North American films, both US and Canad, have a potential audience of, say 300 million people in North America alone. Quebecois French flicks are native to an audience of no more than around 5-6 million francophones in Canada. But ironically, it is English Canadian filmmakers who envy Quebec French filmmakers their tiny captive audience. Quebec has a real film community, with its own stars and star directors. French Canadians watch their own films. 20% of tickets sold in Quebec are to movies made in Quebec. That's as if 20% of all tickets sold in Tennessee were for films shot in Tennessee. (I wonder what the numbers are in France?)
French Canadian films speak to their audience as no other films do: not just in their own language and dialect, but in their own culture. These aren't just The Barbarian Invasions
type Oscar bait. These are also popcorn movies like Les Boys
I-IV, about a misfit hockey team, and the Elvis Gratton
series about who the hell knows.
Should English Canadian films do the same? Lacking a captive audience, it's hard. There are TV movies about Canadian events, but I'm not watching them. For a theatrical movie to score for Canadian audiences, I'm not sure being culturally Canadian is as important as being a good movie that finds a niche in the overall North American cultural market.
But I'm hoping thereare some things you can do in Canadian films you can't do in American ones. Medieval
may be a Sam-Raimi type comic horror movie, but it's also bilingual, because the characters just naturally are. We'll see if it gets made of course, and if I have to take the French out to get it made...
Some of it rooting in the likes of Duguay, Lepage, Malo, Falardeau, Pool, Carle, Arcand... have i forgotten the cultural struggles of the all elusive NFB or the financial structures distributed countrywide or the Sodec's multiple hierarchy criterias or even, the Cinar scandal?
No, i didn't. Business as usual.
Sure, there is a filming "industry" in Quebec. Most of it is under foreign controls and tantacules cashing in from subsidized incentives GIVEN by our governments and the taxpayers to corporations in transferable assets.
The products (in any languages, btw) compete in a small market and without much wider distribution outlets they MUST limit budgeting or even the accessible means of production from the getgo.
Exodus of the minds for a cost is what defined our remaining culture.
Because we balanced such scales of creativity on a very specific definition of quality rather than profits invested (not by us, but by corrupted politicians) in each and every other provinces.
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