CFC, Netflix unveil inaugural feature picks

Projects from Rama Rau, Jasmin Mozaffari and Henri Pardo are part of the CFC/Netflix Project Development Accelerator.

The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) and streaming giant Netflix have named the inaugural film recipients of their joint CFC/Netflix Project Development Accelerator, selecting projects from creators such as Rama Rau and Jasmin Mozaffari.

The three month accelerator – which takes place from May through to August – is designed to offer development and workshopping support for four early-stage projects that demonstrate international copro potential. Tailored to each of their specific creative and business needs, teams have access to international creative and marketplace expertise from Netflix executives and other industry professionals through the program.

Introduced as one of the initiatives from the Netflix-CFC Global Project partnership, Rau’s Runaways and Mozaffari’s The Path Travels Me were among the four projects selected. All told, the CFC/Netflix Project Development Accelerator attracted more than 115 applications from mid-level creators across the country who are women, BIPOC, LGBTQ2S+ persons, Francophone or living with a disability.

Rau’s Runaways sees four young girls in Mumbai decide to run away with their authoritarian grandmother in tow, while Mozaffari’s The Path Travels Me is a portrait of an Iranian immigrant family in post-9/11 North America, tracking the story of a physician turned cab driver who is left to manage his two daughters when his wife has to return to Tehran to care for his dying mother.

Notably, The Path Travels Me marks Mozaffari and Prowler Film partner Caitlin Grabham’s follow-up to their debut feature film Firecrackers, which earned Grabham the CMPA’s Kevin Tierney Emerging Producer Award and Mozaffari the Canadian Screen Award for Achievement in Directing. Grabham is credited as a producer on The Path Travels Me.

On the French-language front, writer/director Maxime Desmons’ T’es belle Maryse with co-writer Marie-Ève Perron and Henri Pardo’s Kanaval were also tapped.

Produced by Filmshow’s Damon D’Oliveira with Babe Nation serving as a co-producer, T’es belle Maryse follows a young woman who struggles to gain back her dignity and life after discovering her late husband infected her with HIV at the height of the AIDS epidemic, returning to her Quebec hometown to reconnect with her estranged family.

Capping off the list is Pardo’s Kanaval with producer Éric Idriss-Kanago from Yzanakio. Set in the early ’70s, Kanaval is the story of a young Haitian boy who is uprooted with his mother to a small rural village in Quebec. With the help of his invisible friend from his birth country, the two try to make sense of the new world. Marie Ka is an associate producer on the project.

One of three programs introduced under the five-year partnership, other components of the Netflix-CFC Global Project include the Calling Card Accelerator and the Marketplace Accelerator, two year-long programs that started in September 2019. Most recently, applications closed for the TV stream under the CFC/Netflix Project Development Accelerator, which will run from August to November. Projects in the program will be announced in early July.

Image courtesy of the CFC