In the next several months, you'll be able to visit this section for a quarterly review of what's new, what's hot, and what's trending this season. But for now, we thought it best to get started with a history of the discipline's deep roots in Quebec's Anglo arts community. The following essay can be read in its complete, interactive form at the RAEV.ca website, as well as in the book Minority Report: An Alternative History of English-Language Arts in Quebec, published by Guernica Editions in 2011.
THE REEL STORY OF FILM IN QUEBEC
By Melora Koepke
For many decades, Montreal has been a home base for English-speaking filmmakers whose works are both central to the Canadian film industry and abroad, and yet who feel themselves outside the general picture of Quebecois film. Because of their proximity to the American film and television industry, these artists and their city have seen several boom periods in which local artisans have busily co-produced or "service-produced" filmed media alongside partners from central Canada or, more often, the United States. These ties to productions from outside Montreal have paralleled a busy local indie scene, and most film and television professionals will say they've made a career from working within both these paradigms.
The generations of Anglo-Quebec filmmakers who've chosen to work and live in Quebec, rather than in larger cities where the working language is English, believe they find opportunities in the axis between cultures and between languages that enriches their work in crucial ways. "We're very influenced by the French arts community," says Leni Parker, a 45-year-old actress whose work in the Montreal theatre has been augmented with TV and film roles, including Denys Arcand's festival favourite Stardom and Mambo Italiano, the hit written by Steve Gallucio, a Montreal playwright and screenwriter of Italian descent. "It infuses us, and it makes our work better to be influenced by Francophones, to b...
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