Cap Tourmente

Spring 1984: Screenwriter Michel Langlois writes a feature film script called La Traversee for director Lea Pool. Langlois has just completed cowriting Pool's Le Femme de l'hotel. Bernadette Payeur of acpav, Pool's producer, also organizes the financing for Langlois' screenplay through...

Spring 1984: Screenwriter Michel Langlois writes a feature film script called La Traversee for director Lea Pool. Langlois has just completed cowriting Pool’s Le Femme de l’hotel. Bernadette Payeur of acpav, Pool’s producer, also organizes the financing for Langlois’ screenplay through Telefilm Canada and sogic.

February 1985: Pool has dropped out of the project and Langlois travels to Paris where he cowrites a new draft of the script with a French director named Paul Vecchiali.

Fall 1985: Vecchiali’s schedule prohibits him from directing the film. Pool returns to La Traversee and acpav finances the scripting of a new version. A year later, Pool is forced to withdraw from the project for health reasons.

Summer 1986: Langlois’ story is without a director and he begins to consider directing the film himself. He then begins a long, six-year journey of self-growth, writing for other directors (Jacques Leduc, Francois Girard), as well as directing his own short films, then telefilms, all with the goal of eventually directing his own feature.

He directs two acclaimed shorts, Sortie 234 and Lettre a mon pere, both produced by acpav’s Payeur (La Femme de l’hotel, Le Party), and two tv movies, Un meme sang, produced by Productions du Cerf, and Comme un voleur, produced by the National Film Board.

Spring 1991: Langlois does the final rewrite on La Traversee, now called Ressac, and later retitled Cap Tourmente. Payeur works on the financing package in the fall through to winter of 1992. The intention is to shoot in the summer of 1992.

July 1992: Cap Tourmente is shot in French over 28 glorious days, starting July 20. It’s Langlois’ first feature film, and according to all reports, the shoot is nothing less than euphoric.

The film tells the story of the O’Neil clan, a passionate and proud family who live and love in isolation in a former inn on the Cote-Nord of the majestic St. Lawrence River. One day, an old friend returns, and the family’s secluded life is turned upside down.

When the Cote-Nord exteriors are completed the production moves to the nfb studios in Montreal in mid-August. It wraps Aug. 28.

Budgeted at $2.1 million, Cap Tourmente is produced by acpav and Payeur in association with the nfb and with the financial participation of Telefilm Canada, sogic, the Quebec tax-credit program (18%) and the film’s distributor and exporter, C/FP Distribution and Cinepix respectively.

The film’s cast is made up of Roy Dupuis, Elise Guilbeault, Andree Lachapelle and Gilbert Sicotte in the leading roles, with support from Macha Limonchik, Gabriel Gascon, Luc Picard, Andre Brassard and Michele Deslauriers.

Selected craft credits go to nfb associate producer Doris Girard, co-screenwriters Paul Vecchiali and Marcel Beaulieu, dop Eric Cayla, art director Normand Sarrazin and picture editor Jean-Claude Coulbois.

Payeur believes the film’s production values represent a ‘real accomplishment’, especially when compared to other Quebec projects shot in the same period with considerably more funding.

Feb. 5, 1993: Cap Tourmente is selected as the opening night film for the Rendez-vous de cinema quebecois, the annual Quebec film and video production retrospective.

C/FP releases four prints in Montreal and Quebec City. Payeur says the film grosses between $100,000 and $150,000 in theatres. C/FP subsequently releases 700 videocassettes and sells the film to pay-tv, Super Ecran, and Radio-Canada.

September 1993: Cap Tourmente has its English-Canada debut in the Perspectives Canada section of the Toronto Festival of Festivals. Payeur is working on a showcase screening for Langlois’ film at the 1994 Berlin Film Festival.