Nova Scotia Filmmakers Debut at Cannes
Two local filmmakers will debut their productions on an international stage during the Cannes International Film Festival. Mark Corless and his short film Jokester are set to screen during the Short Film Corner, while Michael Ritchie’s Forest Man has been accepted under the American Pavilion’s Emerging Documentaries series, North America’s gateway to Cannes. “We strive to promote local talent on an international level,” said Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Michel Samson. “We are thrilled with the success of Mr. Corless and Mr. Ritchie’s films and look forward to the profile they will develop at the Cannes International Film Festival.” Jokester, an eight-minute short film, follows a comedian whose night does not end up being funny at all. The film was shot in Halifax and Dartmouth in 2011. Forest Man, an India-Canada co-production, tells the story of Jadav Payeng, an Indian man who single-handedly planted nearly 1,400 acres of forest to save his island Majuli. “Investing in the development of local talent and production ensures that Nova Scotia will remain an attractive film destination,” said Lisa Bugden, president and CEO of Film and Creative Industries Nova Scotia. “We are delighted to see these filmmakers showcased at Cannes and look forward to their future endeavours.” The Cannes International Film Festival, now in its 67th year, is one of the most prestigious and publicized festivals in the world. Mr. Corless and Mr. Ritchie accessed Film and Creative Industries funding to help prepare for the trip. Preparation included the development of business cards, posters and festival registration. “I am extremely grateful for the support that has been provided,” said Mr. Corless. “Every filmmaker dreams of the opportunity to screen at an international event like Cannes and I look forward to the future opportunities it will provide.” While at the festival, Mr. Corless, and his production partner Riley Lamarche, plan to take in the various professional and networking opportunities available to help learn more about the global marketplace for films. The team is currently developing a feature film and hopes to meet potential co-production partners to generate early interest. Jokester and Forest Man will not be the only films with local ties debuting at Cannes. Relative Happiness, which was shot in Hubbards last year, will screen during Perspective Canada, a Telefilm initiative that showcases recent Canadian films. Film and Creative Industries Nova Scotia is the lead development agency for the creative industries in the province. Providing a variety of loan and investment programs and services, the agency works to support the growth and development of Nova Scotia’s creative enterprises.