MONTREAL — After refusing to give the Montreal World Film Festival any cash for two years, Telefilm Canada is handing out a maximum C$249,000 ($251,000) to help pay the bills for the recently wrapped 31st edition.
The federal film funding agency withdrew its coin because execs did not like fest president Serge Losique’s management style. Instead, Telefilm Canada and other funders and tried unsuccessfully to create a rival Montreal event.
The New Montreal FilmFest folded after one disastrous edition in fall 2005. Losique and his fest sued Telefilm for $2.5 million, arguing that the funder had deliberately damaged the fest’s reputation and had no right to create a rival festival in Montreal. Losique dropped the lawsuit earlier this year, which was the first step toward the rapprochement with Telefilm.
A Telefilm rep said the agency agreed to give the grant to the festival only after it agreed to put in place new rules of governance and stronger financial controls immediately, but neither Telefilm execs nor Losique were available to give more details.
Most of the other government agencies and departments, including Quebec film agency Sodec, began funding the Montreal World Film Festival in August following a two-year boycott.