Summer is always the busiest season forfilm production. In Canada, where the summer is as short as it is hot, thatmakes it busier than most. In terms of heat, the hottest production by far isClement Virgo's new film, Lie With Me,which started shooting in Toronto on June 16.

Virgo co-wrote the screenplay with TamaraFaith Berger based on her "brazenly pornographic" novel. Mark Urman head of theatrical distribution forTHINKFilm, which picked up world rights for the project, is already makingcomparisons with sensual sensations of the past. "Clement and Tamara's script exploreshuman sexuality with a bravery and honesty not seen on screen sinceBertolucci's Last Tango In Paris,"says.

"We are thrilled to bein bed with such a provocative filmmaker and fully expect Clement, Tamara andtheir terrific actors [Eric Balfour and Lauren Lee Smith] to create the mosthonest, erotic and intimate film about sex ever made in North America." Nosmall feat.

Second perhaps insensation but higher in prestige is the prospect of a new film from auteur AtomEgoyan. The heat is on the auteur and in more ways than one. His previous film,Ararat, a film that explored thehistorical impact of genocide, wascritically lauded and created its share of controversy. But it didn't performat the box office. The new film, SomebodyLoves You, is a clear departure from weighty subject matter. But it alsooffers an opportunity for Egoyan to break from the"intellectuals-only-need-watch" track his career has lead him. Based on thewidely-admired novel by Broadway wunderkind Rupert Holmes, the story follows a young celebrity journalist as she tracks thesecrets of a showbiz duo who were driven apart by a bizarre death in which oneof them may have played the part of murderer. The deeper she digs the more shefinds herself involved with both men and perhaps risking more than shebargained. The project offers some audience-friendlygenre landmarks (1970s LA noir) withEgoyanesque touchstones like identity confusion. It's the third novel Egoyanhas adapted (the others were 1997's TheSweet Hereafter and 1999's Felicia'sJourney) but is by far the least depressing. The film starts shooting atthe end of August under Egoyan's long-time collaborator producer Robert Lantos,who is a third source of heat. After the failure Norman Jewison's The Statement, Lantos' Serendipity PointFilms needs a hit.

For full Canadian production listings, click HERE