Toronto panel looks at Canuck-Euro links

BERLIN — The intricacies of setting up successful co-productions between Canadian and European producers will be among the main topics on the agenda at the upcoming Producers Lab Toronto.

The initiative, which takes place Sept. 10-12 during the Toronto Film Festival, brings together 12 European producers and 12 Canadians to discuss pertinent questions facing filmmakers on both sides of the Atlantic.

The lab aims to facilitate and increase international co-productions and to foster the distribution of European films in Canada as well as Canadian films in Europe.

In addition to various networking opportunities, the three-day event will include pitching sessions, one-to-one meetings, case studies, analyses and presentations of financing sources and co-production structures.

Sonja Heinen, head of the Berlinale Co-Production Market and project manager of the Berlinale World Cinema Fund, will moderate the pitching sessions for the group of 24 European and Canadian producers.

Canadian film journalist Denis Seguin will chair a case study of the German-Canadian co-production “The Whistleblower,” by Larysa Kondracki. Scheduled for its world premiere in Toronto, the pic stars Rachel Weisz, Monica Bellucci, Vanessa Redgrave and David Strathairn.

Producers Christina Piovesan of Toronto-based First Generation Films and Wolfgang Mueller of Berlin-based Barry Films will share their experiences in co-producing he project.

In addition, Simon Perry, chief exec of the Irish Film Board and president of ACE (Ateliers du Cinema Europeen), and Michel Pradier, director of project financing at Telefilm Canada, will look at European and Canadian film funds. Brigitte Monneau, director of international business development at Telefilm, will be on hand to answer questions about funding and production options along with James Weyman, manager of Industry Initiatives at the Ontario Media Development Corp.

Perry will also lead the discussion at the Financing Sessions, analyzing Canadian English- and French-language projects co-produced with European partners.

An industry breakfast will also offer networking opportunities, bringing together sales agents, funders, press and selected experts.

The Producers Lab is organized by European Film Promotion in collaboration with the Ontario Media Development Corp. and the Toronto Intl. Film Festival.

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