Francois Macerola, Prominent Canadian Film Financier, Dies at 76

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Francois Macerola

He led Telefilm Canada, the country's top film funder, for six years and also worked at Cirque du Soleil, SODEC and Malofilm Distribution.

Francois Macerola, a top Canadian film financier and cultural bureaucrat, died Thursday morning in Montreal. He was 76.

No cause of death was immediately available.

"Today, with the death of Mr. Francois Macerola, Canada’s cultural milieu lost a longstanding ally and leader who possessed a unique vision and an innate gift for communications," Christa Dickenson, executive director of Telefilm Canada, the federal government's film financier, said in a statement.

From 1995 to 2001, Macerola ran Telefilm Canada, which invests around $100 million annually in a domestic film industry that remains highly dependent on tax credits and cultural subsidies.

Born in January 1941, Macerola acquired psychology and law degrees from the Universite de Montreal before joining the National Film Board of Canada in 1976 as director of its French language program. He eventually became director general and film commissioner at the NFB, the country's publicly funded filmmaker, before leaving in 1989.

Macerola also served as president and CEO of SODEC, Quebec's film financier, before retiring in 2014.

He also completed executive stints in the private sector, with Cirque du Soleil and Malofilm Distribution, a major French-language film producer and distributor.

Along the way, Macerola was unsuccessful in his 1998 bid to become a member of the Quebec legislature in the riding of Vimont.

"Throughout his career, Francois Macerola established himself as a visionary, builder, skilled strategist and leader with a talent for bringing people together,” Dickenson added.