CFC, Telefilm Canada and Just for Laughs Gear Up for the 2016 Feature Comedy Exchange

CFC, Telefilm Canada and Just for Laughs Gear Up for the 2016 Feature Comedy Exchange

Four comedy teams and projects have been selected to participate


Toronto, January 21, 2016
– The Canadian Film Centre (CFC), Telefilm Canada and Just For Laughs are upping the ante on Canadian feature comedy. Fuelled by their shared commitment to promote exciting Canadian talent and see more of their comedic properties reach the worldwide marketplace, these organizations are pleased to continue their partnership to deliver the 2016 Telefilm Canada Feature Comedy Exchange.

This acclaimed creative and marketplace accelerator is individually tailored and designed to broker key relationships with international consultants and top industry and comedy experts, elevate creative materials, and catalyze awareness, interest and investment in Canadian feature comedy properties.

“With our market research showing that comedy is the most popular genre for Canadian consumers, this partnership with the CFC and Just For Laughs Group underlines our objective to build audiences for Canadian content,” said Carolle Brabant, Executive Director, Telefilm Canada. “The Feature Comedy Exchange does an excellent job of attracting top-level resources and support from amazing comedy mentors and industry professionals. While five films from the Exchange have been produced to date—with more to come—this initiative has also established invaluable access, relationships and opportunities for its participants. We’re delighted to see a diverse range of projects and voices, including some exciting and original female comedic voices.”

The Exchange has been highly successful in providing producers and their teams with expert support and access to invaluable resources, resulting in real traction for their comedy features in Hollywood and throughout independent film communities. Recent examples of projects developed through the program that are well-positioned for success in the marketplace include the upcoming comedy Chokeslam (from director/writer Robert Cuffley, writer Jason Long and producer Carolyn McMaster), which is currently in post-production; and Don’t Talk to Irene (from writer/director Pat Mills and producer Alyson Richards), which is set to go to camera this spring. Exciting developments and announcements on additional projects that have previously participated in the Exchange are forthcoming.

Four projects and teams have been selected to participate in the 2016 Exchange, covering a cross-spectrum of comedy genres. They are:

  • Girl/Woman: A college senior, drowning in debt instead of alcohol, takes a school assignment too far when she attempts to outsmart the tuition crisis by dating rich men for cash.

    From writer/director Carly Stone, a Toronto-based filmmaker and recipient of the 2015 Telefilm New Voices Award, and producer Kyle Mann (Capote, Push, Wrecked, Kill for Me, Backcountry).
  • I Believe in You: Fresh out of college, Lucy Lewis gets a job as the assistant for a stand-up comedian, Jonah Lee. As Lucy's opinions infiltrate his act, Jonah's success mounts and he soon becomes known for his uncommon insight into women's issues. I Believe in You is a coming-of-age comedy about learning to stand up for yourself in the cutthroat world of stand-up.

    From writer Lanan Adcock, a musician and filmmaker from Montreal and three-time recipient of The Harold Greenberg Fund for her live-action fairy tale feature script, Twelve; producer Aisling Chin-Yee (Rhymes for Young Ghouls, Last Woman Standing), who directed the documentary Synesthesia in 2015 and produced the feature film The Saver due to release in spring 2016; and award-winning producer John Christou (Rhymes for Young Ghouls), who is the founder of Prospector Films and was named one of the top 20 Canadian Media Executives under 35 years old by The Hollywood Reporter in 2013.
  • Red Light Green Light: On the night of a crippling transit strike in Berlin, two people are brought together as they’re falling apart.

    From Toronto-based director/producer Bruce McDonald (Hard Core Logo, The Tracey Fragments, Pontypool, The Husband); producer Mike MacMillan (Guidance, I Put a Hit on You), named to Screen International’s 2015 Future Leader’s List and producer/founder of Lithium Studios; and writer Patrick Whistler, who is currently developing a number of feature and TV projects with some of Canada’s top producers.
  • Sorry For Your Loss: When a man leaves his wife and their newborn to fly home to bury his estranged father, he learns his inheritance depends on him scattering his dad’s ashes on the field of his favourite sports team, forcing him to confront past relationships and learn what it really means to be a dad.

    From director/writer Collin Friesen (The Big White, The Lone Gunmen, Schitt’s Creek), a former CBC reporter turned writer/director, and producer Tony Wosk (The Samaritan, Berkshire County), a Toronto-based film and TV producer and former theatrical distributor and CBC TV comedy network executive.

The Exchange will offer these teams access to respected creative counsel and key comedy experts throughout the program, brokering strong and ongoing relationships with some of comedy’s top industry powerhouses. Previous guests and mentors of the Telefilm Canada Feature Comedy Exchange include Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann (This is 40), Tamara Jenkins (The Savages, Slums of Beverly Hills), Anne Fletcher (Hot Pursuit, The Proposal), Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (This is the End), Kirsten Smith (Legally Blonde), Paul Feig (Bridesmaids), Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton (Ruby Sparks, Little Miss Sunshine), Jason Reitman (Juno), Peter Saraf (The Kings of Summer, Away We Go), Jay Roach (The Campaign, Meet the Parents), Ron Yerxa (Nebraska, Little Miss Sunshine), Charles B. Wessler (Hall Pass, There’s Something About Mary), and former chair of the 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 cfccreates.com.

About Telefilm Canada—Inspired by talent. Viewed everywhere.
Created in 1967, 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 makes recommendations regarding the certification of audiovisual treaty coproductions to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, and administers the programs of the Canada Media Fund and the Talent Fund, a private donation initiative. Visit telefilm.ca and follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/telefilm_canada and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/telefilmcanada.

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, Vancouver and Sydney; television production including Gags seen in over 130 countries and on over 75 airlines and stand-up specials; live shows, such as Canadian tour dates for Jerry Seinfeld, Louis C.K., Jim Gaffigan and the 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.

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For media inquiries, please contact:

Cory Angeletti-Szasz
Manager, Communications, CFC
416.445.1446 x463
cangeletti@cfccreates.com

Douglas Chow
Head, Public Relations, Telefilm Canada
416.973.6436, ext. 2548 or 1-800-463-4607
douglas.chow@telefilm.ca

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