French-Canadian coin dry

Telefilm budget committed for rest of year

TORONTO — It appears that French-Canadian filmmakers who have not already received federal production funding from Telefilm Canada are out of luck until next year.

Telefilm has already committed its budget for French-speaking films for the entire year. Unless something falls through, French-speaking filmmakers are out of luck.

The reason, according to Telefilm spokesperson Michel Montagne, is that a disproportionate number of French productions are lensing in the summer, and so producers made for the trough earlier than usual.

In addition, the French-language portion of the feature film budget, which comes from the federal government and from the Canada Television and Cable Production Fund, dropped slightly to C$11.83 million ($8.25 million) in 1998-99 from $8.37 million in 1997-98. (The English-language portion, which is approximately double that of the French, has not yet run dry.)

High-profile producer Bruno Jobin and internationally acclaimed director Robert LePage reportedly were not impressed to learn that they will not receive funding for their latest project, “La Trilogie des dragons,” unless something else falls through.

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