Langlois, Lachance win with Telefilm

Telefilm Canada has granted funding assistance to 14 French-language screenwriting projects, totaling approximately $200,000, as part of its effort to foster screenwriting with strong box-office potential.

The funding went to filmmakers in two stages: from outline to treatment and from treatment to first draft. Denis Langlois and Bertrand Lachance, the filmmaking team behind L’Escorte and Amnesia: The James Brighton Story, say their grant of $13,000 amounts to a huge shot in the arm. The script they are developing into the treatment phase is titled Michel et Sylvie, and is about a mentally handicapped brother and sister who don’t fully comprehend what’s happened after their mother dies. They set off on a road trip across Quebec to find her.

‘There’s another production we’re working on, but we don’t have our funding finalized for that,’ says Langlois. ‘This allows us to work on another writing project in the meantime – it feels like a very constructive use of our time, and we’re really thankful for that.’

Langlois says the action in Michel et Sylvie will take place in winter, and will ultimately be about the two siblings realizing their mother is gone – at least from this world. ‘Yes, it’s very Canadian,’ concedes Langlois. ‘It’s a very beautiful story. We’re basing it on some people we know.’

Langlois says he will ultimately direct the feature, with Lachance producing. ‘We hope to shoot it sometime next year.’

Other recipients of this fund include Johanne Prégent (Altitude Attitude), Charlotte Laurier and Pascal Courchesne (Arthur le Preux), Mario Bolduc (Charme, cachet, boiseries), Pascal Sanchez (Diaz) and Dominic Goyer (Lievres). The fund, called Programme d’aide a l’écriture de scenarios, was launched in 2000 as part of the Canada Feature Film Fund.