Message from the Co-Chair of the Board and President of the French-Language Program
« Twenty years of helping you create our dreams … »
On September 9, 1996, Fonds Harold Greenberg, the only private fund at the time dedicated primarily to feature films, officially launched its French-Language Program, with an annual contribution of $300,000 to provide financial support for dramatic feature films and special events. Now, 20 years later, more than $37 million has been allocated to 1,322 films and television programs in various formats and genres. Two decades of developing and encouraging the efforts of our filmmakers to delight audiences!
For 20 years, our mission has been to contribute to the development of Canada’s French-language audiovisual industry by providing financial aid for the production of compelling, high-quality film and television content. Given the remarkable momentum in this sector, combined with international recognition for our filmmakers and their works, we can say we have achieved our objectives for quality. We take pleasure in the fact that we provide support for this cultural initiative, which shapes our identity and enables us to voice our aspirations loud and clear.
Over the years, as seen in the retrospective included in this report, the growth in our revenues, which this year totalled more than $3.6 million, has enabled us to diversify the French-language program’s funding options and thereby support a range of projects. Over time, the financial benefits of each dollar invested contribute both to maintaining and creating jobs and to cultural development.
This positive track record results from the ambition shared by all Canadian funding agencies to give wings to our imagination, to which we tip our birthday hat!
The French-Language Program blew out its 20 birthday candles as another productive year came to an end. From September 1, 2015, to August 31, 2016, our investments, whose recoupment is now transferred in large part to independent producers, stood at more than $3.7 million, attributed in various forms of various financial aid, to 46 projects, including four televised series for format conversion, 26 feature films at the development stage and 16 at the production stage.
This year, we were delighted to see an increased number of funding applications to the Format section from producers of television content. We are pleased to support them in their efforts to export innovative concepts. This unprecedented interest for this funding option bolsters our conviction that our contribution will pay off and generate benefits for our industry in the short and medium term.
The seventh art has always been the focus of what we do: year in and year out, our program contributes financially to the production of many innovative and promising scripts and powerful works. Again this year, our selection produced its share of critically acclaimed films that delighted audiences, in addition to achieving great success. These include Xavier Dolan’s latest film, It’s Only the End of the World/Juste la fin du monde, honoured with the coveted Grand Prix and the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury at the 69th Cannes Festival, as well as the Louis Bélanger’s touching Les Mauvaises herbes, which won the best screenplay and people’s choice awards at the ninth Festival du film francophone d’Angoulême. There was also Jean-François Pouliot’s animated feature Snowtime!/La Guerre des tuques 3D, winner of the 2016 Cineplex Golden Screen Award, and the bold Ceux qui font les révolutions à moitié n’ont fait que se creuser un tombeau, from Mathieu Denis and Simon Lavoie, named best Canadian film at the 41st Toronto International Film Festival. These examples are a source of pride for the entire industry and raise the profile of Quebec’s French-language productions around the world.
We owe the success of our program to Bell Media’s invaluable support, which enables our small, committed team to carry out its mission. We offer them our most heartfelt thanks.
Over the past 20 years, Fonds Harold Greenberg has built a relationship of trust with the audiovisual production community. We pledge to continue to cultivate this relationship with enthusiasm and pleasure, so they can continue to fuel our dreams!
Wishing continued success to everyone!