INIS grads breaking into biz

Montreal: L’Institut national de l’image et du son, the advanced French-language training centre for TV, cinema and new media, has emerged as a successful springboard for young directors, writers and producers to go on to work in the industry.

‘We are very proud that 84 of our graduates are actively working in the industry,’ says executive director Louise Spickler.

INIS opened in January 1996 and is housed in a renovated, centrally located building adjacent to the Cinematheque Quebecoise. The school operates on an annual budget of $3.2 million, 50% sourced from the industry and 50% from the Quebec and Canadian governments, and offers programs with specialized streams for aspiring screenwriters, directors and producers. Each program covers four months of intensive training and four additional months of special-project work or production assignments. Class size averages 15.

A separate stream, typically undertaken after completion of the main program, is the feature film module, established to assist first-time filmmakers in the development of a low-budget project.

Spickler says there are 100 to 120 film and TV professionals teaching INIS workshops, from writers to actors, producers, production designers and cinematographers.

Michel Langlois (cinema), Andre Monette (TV) and Jean Augustin (new media) serve as INIS program directors.

In addition to its principal programs, INIS conducts a series of professional enrichment workshops for French-language writers and directors resident outside of Quebec. The Ateliers PICLO is a three-year program sponsored by Radio-Canada and Telefilm Canada in association with the Interdepartmental Partnership with the Official Language Communities and l’Alliance des producteurs francophones du Canada.

INIS also partners in the Interactive Project Lab with the Canadian Film Centre and the Banff New Media Institute.

The school regularly promotes student short film collections at festivals in Canada, South America and Europe. It also organizes exchange programs with major schools in Mexico, Argentina, France and Spain.

INIS alumni drawing industry attention include Frederic Ouellet, screenwriter on the SRC drama series La Grande Ourse; Richard Haddad, head of TV development at Max Films; Stefan Miljevic, director, and Guy Boutin, writer, on the TQS miniseries Harmonium; Ian Quenneville, a producer with Infivia and delegate producer with documentary house InformAction; Martin Cadote, director on the SRC series Enjeux; Ann Arson, Gemeaux-winning director on the TVOntario series Zone; and Simon Barrette, director on the Tele-Quebec youth series Ram Dam.

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