I recently returned to Canada and Toronto Film School after having attended the 45th Annual Gramado Film Festival in southern Brazil, dubbed ‘Brazil’s Oscars’ – what a great week! The festival celebrated Canada for our 150th, dedicating a plaque to us in their historic theatre among other honours.
For my talk, I spoke about the realities of selling series in Canada and the US. I also did a workshop on character and story development. The Brazilians were extremely gracious and engaged. Most attendees were filmmakers with films in the festival, looking to hear about the way we do things and the Canadian experience.
From these sessions, we were able to meet Guadalajara Film Festival organizer Pedro Andres and Uruguayan producer Pablo Martinez Pessi, whose documentary Mirando al Cielo was a festival hit. We quickly decided to make them honourary Canadians – here we all are taking official pictures with diplomats at the Canadian reception before the awards show. We also had the pleasure of meeting Quebec producer Yannick Letourneau, whose film X-500 was the talk of the festival, up for several prizes.
In the end, it was Pablo who took home the hardware though, winning for Best Documentary! Here are Yannick, Pedro and myself with the award. You’ll note the absence of Pablo, who insisted on taking the picture so we could all be in it – turns out Uruguayans are very Canadian!
Overall the week was tremendous. The Canadian Ambassador and Trade Commissioners took wonderful care of us, numerous receptions and events with amazing food and drink. We are well-represented in Brazil no doubt, with unprecedented support for the film industry. Here’s an almost-candid shot of the ambassador next to the big statue on the red carpet. Note to self: Don’t call to someone when you want a candid shot. He still looks great, I think.
For those of you looking at doing Brazil co-productions, I’m sent home with the message that yes, they’re dying to! Our treaty is in place at Telefilm, now it’s just a matter of making them happen. And based on the response to our talks, we may be seeing quite a few (more) Brazilians at Toronto Film School soon!
Adam Till is the head of the Writing For Film & Television Diploma at Toronto Film School as well as a producer and writer, known for Billable Hours (2006), Perfect Sisters (2014) and Too Late to Say Goodbye (2009).