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8th March 2012

Telefilm Canada And MoMA Bring Ninth Canadian Front To New York Audiences

Telefilm CanadaThe Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York is teaming up with Telefilm Canada to present the ninth annual Canadian Front event, which runs from March 14 to 19, 2012, in New York City, the centre of independent filmmaking in the United States.

“This year’s Canadian Front demonstrates that Canadian cinema is truly global, with movies that enthrall markets around the world,” said Carolle Brabant, Executive Director of Telefilm Canada. “From dramas to documentaries, by way of comedies, New Yorkers will be able to see a range of original stories through these 11 feature films and one short. The line-up includes, notably the New York premieres of Philippe Falardeau’s Monsieur Lazhar, which we are proud to present in following Philippe’s wonderful Oscar run, and of Jean-Marc Vallée’s Canada-France co-production Café de Flore, starring Vanessa Paradis. Both these films have captivated movie-lovers worldwide.”Starbuck. 2011. Canada. Directed by Ken Scott

“Canadians have a gift for humour, sometimes dry, sometimes slippery, which is evident in this year’s survey, and moves east from Halifax with a Saturday-Night-Live straight face Roller Town, through Quebec with an all too relevant Starbuck, and the Toronto mini-budget comedy i am a good person / i am a bad person, and ends on the West Coast with the Vancouver foul-mouthed and hilarious mockumentary The Sunflower Hour,” added Laurence Kardish, Senior Curator, Department of Film, at MoMA, which is organizing Canadian Front. “But all that is good is not necessarily funny, such as the documentaries The Heart of Auschwitz and Over My Dead Body, about the idea of mortality, and Bestiary, about the notion of what’s real, and two emotionally stunning dramas, Romeo Eleven, a first film about a young man with a disadvantage, and Café de Flore, about two intertwining narratives about intense loves.”

Canadian Front is screening five dramas, four documentaries and three comedies, with eight of the films coming from Quebec, two from Ontario, and one each from Nova Scotia and British Columbia. In addition, 10 different languages are spoken in the films being shown.

Films presented at Canadian Front 2012

Bestiary (Bestiaire)
East Coast premiere
Writer/director: Denis Côté
Production: Metafilms (Montreal) and Le Fresnoy, Studio national des arts contemporains
(Tourcoing)
International sales: FiGa Films (Los Angeles)

In the southern Quebec tourist destination of Parc Safari, celebrated Canadian auteur Denis Côté observes the animals and their relationships to their environment, man and each other.

Café de Flore
New York premiere
Writer/director: Jean-Marc Vallée
Production: Item 7 (Montreal), Monkey Pack Films (Paris) and Crazy Films (Montreal)
International sales: Films Distribution (Paris)
U.S. distributor: Adopt Films (New York)

A DJ in contemporary Montreal is mysteriously bonded to a single mother in 1969 Paris in this new drama from C.R.A.Z.Y. writer/director Jean-Marc Vallée, making a return appearance at Canadian Front.

The Heart of Auschwitz (Le Cœur d’Auschwitz)
East Coast premiere
Director: Carl Leblanc
Writers: Luc Cyr and Carl Leblanc
Production: Ad Hoc Films (Montreal)
International sales: Filmoption International (Montreal)

The incredible true story of a hand-made valentine given to a camp inmate in Auschwitz, its survival through the horrors of war, and the filmmaker who tracked down its surviving signatories.

i am a good person / i am a bad person
International premiere
Writer/director: Ingrid Veninger
Production and international sales: pUNK Films (Toronto)

During a film-festival jaunt to present her confrontational new work, an increasingly insecure, questioning director agonizes over life choices thus far and a murky future.

Mesnak
U.S. premiere
Director: Yves Sioui Durand
Writers: Louis Hamelin, Robert Morin and Yves Sioui Durand
Production: Les Films de L’Isle (Montreal) and Kunakan Productions (Mani-Utenam)
International sales: Les Films de l’Isle (Montreal)

When urban Aboriginal Dave leaves Montreal in search of his birth mother, he discovers, in a northern reserve community, hidden truths that explain his past.

Monsieur Lazhar
New York premiere
Writer/director: Philippe Falardeau
Production: micro_scope (Montreal)
International sales: Films Distribution (Paris)
U.S. distributor: Music Box Films (Chicago)

In this Oscar-nominated drama, an Algerian immigrant teacher takes over a sixth-grade Montreal class following his predecessor’s suicide and guides his charges through their loss.

The National Parks Project: Sirmilik
East Coast premiere
Director: Zacharias Kanuk
Production: FilmCAN (Toronto) and Primitive Entertainment (Toronto)
International sales: FilmCAN (Toronto)

Canadian Front alumnus Zacharias Kunuk, director of Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner, joins with musicians Dean Stone, Andrew Whiteman and Tanya Tagaq on this short profiling his northern Nunavut homeland.

Over My Dead Body
International premiere
Director: Brigitte Poupart
Production: Coop Vidéo de Montreal (Montreal)
International sales: Les Films du 3 Mars (Montreal)

As he awaits the double-lung transplant that could save his life, controversial Montreal-based choreographer Dave St. Pierre prepares new work and ruminates on dance.

Roller Town
New York premiere
Director: Andrew Bush
Writers: Andrew Bush, Mark Little and Scott Vrooman
Production: Northeast Films (Halifax)
International sales: Duopoly (New York)

The laughs come rolling non-stop in this affectionate, frequently bawdy spoof of 1970s roller-disco movies from the white-hot online sketch comedy collective Picnicface.

Romeo Eleven (Roméo Onze)
U.S. premiere
Director: Ivan Grbovic
Writers: Ivan Grbovic and Sara Mishara
Production: Reprise Films (Montreal)
International sales: Traction Media (Beverly Hills)

Obsessed with a mysterious woman he met in an online chat room, second-generation Lebanese immigrant Rami finally seems able to overcome the shyness induced by his cerebral palsy. The film screened at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.

Starbuck
New York premiere
Director: Ken Scott
Writers: Martin Petit and Ken Scott
Production: Caramel Films (Montreal)
International sales: eOne Films International (Toronto)
U.S. distributor: eOne Films International (Toronto)

David, a fortysomething wastrel, discovers his sperm bank’s misdeeds have resulted in his fathering 533 children, 142 of whom now want to know who their father is. To date, the film has earned almost $3.5 million at the Canadian box office.

Sunflower Hour
East Coast premiere
Writer/director: Aaron Houston
Production and international sales: Unpaved Productions (Vancouver)

Inspired by Christopher Guest’s mockumentaries, this is the story of four very damaged puppeteers as they vie to audition for a popular children’s television show.

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