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Where's the rest? asks WFF
by: Oct 1, 2007 Print

MONTREAL -- Too little, too late.

That's the response of World Film Festival VP Daničle Cauchard to Telefilm Canada's announcement Monday that it is giving $249,000 to the event's 2007 edition, which ended Sept. 3.

"We are happy that it's resolved because they haven't financed us for the last two years, but we would have preferred more. It's not a lot for an international festival," Cauchard tells Playback Daily.

Cauchard made headlines in August when she told the crowd at the opening of the 31st edition of the WFF that Prime Minister Stephen Harper should "kick the behind" of Telefilm executive director Wayne Clarkson. Cauchard remains incensed about what she perceives as Clarkson's lack of interest in the WFF.

"We have not had one meeting with him since he's had that job," she says. "That's strange no? It's not normal."

SODEC and Telefilm quit funding the festival two years ago, claiming that it was mismanaged. Telefilm put its money behind the New Montreal FilmFestival, which ultimately tanked.

This year SODEC came back on board with $270,000. Telefilm then provided a reported $100,000 to fund the English and French subtitling of foreign-language films -- which is included in the $249,000 figure announced Monday. But that's much less than the combined $1 million the two agencies used to provide.

Cauchard believes Telefilm should admit it made an error by withdrawing funding from the WFF. "Their objective was to finance another event, and it was a disaster. They made a strategic error," she says.

In its release, Telefilm says its negotiations with the festival featured "extended discussions" with WFF that included "immediate implementation of measures to enhance corporate governance and strengthen financial controls." A spokesperson for the agency was not available for further comment.

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