Seven Quebec-based independent film producers are uniting to push the cause of Quebec as an international coproduction partner and lobby the Canada government to lower the barriers to potential foreign co-production partners.

In Cannes to promote their various companies’ productions and projects, the members of the newly formed Regroupement des producteurs indépendants de cinéma du Québec are Roger Frappier of Max Films, Denise Robert of Cinemaginaire, Pierre Even of Cirrus Communications, Richard Goudreau of Melenny Productions, Lyse Lafontaine of Equinoxe Productions, Lorraine Richard of Cité-Amérique and Claude Veillet of Telefiction and Films Vision 4.

Current Canadian coproduction treaties require foreign producers to invest a minimum of 20 per cent of a budget to qualify as a minority coproduction partner. The new group will argue that such strictures run contrary to the realities of the international marketplace. And it will seek dedicated supplementary financing from federal investment agency Telefilm Canada and its Quebec peer SODEC for international coproductions.

Frappier commented, “The rules are well established but we want to find a way to build new bridges so that we can make these projects that are so close to our hearts.” He said the new group takes its inspiration from such forums as the European Producers Club and the US-based Independent Film and Television Alliance.

Said Robert, “In the current economic environment we need to develop innovation in coproduction and cofinancing.”