CFC and Netflix Announce the Creators and Four Feature Projects Selected for Inaugural Project Development Accelerator

CFC and Netflix Announce the Creators and Four Feature Projects Selected for Inaugural Project Development Accelerator

Two French and two English language projects selected from more than 115 applications from diverse creators across Canada

Toronto, May 4, 2020 – The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) and Netflix are proud to announce the creators and feature film projects selected for the inaugural CFC/Netflix Project Development Accelerator, an individually tailored development initiative, which will take place from May through August 2020.

“We received such a strong number of exciting applications for this Project Development Accelerator,” shared Kathryn Emslie, Chief Programs Officer, CFC. “In this challenging climate, we’re more thrilled than ever to be able to offer support to the four selected creators. They really stood out for their rich and original stories, which demand and deserve amplification.”

The CFC/Netflix Project Development Accelerator is a three-month accelerator designed to offer advanced project development and workshopping support for the four selected creators/projects, which each show real international co-production potential. Tailored to their specific creative and business needs, the Project Development Accelerator will allow the creators and teams to benefit from international creative and marketplace expertise and feedback from Netflix executives, as well as a range of additional industry professionals, based on their project needs.

“Canadian stories have captured the imagination of viewers from around the world,” said Christina Rogers, Director, Original Independent Film at Netflix. “We are thrilled to be supporting the next generation of diverse Canadian creators and look forward to continuing this important work with the CFC.”

The selected projects are in early stages of development, so they are able to fully incorporate and benefit from the insights, feedback and information they receive throughout the CFC/Netflix Project Development Accelerator, and subsequently strengthen their potential to attract real interest and investment.

MEET THE PARTICIPANTS AND THEIR PROJECTS:

French Language Projects

Kanaval
Writer/Director: Henri Pardo; Producer: Éric Idriss-Kanago (Yzanakio); Associate Producer: Marie Ka

Pardo is an alumnus of The National Institute of Image and Sound (INIS). He produced and directed a documentary series titled Black Wealth Matters, and, in 2019, he produced and directed Afro-Prospérité with Black Wealth Media (BWM), the company he founded in 2016. BWM received funding from the CBC and the Corus Fund to develop a documentary series on the history of African Canadians. He is currently filming a feature documentary, The Jackie Robinson Myth, in partnership with Documentary Channel. Pardo is a founding member of Black on Black films.

Set in the early 70s, Kanaval follows the story of a young boy and his mother who settle in a small rural village in Quebec after hastily leaving their troubled hometown in Haiti. The young boy counts on Kana, his invisible friend from his birth country, to understand the new world around him.

T’es belle Maryse
Writer/Director: Maxime Desmons; Co-Writer: Marie-Ève Perron; Producer: Damon D’Oliveira (Flimshow Inc.); Co-Producer: Babe Nation Inc.

Desmons is a graduate of France’s National Theatre School in Strasbourg and an alumnus of the Canadian Film Centre who has appeared in award-winning French films and has directed stage plays in Paris and at the Rome Biennale. His first feature, What We Have, won multiple awards (Best Franco-Canadian Film,Rendez-vous Québec Cinéma; Best Canadian Film, Inside Out Film Festival; Best Film, Barcelona Film Festival; Audience Award, Image + Nation), and he is currently developing a Canada/France co-production about artist Jean Cocteau entitled La beauté des autres (The Beauty of Others).

T'es belle Maryse is the story of a young woman who struggles to recover her life and her dignity after discovering that her late husband has infected her with HIV in the height of the AIDS epidemic. Driven by a deep-rooted need to reconnect with her estranged family, Maryse returns to her hometown in regional Quebec after 18 years, after abandoning a newborn son to her older sister.

English Language Projects

Runaways
Writer/Director: Rama Rau

Rama Rau is an award-winning filmmaker from Chennai, India, where she worked on massive film crews in Bollywood. Her credits include League of Exotique Dancers (opening night film, Hot Docs 2016); Honey Bee (Best Female-Directed Narrative Feature, Whistler Film Festival); and her most recent documentary, The Daughter Tree,has been invited by the United Nations to screen at multiple cities across Europe. Her script for Queen, about North America’s first burlesque dancer to shatter race barriers, was a finalist at the New York Women Writers’ Lab, run by Nicole Kidman.

Runaways follows four young girls in Mumbai. Fed up with their repressive lives, they run away, kidnapping their authoritarian grandma, and go on a road trip for one unforgettable Indian summer.

The Path Travels Me
Writer/Director: Jasmin Mozaffari; Producer: Caitlin Grabham (Prowler Film)

Jasmin Mozaffari is an award-winning Toronto-based filmmaker whose debut feature, Firecrackers,premiered to great acclaim at the Toronto International Film Festival. It was subsequently selected as one of Canada’s Top Ten films of 2018, and was awarded the top prize for Best Film at the Stockholm International Film Festival. The Globe and Mail has dubbed Mozaffari a “vital new voice for Canadian cinema.”

The Path Travels Me is a portrait of a family of Iranian immigrants living, working and surviving in post-9/11 North America. The film follows Babak, a former physician turned cab driver, who is left to parent his two girls Leila and Roxie when his wife Nasim has to return to Tehran to take care of her dying mother. When Babak loses his job in a bigoted encounter, he is forced to start all over again while struggling to parent Leila, who is her facing own identity crisis trying to fit in with her white peers.


The CFC/Netflix Project Development Accelerator is one component of the larger Netflix/CFC Global Project, which targets Canada’s traditionally underserved creatives and communities, including Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC), women, LGBTQ2S+, Francophone creators (French as a first language), and creators living with disabilities.

The two additional accelerators, the Calling Card and Marketplace Accelerators, are yearlong accelerators that began in September 2019. To date, these accelerators have supported more than a dozen projects, ranging from shorts to features and TV series. For more information on specific projects and participants, please visit https://bit.ly/2SwOLkA.

Applications closed on Monday, April 27, 2020 for the TV series version of the CFC/Netflix Project Development Accelerator, which received an equally enthusiastic response with more than 100 applications. Creators and projects selected for this accelerator, which will run from August to November 2020, will be announced in early July.

About the CFC
The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) is a registered charity and a leading cultural organization for the development and advancement of Canadian creative and entrepreneurial talent in the screen-based industries. CFC’s programs and initiatives span film and television, screen acting, composing and songwriting for the screen, and digital and immersive media. These uniquely designed programs support and empower Canadian artists, creators and entrepreneurs, and generate world-class talent, content, products and companies for the global marketplace. For more information, visit cfccreates.com.

About Netflix
Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with over 183 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments.

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Media Relations

Cory Angeletti-Szasz
Manager, Communications, CFC
Cell: 647.273.2795
cangeletti@cfccreates.com

Lindsey Scully
Head of Communications, Canada, Netflix
lscully@netflix.com

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