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A "Marriage of the Minds" at Cinematheque

On Friday, the Toronto International Film Festival launched its Canadian Top Ten for 2004, a look at the best Canadian films from the festival last fall. Special treat: panel discussions among the filmmakers, which on Friday were Don McKellar (Childstar), Eric Cayla and Daniel Roby(both of La Peau Blanche, talking about the relationship between directors and cinematographers. Atom Egoyan moderated, and man, is he short! I'd seen McKellar before and he's not exactly a Colossus either, but Egoyan is wee.

Anyway, the discussion ranged all over, about light and the difference between film and digital HD, and some of it got quite technical, but the audience seemed to dig it. The most interesting point, though, was brought up in response to an audience question about the control distributors have over the content of the films they show. Roby said that in Quebec, because home-grown movies actually make money there, distributors can get persnickety: "If you make this cut, we'll put you on 20 screens; if you don't, we'll put you on five." McKellar's response? Basically, "If they put my film on 20 screens they can have whatever they want." A good reminder that Quebec knows how to support its film industry, even if the rest of Canada has no clue.


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