Sunday, February 21, 2010

Telefilm Wants US Stars For Canadian Films

According to reports, Michel Roy, head of Canada's federal film agency Telefilm, is urging the Conservative government to ease restrictions allowing foreign film actors to appear in publicly-funded movies.

Current tax rules require the lead actor or second lead to be Canadian.

Roy said he believes more US movie stars would help Canadian movies at the box office, especially English Canadian features, which accounted for only one per cent of Canadian box office receipts in 2009.

"We need to make changes," Roy said. "In order to make those changes we will have to dare to do new things that at times might shock some people."

Roy says Telefilm, which has invested nearly a billion dollars into the domestic industry since 2000, has been holding discussions with officials at Heritage Canada.

Meanwhile Canadian leading actors, including Ryan Reynolds ("The Green Lantern") and Seth Rogen ("The Green Hornet"), continue to dominate in US films, which leads to speculation that it may not be the 'stars' of films that attract audiences, but rather universal themes and stories.

Expect ACTRA, the Canadian film actors union, that has been lobbying the industry for more 'Canadian' stories, to go ape over Roy's new recommendations...