Vision sees future in Montreal studio

Biz worries that move strengthens quasi-monopoly


Mel’s Cite du Cinema, the only studio in Montreal equipped to host big Hollywood pics, has been bought by post-production facility Vision Globale for an undisclosed sum.

Montreal-based Vision Globale also acquired Mel’s equipment rental subsidiary, Locations Michel Trudel. Mel’s was majority owned by founder Mel Hoppenheim and his partner Michel Trudel, who will remain with the company.

Daniel Byette, head of operations at Vision, said they plan to expand the facility from its current 18 studios spread over 225,000 square feet to 22 studios covering 306,000 square feet.

“The acquisition of Cite du Cinema by Vision Globale allows the ownership of the studio to remain Quebecois, and it will give producers a completely vertically integrated set of services,” Hoppenheim said.

Vision made the deal with the help of Montreal-based venture capital fund Capital Regional et Cooperatif Desjardins and $4 million from the Quebec government’s financing arm, Investissement Quebec, already a minority shareholder of Vision Globale.

The majority shareholder is founding prexy Mathieu Lefebvre.

Mel’s has hosted many Hollywood pics, including “Source Code,” “The Day After Tomorrow,” “Aviator” and, just this year, “White House Down.” “X-Men: Days of Future Past” is set to shoot at Mel’s in spring.

There have been worries in the past about lack of choice for foreign producers seeking studio space in Montreal; adding a major post facility clearly strengthens Mel’s position. Provincial film-funding agency Sodec released a report this year noting that this “quasi-monopoly sometimes has negative effects on the industry.”

More Film

  • Dunkirk

    Harry Styles Is the Perfect Prince Eric; Why He'd Rock 'Little Mermaid' Role

    Could Harry Styles be the perfect Prince Eric? One day after the announcement that the One Direction star is “in early negotiations to play the iconic ‘Little Mermaid’ role,” the internet exploded with speculation as to how he would portray the object of Ariel’s affections. “I can see lots of reasons why Harry is perfect,” [...]

  • The Lion King

    Film News Roundup: PETA Sponsors Rescued Lion in Jon Favreau's Name

    In today’s film news roundup, PETA honors Jon Favreau for “The Lion King,” “Tigers Are Not Afraid” gets a theatrical release, a Kirk Franklin biopic is in development and “The Sixth Sense” gets an anniversary showing in Philadelphia. HONOR The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is sponsoring a rescued lion to honor director [...]

  • Tokyo Director-in-Focus-at-Japan-Now

    Nobuhiko Obayashi set as Japanese Director in Focus at Tokyo Film Festival

    Indie director, Nobuhiko Obayashi will be feted as the director in focus at the Japan Now section of this year’s Tokyo International Film Festival. The festival will give a world premiere to his “Labyrinth of Cinema.” Supporting his art by shooting commercials, Obayashi is an indie whose dreamy works have influenced numerous other directors in [...]

  • Jimmi Simpson Joins Russell Crowe Movie

    Jimmi Simpson Joins Russell Crowe Thriller 'Unhinged' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Jimmi Simpson will play a key role in “Unhinged,” Variety has learned. He joins an impressive cast that includes Oscar-winner Russell Crowe and Caren Pistorius. Solstice Studios is producing the psychological thriller, which is currently filming in New Orleans. “Unhinged” centers on a woman named Rachel (Pistorius), who leans on her horn at the wrong [...]

  • David Crosby

    David Crosby Says New Documentary 'Remember My Name' Is Like 'Being Naked in Public’

    “It’s not easy. It’s hard being naked in public,” David Crosby, the legendary troubadour of classic rock, reflected at Tuesday night’s New York City premiere of “David Crosby: Remember My Name.” “I don’t know what to do here. There’s no guitars, no drums,” he laughed. Directed by newcomer A.J. Eaton and produced by the legendary [...]

  • Javier Bardem Dune

    Javier Bardem in Talks to Play King Triton in Disney's 'Little Mermaid'

    Javier Bardem is in talks to play King Triton in Disney’s live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid.” Halle Bailey will portray the Ariel, a mermaid princess who dreams of being a human, while Melissa McCarthy is playing her evil aunt Ursula. Harry Styles is also in early talks to play Prince Eric. “The Little Mermaid” [...]

  • UglyDolls

    STX Tries to Put Flops Behind It as It Searches for Star Executive, Fresh Capital

    After a series of film flops and an aborted initial public offering, STX Entertainment is battling mounting skepticism that it can survive in an increasingly unforgiving movie business. As it hustles to find $500 million in fresh capital, the company, which operates in the red according to financial disclosures, is simultaneously hoping to attract a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content