The Quebec government has given in to mounting pressure and ordered a probe of how its film funder Sodec set up the now defunct New Montreal FilmFest in the fall of 2004.
The fest was backed by Sodec and federal film funder Telefilm Canada as a replacement for Serge Losique’s Montreal World Film Festival, which had fallen out of favor.
But the FilmFest was dogged by criticism from the beginning and went out of business after one disastrous edition last September.
Quebec Culture Minister Line Beauchamp last week rejected opposition culture critic Daniel Turp’s call for an independent inquiry. But she reversed that decision on Wednesday.
Quebec’s former Culture Minister Denis Vaugeois will head the inquiry looking into Sodec’s role in awarding the contract to run the FilmFest to Montreal company Equipe Spectra and an industry coalition.
Spectra and the coalition received C$2 million ($1.8 million) in public coin to run the first edition, which wrapped with an $880,000 deficit.