SODEC okays Polytechnique

Controversial retelling of 1989 Montreal massacre among eight films greenlit by Quebec agency

MONTREAL — Telefilm Canada and SODEC gave the green light to 14 features last week, including two based on hit Quebec television series, while the Quebec agency gave its okay to Denis Villeneuve’s controversial retelling of the 1989 Montreal massacre.

The fantasy comedy Dans une galaxie près de chez vous 2 from Zone 3, which started out as a TV show and was first adapted for the silver screen in 2004, was approved, as was Grande Ourse – La clé des possibles by Les Productions Point de Mire, based on the hit science fiction series.

Polytechnique, the controversial film about the 1989 massacre of 14 women at Montreal’s École Polytechnique, was among eight projects SODEC approved this round. Coproduced by Quebec actress Karine Vanasse (Emporte-moi) and Remstar, the film is written by Jacques Davidts (Casting) and Denis Villeneuve (Maelstrom). It was refused funding twice by SODEC, likely because of its violent subject matter.

SODEC is also supporting the following French-language projects: Le grand départ from Cinémaginaire, a comedy written by veteran Quebec comic and TV writer Claude Meunier; Cité-Amérique’s Il faut prendre le taureau par les contes, a film based on the work of Quebec storyteller Fred Pellerin; and Léo Huff, a ‘film noir’ produced by GPA Productions, Christal Films and Productions Grana.

SODEC also gave the go-ahead to the following English-language films: the Canada/France/England coproduction A Perfect Light from Christal, which recounts the story of a four-year-old girl who loses her mother in a car accident; Out of Z from Max Films, a drama about female orgasm; and Plainsong, an adaptation of a Nancy Huston novel from Films Zingaro and Seven 24 Films.

Telefilm, which invested a total of $5.8 million in the projects it’s supporting, is also financing the romantic comedy Le voleur from Zoofilms; and Le déserteur by Les Films du Boulevard, based on Quebec’s 1942 conscription crisis.

The federal funding agency is also financing two minority coproductions: Un ange à la mer, with Belgium, about a small boy growing up in a tiny Moroccan village, and Instinct de mort, a copro with France about the criminal path of a punk from Clichy.