Ron Emilio, the former prexy/CEO of Famous Players, has joined the Montreal World Film Festival as a consultant, it was announced by fest director Serge Losique.
“My mandate is to attract a better flow of English-language and American product,” Emilio said in a phone interview from Canada.
The goal is to attract films from the majors to the 17th edition of the fest, which unspools Aug. 26 to Sept. 6.
“Serge, over the years, hasn’t had as many contacts, but through my experience, I think they might listen to me,” Emilio explained.
Emilio’s 43-year career in the film industry includes 33 years in distribution. From the late ’60s to mid-’70s he was the general manager for MGM Canada.
He worked at Cineplex Odeon for several years before then-Paramount topper Frank Mancuso hired Emilio as prexy/CEO of Famous Players, a post he held until he semiretired in the late ’80s.
As previously announced, this year’s fest will pay tribute to British actor Roger Moore and Quebec family film producer Rock Demers.
Moore, who will be in Montreal for the event, will also host a gala benefit screening for UNICEF.
Demers — best-known for his “Tales For All” series — will also attend the Montreal Film Fest Market, which runs in conjunction with the event Aug. 30 to Sept. 4.
The fest will also include a special section devoted to contemporary British cinema. Some 10-15 Brit titles will be announced in early August alongside the rest of the sked, which usually includes some 250 features from around the globe.
“This festival is international in flavor, and I think if I can get that message across to the majors that they may take a longer look and a keener interest in that festival,” said Emilio.