1708048288 Filming abroad Montreal loses its place in the sun

Filming abroad: Montreal loses its place in the sun

Montreal is gradually losing its status as a major cinema city in favor of Ontario. Several players in the Quebec film industry are alarmed and are calling for better tax credits to sustain this sector of the economy.

In 2022 alone, the film and television industry, including animation and visual effects, generated $2.8 billion in spending in Quebec and supported 57,000 jobs in approximately 2,500 companies, said the president and CEO of the Quebec Film and Television Bureau , Christine Maestracci, in an interview on the program À vosaffaires.

Filming abroad Montreal loses its place in the sun

Quebec Cinema and Television Bureau President and CEO Christine Maestracci TVA NEWS/AGENCE QMI

However, one of the industry's engines in terms of economic benefits, foreign filming and the hundreds of millions of dollars they bring to the province is beginning to break down.

In the MELS studios, two American productions currently take up almost half of the available space and employ around 1,000 people alone, the vast majority of whom come from Quebec.

“These are extremely important results. […] As far as expenses are concerned, for a foreign production arriving here it can easily be between 80 and 100 million. So it is capital that is invested in Quebec and of course puts people to work,” explained Patrick Jutras, president of MELS and head of advertising revenue at Quebecor.

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The president of MELS and head of advertising revenue at Quebecor, Patrick Jutras. TVA NEWS/QMI AGENCY

Montreal's star is fading

These significant impacts are gradually beginning to subside. “We feel like we have lost our place in the sun in recent years. For what? Not because Quebec isn't good, but because other jurisdictions have taken action, increased their tax credits and done everything they can to attract some of the filming,” noted Ms. Maestracci.

A phenomenon that the founder and CEO of Muse Entertainment also observes. “The problem is that we are in a very, very competitive world with other locations. Our biggest competitor is Ontario,” emphasized Michael Prupas.

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Muse Entertainment Founder and CEO Michael Prupas. TVA NEWS/QMI AGENCY

In recent years, giants such as Netflix and Amazon have chosen the neighboring province to establish their audiovisual operations in Canada.

Quebec's industry will need the government's helping hand to regain its place in the firmament, its stakeholders believe.

“We need an increase in our tax credits. At the moment they are not enough to generate attraction, as was the case a few years ago,” lamented Christine Maestracci, pointing out that Montreal has moved up to 10th place out of the top 3 cities in which to film well .