Canadian Filmmakers Back Fund Boss Despite Government's Resignation Call

Carolle Brabant

Oscar winners Denys Arcand and Don Carmody fire back after the new Liberal government demands Telefilm Canada head Carolle Brabant's voluntary resignation.

Top Canadian filmmakers on Friday said Canada's new Liberal government has wrongly demanded that the country's top film financier voluntarily resign, urging that she should remain in her post.

The newly-elected Liberals, in a letter to Carolle Brabant, urged the executive director of Telefilm Canada to decline an early reappointment to her post made in June by the former Conservative government. "... we believe there is clearly a mistake and an injustice to demand the resignation in the case of Carolle Brabant," a letter signed by 26 Canadian film actors, producers and directors told Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau.

The signatorees include Oscar winners like Don Carmody (Chicago) and Denys Arcand (The Barbarian Invasions), actors Karine Vanasse and Vinay Virmani, and producers Nancy Grant, Jean Bureau and Denise Robert. Brabant was originally named to head up the federal government's film finance agency in 2010.

Telefilm Canada invests around $100 million annually in Canadian indie film on behalf of the federal government. Brabant made it onto The Hollywood Reporter's annual Top 100 Power Women in Entertainment list in 2011.

Her most recent movie investments include the Brie Larson-starrer Room, a Canada-Ireland co-production, Jay Baruchel's Goon and the Tatiana Maslany starrer The Other Half. Brabant was reappointed to a new five-year term in the final days of the former Conservative government.

The incoming Liberals in their letter want the Telefilm Canada chief and 32 other political appointees to voluntarily step aside to "establish an open, merit-based appointments system." Brabant and the others are given the option to resign and reapply for their current posts via an open hiring process.

The filmmakers in their letter argue Brabant is "unfairly caught up in the turmoil caused by [the Conservatives'] mandate ending and her recent renewal by the government." The Telefilm Canada head has until Dec. 18 to respond to the new government's call for her voluntarily departure.