Barbeau hopes ‘Romeo’ buzz lifts shingle

Toronto pic 'Romeo Eleven' could propel newcomer Reprise Films

Toronto fest pic “Romeo Eleven” (Mongrel/Metropole in Canada) picked up interest from European and U.S. buyers by winning critical kudos and the Ecumenical Jury special mention after its world preem at Karlovy Vary, and producer Paul Barbeau is harnessing the momentum for his Reprise Films shingle.

The Montreal-based Barbeau, whose “Romeo Eleven” makes its North American preem here Wednesday, founded Reprise in 2010 after a career that spanned more than 700 musicvideos.

“Romeo,” which Traction Media is selling in Toronto, is set in Montreal’s Lebanese community and follows a physically disabled young man (newcomer Ali Ammar) looking for intimacy. The feature directing debut of Ivan Grobvic is the kind of arthouse fare Barbeau views as a springboard to more commercial projects. “With Ivan, to be honest, he could have given me any script and I would have produced it,” says Barbeau, who just completed post on his own writing-helming bow “Winter Passed.”

Aside from “Romeo,” Barbeau’s other raison d’etre in Toronto is meets with potential producing partners and agents on “The Long Fault,” inspired by the exploits of the Bling Ring, six youths who robbed celeb homes.

In two weeks, cameras roll in Montreal on Quebec helmer Sebastien Rose’s “Avant Que Mon Coeur Bescule.”

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