Six years into the job as Quebec film commissioner, Hans Fraikin is happy to report that filming is booming in la belle province. But he’s quick to add that there are still challenges.
“Now we’re one of the top destinations in Canada,” Fraikin says. “The numbers speak for themselves. We’re entering our fourth record-breaking year. But we have to keep the momentum going. The main challenge is not resting on our laurels and keeping up the pressure on ourselves.”
The other challenges for Fraikin and his colleagues is expanding the infrastructure — developing studio space, upping the number of skilled technicians — and constantly reminding folks in Hollywood about what Montreal has to offer.
When Fraikin was named to the newly created position of Quebec film commissioner in 2006, there was very little Hollywood filming going on and his mission was to bring the U.S. productions back to Montreal after a long dry spell.
“My goal was to make Montreal a main destination and not a spillover destination,” Fraikin says. “I had to make our city more competitive in spite of the rising Canadian dollar.”
The big change was convincing the provincial government to up the tax credit to 25% of all-spend in Quebec, nearly doubling the credit.
Fraikin began his career in international film distribution with Twentieth Century Fox, working for the major in L.A., South Korea, Indonesia and France. He then went on to head up Telefilm Canada’s European office in Paris before returning to his hometown of Montreal to become Quebec film commissioner.