Quebec filmmakers try to flip the script, give audiences more ways to view their work

Like many industries, cinema in Quebec has been hard hit by COVID-19, and some major players in the industry are trying to find a way to flip the script.

Catherine Beauchamp was documenting Quebec filmmakers touring the world with their work before the novel coronavirus pandemic hit and shut the whole project down.

"For the industry, I think it was really tough," she said.

As people accustomed to travelling were forced into confinement, their movies started touring the world online.

Major players plotted ways to make their films available and reach new viewers.

"It's hard to find Quebec cinema online," said Maison 4:3 president Chantale Page. "Which platform is it playing on? So with the website, "Aime ton Cinema" to find a film, that was the start of everyone working together: the distributor, the producer and the theatre. We built a committee to ask the government to get money to be helped during that period."

As movie lovers waited for blockbusters like Tenet and Wonder Woman, other artists stepped in to fill the frame.

"I realized that the public really loves movies from Quebec because there were no American movies around in the movie theatres when they opened," said Beauchamp. "I just realized that it's good to know that we have great movies and content and directors. That is the best thing that came out of this pandemic."

After months of being at home, many have gotten used to watching movies streamed on the small screen.

Guzzo Cinemas owner Vince Guzzo, however, says that blockbusters made for the big screens are best viewed that way.

In 2021, he'll offer more movies from online sources.

"Will both platforms co-exist?" he asked. "They will and that's where this dynamic pricing comes, so if you have a movie that's a Netflix movie that they want to show 30 days later on their platform, well then I'll sell it at a lower price because my exclusivity is shorter." 

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