New productions fromQuebecois auteurs Denys Arcand and Bernard Emond are among seven new featurefilms greenlit by Telefilm Canada's Quebec office - five in French, two in English.

Arcand's project, L'AgeDes Tenebres (Dark Age), is a majority Canada/France co-production betweenDenise Robert's Cinemaginaire and Paris-based Monvoisin Productions. In thevein of Arcand's Barbarian Invasiontheme, the decline of empire has lead to a new Dark Age. Alliance AtlantisVivafilm holds Canadian rights.

In Emond's Contre TouteEsperance - "against all hope" - awoman made redundant by her multinational employer decides to confront thecompany president. It is produced by Montreal's ACPAV and will be distributedby Seville.

Telefilm also invested inthree minority coproductions, including Hassan Benjelloun's Le Bar, MonFrere Le Juif, a Morocco/France/Canadacoproduction and Dominique Othenin-Girard's L'Infiltre, a Switzerland/France/Canada coproduction. AmosKollek's Restless, an Israel/France/Canadacoproduction, will be distributed by Equinoxe.

Recipients of financethrough the agency's low-budget allotment include teen comedy Prom Wars, written by Myles Hainsworth and to be directed byPhil Price for Seville, and Stephane Lafleur's Continental, Un Film SansFusil, produced by micro_scope anddistributed by Christal.

Telefilm noted requests forinvestment for outstripped its resources. As of March 23, 2006, the agency hadreceived proposals for 36 projects seeking approximately $48m (C$54m); theremaining commitment capacity was $4.4m (C$5m). The Arcand and Emond projectsreceived more than $1.8m (C$2m) apiece.

In a statement, Telefilm spokesperson Michel Pradier said both film budgetsand Telefilm contributions have risen sharply in past years but recoupment has lagged."The fact is that we vitally need more revenue to be able to invest in moreFrench-language productions."