FFM: Rozon and Remillard could take over

grand-manitou-festival-juste-pourAt the dawn of the 39th edition of the World Film Festival (WFF), Gilbert Rozon, head honcho of the Just For Laughs Group, and Maxime Rémillard, big boss of Remstar Media and Group V, showing interest for a recovery World Film Festival, La Presse has learned.

However, it will meet certain conditions, including the approval of the founder and president Serge Losique. If the scenario does not materialize, Mr. Rozon also considering creating within two years a film festival which however would not compete with FFM, he said.

“I would be willing to make a contribution if we are to me and if conditions are met. I’d be willing to consider it seriously, but we need Mr. Losique wish. I have not spoken to Mr. Losique, I have not made any approaches, it is for him to say whether he was open to the idea [to have partners]. I do not want his disavowal, I think instead that deserves to be thanked for what he did for MFF “said Gilbert Rozon in an interview with La Presse.

“There is a potential interest as there are [certainly] up to Montreal for a major film festival. It is in the interest of our industry to perpetuate the work of Mr. Losique but winning conditions must be met for an involvement on our part, “said La Presse by email at Maxime Rémillard.

In recent months, two businessmen discussed the project set to take the helm of the event FFM the agreement of Mr. Losique. For the second time this year, the FFM takes place without the financial support of the Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC), Telefilm Canada and the City of Montreal, who canceled over a million dollars sponsorships per year in 2014 and 2015.

“I can see that relations with governments are not rosy. A festival can not exist [without subsidies] is outright impossible, “said Gilbert Rozon, who would” try to give a second wind to the MFF. ” A reflection which is normal for all major cultural events, he notes.

“Myself, I had moments of crisis [with the Just for Laughs Festival],” said Mr. Rozon, who insists that any MFF recovery project can not be done without the support of its president and founder Serge Losique. “Mr. Losique organized 39 editions of this festival, which is her child. I understand the emotion [that pushes him to] hang on to her child. He devoted his life to his festival. I will not be the one who will take the hammer to bang on the nail, “said Gilbert Rozon, who would like Mr. Losique retains a role with the FFM.

Losique has good words for Rémillard

For his part, Serge Losique will open shows, but remains cautious before the interest of business people deemed the cultural community as Maxime Rémillard and Gilbert Rozon. He recalls that he was approached over the years by “fifteen people, and it never materialized.”

“The words, it costs nothing, suggests Serge Losique, in an interview with La Presse. Talleyrand said: “The floor was given to man to conceal his thoughts.” You never close the door to anyone. [The MFF] is a great cathedral, people can come when they want, be it public, sponsors or partners. ”

The founder and president of FFM however good words for Maxime Rémillard, he already wanted to convince him to join the board of the FFM.

“Mr. Remillard is a very nice man says Losique. If there are proposals to make, he can approach us, he knows that the door is always open. I hope that one day he will call me and we’ll sit down, he could become my partner. I [already] wanted to bring the board to bridge the gap between him and the businessmen. ”

Mr. Losique also adds “respect much Mr. Rozon,” but did not see “how he could help us. He already has its festival, he had to museums, it is for you to see where these museums there. If Mr. Rozon was not seeking subsidies or whether it was a big private company … “.

The “Plan B” Gilbert Rozon

If the status quo continues to head the FFM, the Just For Laughs Group will explore the idea of ​​creating a separate film festival, which however would not compete with FFM. “This is a plan B,” says Gilbert Rozon, who remains discreet about the details of this project. Mr. Rozon would ideally like to start this cinema festival in one to two years.

This is not the first time the Just For Laughs Group is interested in a film festival. In 2004, Gilbert Rozon had filed an application to the tender Telefilm Canada and SODEC to organize a film festival in Montreal.

Funding agencies had received four proposals and chose that of Équipe Spectra, which organized the Montreal International Festival of Film in 2005, before giving up. Mr. Rozon had then tried unsuccessfully to unite several film festivals, including Fantasia.

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