You don’t have to be fluent in French to find your voice in Montreal. According to Someone Else’s Wedding writer-director Pat Kiely, “SODEC [Société de développement des entreprises culturelles] and Telefilm Canada in Quebec have a mandate to support auteur filmmakers. If you’re lucky enough to get funding, there’s a lot of freedom that comes with it. They provide an opportunity to make your movie.”
Montrealers’ laid-back joie de vivre is epitomized by their adorably nicknamed “Picnic Law:” Public alcohol consumption is prohibited unless said alcohol is “consumed in a park with a meal.” It’s a relatively affordable place to live compared to most North American cities—and if you’re longing to be stateside, New York is just an hour’s flight.
Montreal’s tax credits for moviemakers can reach up to 38.4 percent: 20 percent cash back on all expenses and 16 percent cash back on labor-based, computer-aided special effects and animation. (Visual effects is an especially booming aspect of the city’s film industry.) With notable film programs at l’Institut national de l’image et du son, Université de Montréal and Concordia University’s Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, as well as prominent festivals including longtime genre favorite Fantasia International Film Festival, you’ll have no shortage of opportunities to follow in the footsteps of regional greats Xavier Dolan and Denis Villeneuve. And BTW, learning French is never a bad idea.