CFC Launches Sixth Year of the Telefilm Canada Feature Comedy Exchange

CFC Launches Sixth Year of the Telefilm Canada Feature Comedy Exchange

Comedy experts select four projects to participate in this acclaimed marketplace accelerator

Toronto, November 27, 2014 – The Canadian Film Centre (CFC), together with Telefilm Canada and Just For Laughs, are pleased to announce the projects and participants selected for the sixth year of the Telefilm Canada Feature Comedy Exchange.

The Telefilm Canada Feature Comedy Exchange is a high-level cross-border project and business accelerator for established producers and their feature comedy properties. The initiative builds traction for comedy projects by offering producers and their teams access to respected creative counsel as well as financing and packaging expertise from comedy experts and key decision-makers.

“We are very excited by the four projects and teams participating in this year’s Exchange,” said Kathryn Emslie, Chief Programs Officer, CFC. “They cover a cross-spectrum of comedy genres and demonstrate the diverse and unique comedic talent in this country.”

Sheila de La Varende, Telefilm’s Director of International Promotion, added: “Our survey research continues to show that comedy is the most popular genre for Canadian film consumers. The Feature Comedy Exchange has attracted significant support from amazing comedy guests and mentors, benefitting both the projects and the talent involved. We’re seeing past projects gain real traction out in the marketplace and believe this bodes well for the future of Canadian comedy features.”

The projects and participants in the 2014-2015 Exchange are:

  • Chokeslam: A mild-mannered deli clerk finally gets a second chance to pursue his high school sweetheart, a notorious female professional wrestler, when she returns for their ten-year reunion. From Calgary-based team producer Carolyn McMaster, writer/director Robert Cuffley and writer Jason Long.
  • Operation Red Dog: A young journalist stumbles across a bumbling group of Klan members, Black nationalists and a Jewish gunrunner who plot to steal a Caribbean Island. These strange bedfellows carry out a coup so ridiculous he just might help them get away with it. From Toronto-based team writer/producer Jennifer Holness and writer/director Sudz Sutherland.
  • Out Late: When a macho Italian widower comes out and begins dating an openly gay man, his children and friends do everything they can to shove him back into the closet. From Montreal- and Toronto-based team producer Barbara Shrier, writer/producer Thomas Michael and writer Paolo Mancini.
  • The Mother Outlaws: A middle-aged odd couple of empty nest moms pair up on a road trip from Vancouver to Palm Springs to break up the wedding of their respective son and daughter; from Toronto- and Vancouver-based team producer/director Jason James and writer Garfield Lindsay Miller.

Past projects of the Telefilm Canada Feature Comedy Exchange include Preggoland, which screened at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, produced by Kevin Eastwood with screenplay written by Sonja Bennett, who also stars as the comedy-drama’s adult-child Ruth; Big News from Grand Rock, from director Daniel Perlmutter and producers Judy Holm and Michael McNamara; Jason James’ That Burning Feeling, which shared the prize for Best Canadian First Feature at the 2013 Vancouver International Film Festival and was distributed in Canada by Search Engine Pictures; Servitude, the the first film to be developed and accelerated through the Exchange, from writer/producer Michael Sparaga and director Warren P. Sonoda, distributed in Canada by Maple Pictures; and Don’t Talk to Irene, from writer Pat Mills, which won the Comedy Screenplay Award at Austin Film Festival’s 2013 Screenplay & Teleplay Awards.

Past guests and mentors of the Exchange include Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann (This is 40), Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (This Is the End), Kirsten Smith (Legally Blonde), Paul Feig (Bridesmaids), Jason Reitman (Juno), Peter Saraf (The Kings of Summer, Away We Go) Jay Roach (The Campaign, Meet the Parents), Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters), John Hamburg (I Love You, Man), Ron Yerxa (Nebraska, Little Miss Sunshine) and former chair of the Comedy Exchange, Eugene Levy.

About CFC
CFC accelerates the careers of the brightest talent in film, television, screen acting, music, and digital media. A charitable organization, CFC is committed to promoting and investing in Canada's diverse talent; providing exhibition, financial, and distribution opportunities, and fostering industry collaborations and creative partnerships. CFC makes a significant cultural and economic contribution to Canada by launching the country's most creative ideas and voices to the world. For more details, visit

About Telefilm Canada
Telefilm is dedicated to the cultural, commercial and industrial success of Canada’s audiovisual industry. Through its various funding and promotion programs, Telefilm supports dynamic companies and creative talent here at home and around the world. Telefilm also administers the programs of the Canada Media Fund. Visit, follow us on Twitter at or find us on Facebook at

About the Just For Laughs Group
Founded in 1983, the Just For Laughs Group has had but one goal in its 30-plus years of operation: Make People Happy. To achieve this goal, the Just For Laughs Group has focused on four major products: Festivals in Montreal, Toronto and Sydney; television production including Gags seen in over 140 countries and on over 100 airlines and stand-up specials; live shows, such as Canadian tour dates for Jerry Seinfeld, Louis C.K., Jim Gaffigan and the Capital One Just For Laughs Comedy Tour; and talent management. The Just For Laughs Montreal Comedy Festival is the world’s largest and most prestigious comedy event welcoming on average 1.35 million visitors to Montreal this summer and generating approximately $80 million for the city’s economy. The Group has offices in Montreal, Paris, Los Angeles, Toronto, London and they are all connected to each other via internet.


For media inquiries, please contact:

Cory Caverson-Angeletti
Communications Specialist, CFC
416.445.1446 x463

Douglas Chow
Head, Public Relations, Telefilm Canada
514.283.0838 x2225