Warren, (Producer) Brad and I have signed the option agreement. For my screenplay of Uncle Gus’ Monkey. So now I am officially a screenplay writer who sold his very first screenplay.
“Brad’s company is called Convergent. They and Télé Cinq, a French language national broadcaster, are compelled to produce original new content to keep their broadcasting licenses. It is a CRTC regulation, and Télé Cinq aims to ensure their content includes stories of Francophones living outside of Québec.
Telefilm Canada (the national funding agency for Canadian film) has a funding program that supports the development of Franco-Canadian stories set outside Québec. Next week, Brad is going to see a rep from Télé Cinq. In October, he goes to Cannes for MIPCOM (Marché Internationale de Programmes Communications / International Market of Communications Programmes) in hopes of securing a third partner—a French broadcaster.
We signed our agreement, shook hands, Warren and I agreed to celebrate with a dinner and then we got up to leave. At that point, I improvised the most sincere “thank you” I could muster for both of my partners and it prompted Brad to tell us how “lucky” we are. And he was including himself in that comment because he feels “lucky” to have found us.
Brad said very few projects “find a path” and “advance this quickly.” ‘Finding a path’ means finding funding and it is not my story, per se, that is proving to be so successful. It is not the writing, the images or the plot, really. Instead, it is this fact that it is a Francophone story set outside of Québec that is advancing this project so successfully.
Warren asked: “So if you get a French partner, the film is a go?” And Brad said that Monkey may go into production without the French partner but definitely will go into production if France says, ‘Yes.”
I have to make Brad a “Françoise souvenir kit” by this Friday. I told him all about all my mother’s memorabilia of her film work in Québec and France, and so I am getting it all together and taking it to him so it can go with him when he meets with Télé Cinq next week to help seal the deal and get them to sign a production agreement.
My souvenirs of mother will also go to MIPCOM to help convince the French. (She worked on the film An American in Paris there and I have tons of productions shots of her, Gene Kelly and Catherine Deneuve taken on set as part of the kit.) Mother would be so incredibly proud to know what she has inspired.