cinémas d'art et d'essai, the Pionniers du cinéma du Québec, Festival International du Film pour Enfants de Montréal, Cinéma NGD, Festival international de cinéma et d'art de Percé - Les Percéides, PME Mtl Centre-Est and the Montreal Social Economy Committee (CESIM).

Since September 2018, Mario Fortin has been at the head of a new cinema, the Museum's Cinema, located at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

Hayet Benkara

Hayet Benkara is a French-born, Toronto based film industry programmer and advisor. She has worked for many years at TIFF and launched the STUDIO training programme for Canadian filmmakers. She has also worked for the world’s most prestigious film festivals such as Cannes,
Berlinale, Rotterdam and Locarno.

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