Telefilm Canada and itsQuebec counterpart SODEC have granted a one-month extension to the four partieswho submitted proposals for a new film festival in Montreal.

While declaring the call forproposals officially closed, Telefilm chairman Charles Belanger and SODEC chairJean G Chaput said in a tele-conference that the four proposals tabled wereclose to meeting the standards sought by the agencies' joint selectioncommittee and that all four were invited to re-submit projects by December 1,2004.

The four submissions, allMontreal-based, are from the Just For Laughs comedy festival; productioncompany Vision Globale; an industry group led by events organizer Spectra; andDaniel Langlois and Sheila de La Varende of the Montreal Festival of NewCinema, a smaller would-be rival of the Montreal World Film Festival.

The MWFF and its founder andpresident Serge Losique ran afoul of Telefilm and SODEC over issues ofgovernance as well as cultural and business impact. In September the twoagencies, the leading public sources of film-related funding in the country,issued a call for proposals for a new film festival in the city, an explicitchallenge to Losique's event and an implicit signal that their funding of hisevent would stop. Losique has since declared the action "outside of the law"and threatened legal action.

Asked if it was possiblethat none of the proposals would be accepted after that date, Telefilm'sBelanger said, "We are confident that we will find one proposal that will meetthe right criteria." He also dismissed the possibility that the MWFF might makeits way back into the proposal process.