Frederic Bohbot is the founder of Bunbury Films. A company created in 2002 to produce high quality entertainment in films as well as corporate and music videos.
Frederic Bohbot is the writer, producer, director and DOP of the movie ONCE A NAZI.
I was able to ask this experienced filmmaker some questions about the English Montreal film scene.
What does it take to make a movie in Quebec?
This is a very big question and I honestly don’t know how to answer it succinctly. It doesn’t take anything more in Quebec than it does anywhere else in the world. Find a good story, a good filmmaker, figure out where you potential sources of funding are, make the pitches, convince people that you have a project that needs to get made and work very very hard.
How different is this process from making movies in other parts of Canada or the world?
I’ve not made films anywhere else so I’m not completely sure. One thing that is for sure is that in Canada we have many advantages that do not exist in the US. We have government mandated financial assistance toward art, film and media. This exists in order to counter the influence of the greatest cultural producer in the world (the US) and maintain a Canadian cultural industry. It has been a great success in Quebec, but has been much more difficult in English Canada for obvious reasons. In Canada we have provincial and federal tax credits on the Canadian Labour hired in our films, some US states (Louisiana, New Mexico, and other surely) have begun to implement very generous tax credit systems to attract productions in their state. We also have funding from Telefilm Canada, Canadian television fund, SODEC, OMDC which Americans do not have access to. American documentary filmmakers are very jealous of us because we have a relatively strong foundation toward the funding of documentary. Canada has always been a world leader in documentary. I’m a documentary maker. In terms of fiction, Canada has all those funds, but the US still vastly more money so I’m not sure that our system is as great as people seem to believe from the outside. Also the Canadian government has cut many arts grants leaving the power in the hands of broadcasters so Canadian documentary has become a by-product of what the television industry wants. This can be said of most funded documentaries in the world, other than the few that you see in the theatres.
Has the Quebec Anglo film scene found a place in Quebec?
Some will argue no, but I think Quebec has a strong Anglo film scene, or produces a good deal of filmmakers and producers. They may leave Quebec to work in Toronto or LA or New York but they are coming from here and it’s because of the French Quebec scene’s influence on the Anglo Quebecker. We don’t have access to the Quebec funds like the French productions do, we are allotted about 20% of the funds, while I would guess that we represent much more than 20% of the requests, but I could be wrong on that, please check the stats. I have no issue making films in Quebec, there are certain limitations, but I’m aware of them and I try to find other ways to fund my films. Anglo filmmakers go to English Canada and the US, French Quebec filmmakers have Quebec and France, I think the Anglo still has it a little easier.