There is little doubt that much of the finest that Canadian cinema has had to offer has come out of Quebec. The reasons for this are numerous and complex. Beginning in the 1960s, when in-house directors would “borrow” NFB equipment to shoot their own features on the sly, cinema was a significant component of the cultural revolution of the times. But it wasn’t until some years later that a populist cinema emerged,. Beginning with the early boxoffice success of softporn and genre films in the early 70s, it soon became apparent that Quebec filmgoers were willing to support commercial filmmaking that reflected their own realities, language and culture. Producing movies for an actual supportive audience has certainly been a key component of Quebec cinema’s ongoing success. Provincial financial support from the SODEC has also gone a long way to encouraging the development of exceptionally talented directorial voices. Today, it is somewhat harder for Quebec films to attain the huge boxoffice grosses of say a decade ago, but the best of Quebec cinema continues to travel the world and win awards, and many Quebec releases still generate theatrical grosses that are the dreams of most English-Canadian films. Visiting a French-language movie complex in Quebec is like entering an alternate universe: not only are homegrown movies being shown, but a multitude of posters and upcoming trailers draw attention to domestic releases. Indeed, many of the best Quebecois filmmakers have now graduated to directing Hollywood blockbusters. This collection of recent Quebecois films serves as a cross-section sampling of some of the most popular films of recent years, as well as some of the most critically acclaimed films directed by filmmakers who are now attracting international acclaim. Enjoy.
Paul Gratton ~ Chairman of the Board