TIFF: Canadians Strike New Co-Production Pacts With Foreign Partners

Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

As Hollywood stars dominate the red carpet, American, Italian and Indian producers behind the scenes inked deals on possible multi-passport film and TV projects.

Canada has become virtually a second home to Hollywood as Los Angeles producers increasingly come to the country to shoot on location for tax credits and currency savings.

But film reps from Italy and India were also planting a foreign footprint at the Toronto Film Festival this week as they signed co-production pacts with Canadian partners. Italians are looking beyond Europe to work with more foreign partners, including on English language projects.

Under the new name MIA (International Audiovisual Market), the first edition will be held Oct. 16 to 20 during the Rome Film Fest, directly after MIPCOM. On Sunday, Lucia Milazzotto, director of MIA (Rome Film Fest's inaugural co-production market), pitched local producers on co-financing opportunities for film, TV and documentaries with Italian partners.

"They (Canadians) don't all have to come shoot in Italy, but they should involve some Italian territorial spending such as choosing to do their postproduction there," Milazzotto told The Hollywood Reporter. 

Toronto mayor John Tory dropped by TIFF to sign a cooperation pact with the Consul General of India, Akhilesh Mishra, to encourage film investment and trade between Toronto and Bollywood. Tory's city enjoyed a banner year, attracting foreign movie and TV shoots after the collapse in the value of the Canadian dollar, compared to the American greenback.

"Toronto's film industry does better each and every year," said Tory. "This will help us continue that trend and keep us on top." 

The Americans also put another bet on Hollywood North as the Producers Guild of America signed an international affiliation agreement with the Canadian Media Production Association which represents local indie producers. "With this agreement, I look forward to even closer collaboration between our creative communities, and even more vivid and challenging stories to emerge from our partnership," said PGA executive director Vance Van Petten in a statement.

The memorandum of understanding looks to expand opportunities for financing and production partnerships between Canadian and U.S. film, TV and digital media producers.


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