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Telefilm Canada: one of a kind to co-produce with.

"We are a one-of-a-kind type of federal agency," said Michel Montagne, Telefilm Canada's director of communications. "There are four like us in some [Canadian] provinces, and on a smaller scale, there's a company like us in France. There's also the Australian Film Commission."

Telefilm Canada has a mandate to develop and promote Canada's film, television, and video industry. Through this company, the government of Canada provides support as a partner to the private sector for the production of film and TV broadcast material - either in the form of investment funds or through a variety of resources at Telefilm's disposal.

The corporation invests more than $100 million every year in the production and development of film and broadcast material. Of this total, two-thirds is devoted to production in English, and one-third to production in French. "We also invest in the distribution, marketing, dubbing and subtitling of Canadian productions," Montagne added.

"We have a sector called co-productions. There are different ways to make them. In some cases, we invest in them; in other cases we only agree to them.

Telefilm Canada is responsible for managing the co-production agreements for film and television programs signed by Canada with 20 countries including Argentina, Australia, Belgium, China, Czechoslovakia, Germany, France, Hungary, Italy, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, the U.K., and Russia. Among other provisions, the agreements stipulate that a co-production be treated exactly like a domestic production in each of the partner countries.

Montagne reported that their revenue is $17 million a year. "We are a federal agency and we are not here to make money. We are a cultural agency."

For deal making, Telefilm hires translators. "At the international markets, we send our specialist, Michelle Bischoff. She speaks three or four languages. As our liaison, she's the one who's always at the stands and meets all foreign representatives. Our London and Paris reps make deals with Michelle acting as interpreter at the markets. When we meet in the U.S., our translator is Sam Wendell, who is based in our Los Angeles office. We also have offices in Halifax, Vancouver and Toronto."
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Publication:Video Age International
Article Type:Company Profile
Date:Apr 1, 1992
Words:349
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