Chalifour settles in at AQTIS

New union boss wants to promote Quebec copros with other provinces and countries. Conflict with IATSE still an issue

MONTREAL — Former Telefilm executive Danny Chalifour is determined to promote Quebec talent around the globe in his new job as head of AQTIS.

The technicians union is ‘part of the ecosystem that is the Quebec industry,’ he tells Playback Daily. ‘Every time a Quebecois film gets screened it’s a showcase and a calling card for our filmmaking professionals. It demonstrates that we do productions of high quality.’

Chalifour, who recently left Telefilm after 22 years, wants to promote Quebec expertise in other countries and provinces interested in doing coproductions with la belle province. He started at the union last week.

‘It’s no secret that financing projects is getting harder. And if projects don’t get financed, there won’t be work for AQTIS members. We have to open up our horizons to collaborate with other partners.’

Although most AQTIS members earn their cash working on local TV and films, Chalifour says some members are also working on the handful of big-budget American productions currently in Montreal.

Last summer Quebec passed Bill 32, which finally resolved the long-standing turf war between AQTIS, and IATSE, a union based in the U.S.

But Chalifour says the agreement is temporary. ‘Representation of technicians in Quebec remains an issue. For that reason we will remain concerned and continue to protect our members,’ he says.

AQTIS represents some 3,000 artists, artisans and technicians working in 120 trades and professions.