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Telefilm Canada and Just For Laughs announce COMEDY LAB Projects

CFC (Canadian Film Centre) announced the five filmmaking teams selected from among 74 producers who applied for 5 coveted spots. TheTelefilm Canada Features Comedy Lab program was created in collaboration with and announced at the 27th annual event Just For Laughs Comedy Conference in July. The Montreal Comedy festival is now the world’s largest and most prestigious comedy event welcoming over 2 million people each summer. This is Canada’s first advanced professional program designed to develop and package theatrical feature-length comedies. The Comedy Lab pairs experienced Canadian feature film producers, their writer and/or director teams and their comedy scripts, with the best comedy minds in the world to further develop and package for investment five viable English-language theatrical feature comedies for 2010.

A selection committee composed of international comedy industry professionals were asked to identify the five projects awarded spots in the Lab which starts this fall. The chosen projects and teams are:

Servitude from writer/producer: Michael Sparaga and director Warren P. Sonoda, Victory Man Productions, is a workplace-comedy.

That Burning Feeling from writer Nicolas Citton and producer/director Jason James, Resonance Films, is a romantic comedy about the least romantic thing possible.

Ramington’s: Men Of Steel from writer Sacha Pavlovic and producer Mark Montefiore, is a ballsy in your face comedy.

Saddlebags, by writer Christine Lippa, producers Elizabeth Yake (True West Films) and Angela Heck (Three Bags Full Film, Inc.) is a raucous, estrogen-fuelled comedy western.

Two Of Me from writer/director Mina Shum and producer Stephen Hegyes, Brightlight Pictures, is a irreverent female comedy .

Mentors and guests confirmed to date include: esteemed producer Jimmy Miller, Mosaic Media Group (Step Brothers, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby and Elf); Executive Producer Ivan Reitman, The Montecito Picture Company (Chloe, Ghostbusters, Animal House);writer/producer Len Blum (Meatballs, Stripes, Over The Hedge, The Pink Panther); producer Tai Duncan of Paul Schiff Productions (which has produced films such as Epic Movie, My Cousin Vinny, Rushmore, Young Guns) and Executive Producer Alan Blomquist, Parallel Entertainment Pictures (Blue Collar Comedy Tour, Chocolat, Duplex, Walk the Line).

Chair Eugene Levy said “It’s just a win win for the Canadian film industry.” The Telefilm Canada Features Comedy Lab seeks to advance the comedy genre in Canada and generate comedies that achieve commercial and critical success. Starting in November 2009, the three-month program will see these five filmmaking teams and their feature comedy scripts engage in workshops, master classes and intimate one-on-one sessions with leading industry professionals to strengthen their scripts and increase their packaging appeal for investment.

“The large pool of projects and project teams from across the country made the selection process even more competitive than we planned. These developments are a huge vote of confidence in the Comedy Lab concept,” said Sheila de La Varende, Director of National & International Business Development for Telefilm Canada, the driving and financial force behind the new initiative.
The Global Film Village
by Marla Lewin (c) Global Film Village


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