Posts Tagged ‘Menorca’

METRO CANADA: where Canadian film is headed on Canadian Film Day.

By Richard Crouse – Metro Canada

It’s Canadian Film Day, a time to celebrate our films and filmmakers and have a hard look at our home-grown industry. I asked some of our brightest and best three simple questions: What is the state of the Canadian film business this year? Is it better or worse than a year ago? What is the future of the biz? From Bonavista to Vancouver Island, from the Arctic Circle to the Great Lakes waters the responses were uniform: Act local, think global and get ready to stream.

“One thing for sure is on demand and very targeted content,” says director April Mullen on the future of CanCon film. “Basically, audiences are dictating which platform they want to consume content on and the immediacy of watching that content is surging.”

“The future,” says John Barnard, a Winnipeg based director whose film Menorca opens April 21, “holds the possibility for more and better streaming options that pay for content and are reliable enough to be bankable. People have been saying this for years but now everyone actually has the box attached to their TV.”

“Filmmakers need to abandon the idea of, ‘I want my film in the cinema,’” said Amal director Richie Mehta. “When I first started making feature films I got my films into the cinema and it was an amazing feeling. I got the tail end of that in a way. Now I’m very comfortable if I make a film and it goes straight to VOD and it is available in livingrooms the day we release it. If somebody asks, ‘How do I see it?’ I say, ‘Watch it happily in the comfort of your own home.’”

Along with a changing distribution system comes a new attitude expressed by Montreal-born The Other Half director Joey Klein. “People are making films more on their own terms now and less about the idea of what a movie should be per our neighbours to the south and more what a film could be given the resources we have.”

Streaming and VOD can expose domestic films to potential new audiences here in Canada and worldwide, offering up new metrics in determining a movie’s commercial value.

“At an information session this month, Telefilm staff said they will be placing less emphasis on box office as a measure of success,” said Maritime filmmaker Thom Fitzgerald. “It will be interesting to see how policy catches up to technology and viewing habits.”

Mullen, whose film Below Her Mouth hits theatres and VOD simultaneously on April 28, says while the digital platforms are “not as profitable as I’m sure they might be in the future,” she’s adds that, “there’s always room for innovative content, in all forms, and so much is possible for storytellers to breakthrough with the technology available nowadays.”

Mehta notes the scope of Canadian film has expanded. “Canadian films are being done and they are being done all over the world,” he says. “In India, China, Latin America which is really exciting because there is more diversity in the expression.”

That globalization and the accessibility offered by VOD technology has created a borderless audience for our films.

“Because there is diversity in the expression and films are being made in different languages around the world,” says Mehta, “I’m not sure that people around the world know they are watching Canadian films. Which is kind of interesting because people are watching them.”