Prominent Canadianfilm-makers were the key recipients of the production funds doled out byTelefilm Canada through its Canadian Feature Film Fund earlier in July.

The agency received 90applications at its April deadline, 47 English and 43 French-language; ofthose, eight English-language and four French-language projects were selected.Of the twelve lucky titles, only a few are not from well knowCanadianfilm-makers. And two of the English-language features are directed by prominentFrancophone directors.

Of the Quebecois, FrancoisGirard has the highest international profile, with such films as The Red Violin and 32 Short Films About Glenn Gould. His new project, Silk (formerly The Far Road), has followed a tortured path, a victim of itscomplex financing and the threat of SARS in China where it was set to shootback in 2003. Niv Fichman of Toronto's Rhombus Media will produce.

Better known in Los Angeles,Yves Simoneau is a Quebecois who made his name at home with a number ofcritically- and commercially-successful films before moving south where he dida few theatrical features and some big network mini-series such as Nuremberg and Napoleon. Now, Montreal-based Seville Pictures has lured him backto direct a biographical drama about Canadian general Romeo Dallaire, thecommander at the helm of the bedeviled UN peace-keeping mission during the 1994Rwandan Genocide. Structured as Canada-South Africa-UK co-production, Dallaire will film in English; so notquite a complete return to Simoneau's roots.

Jean-Francois Pouliot is a Quebecoisfilmmaker from the other side of the spectrum. A long-time and highly-decoratedcommercials director, he made his first feature, La Grande Seduction (SeducingDr. Lewis) at age 44; itearned him instant acclaim while the film earned the highest box office grossin the country for 2003. Backed once again by producer Roger Frappier of MaxFilm, Pouliot is teaming with Seductionscreenwriter Ken Scott on the black comedy GuideDe La Petite Vengeance.

On the English side, the jostling isparticularly fierce. Jeremy Podeswa, who has been working steadily intelevision, notably Six Feet Underafter his first two features, is returning with an adaptation of Anne MarieMcDonald's novel Fall Down On Your Knees tobe produced by Robert Lantos' Serendipity Point Films Andras Hamori's H20Motion Pictures. Bruce Sweeney, probably the best under-rated filmmaker inCanada, has lined up American Venus with Vancouver-based Brightlight Pictures.

Exchanging punches for caresses after hissoon to be released erotic drama Lie WithMe, Clement Virgo moves into the world of boxing with the fight film, Poor Boy's Game which he cowrote withChaz Thorne.

Allan Moyle, who is still best-known for theChristian Slater vehicle Pump Up TheVolume, has Weirdsville, describedas a night in the life of three lovable-loser stoners during a cold Prairiewinter.

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