CFC unveils first Comedy Exchange teams


Don’t Talk to Irene, Preggoland and True Patriot Love have been selected for the Telefilm Canada Feature Comedy Exchange in Toronto, the Canadian Film Centre announced last week.

The Comedy Exchange aims to boost the profile of Canadian filmmakers and their projects internationally.

The selected writer-producer-director teams will receive creative and financing expertise, including business opportunities, promotional activities and marketplace counsel from top-level comedy execs.

“One of the key objectives is to get Canadian productions in front of larger audiences, more audiences and new audiences. With comedies being one of the most popular forms of entertainment, supporting the Comedy Exchange makes perfect sense. This innovative initiative will continue to play an important role in brokering creative and business relationships between Canadians and top-tier comedy talent,” said Telefilm director of industry promotion Sheila de la Varende in a statement.

Don’t Talk to Irene, written and directed by Pat Mills and produced by Alyson Richards, is a coming of age high school comedy about a chubby teen spending her school suspension doing community service at a retirement home.

Preggoland, written by Sonja Bennett and produced by Kevin Eastwood and Blake Corbet, focuses on a 35-year-old woman who pretends to be pregnant to fit in with her friends.

And “mockumentary” True Patriot Love follows the lives of four finalists competing to win Canada’s Next Top Anthem contest after the government mistakenly sells O Canada to a U.S. rap mogul. The film is written and directed by Adam Brodie and Dave Derewlany, and produced by Corey Marr.

The Comedy Exchange is a CFC North South Marketplace Initiative in collaboration with Just For Laughs.

The program was first announced in July, replacing the Telefilm Canada Features Comedy Lab.

The Comedy Exchange kicks off in Toronto on Nov. 26.