Film Financing Quebec Style Or the Story of How One Young Filmmaker Is Making It Happen

NILS OLIVETO
Film Financing Quebec Style Or the Story of How One Young Filmmaker Is Making It Happen
By Anne Howard for Rush PR news

MONTREAL, Quebec (RUSHPRNEWS) January 15, 2008- Almost ten years ago, Montreal actor Nils Oliveto wrote a screenplay in his dorm room at the University of Oklahoma. His vision? To put together a film for Hollywood that would showcase his acting abilities as a lead actor. An enormous task was waiting ahead of him.

Nils explains: “Finding money is the biggest challenge in moviemaking. You must have an extraordinary story and a remarkable level of enthusiasm to convince anyone to invest millions of dollars into a feature.”

In Canada, SODEC and TÉLÉFILM Canada finance most local films. However, in the last few years, it has been increasingly more difficult for anyone to find financing for motion pictures. Recently, Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper has slashed millions of dollars in film funding. Producers are therefore merciless in obtaining whatever available money there is out there.

“If you’re extremely lucky, you might get 5$ Million to finance a film in Canada. But my story requires a bigger budget, and 5$ Million is just not enough to bring it to where I want to bring it”, Nils states.

A former member of the Canadian National Track and Field Team, Nils used his high performance athletic background to enter the greatest competition of his life when he moved to Hollywood in 2000.

“Living in L.A. was hard, real hard. I starved for years, lived below the poverty line for almost a decade. Becoming an actor is excruciatingly difficult. The process of selling a screenplay is quite gruelling as well. So, when a totally unknown kid wants to achieve both, it requires a level of determination that very few people can possibly comprehend”.

His journey took him all over North America. Nils showed his script “The Mouth of Truth” to as many people as possible in the “Biz”. People liked the premise, but not enough to invest millions. Despite the hundreds of phone calls, meetings and false promises, nothing was good enough.

“I kept hitting brick walls after brick walls. The goal was always for me excel as an actor and I never lost sight of this vision. Having a career playing little parts in TV and film wasn’t interesting for me. So I decided to keep my eyes on the prize and focus my attention only on “The Mouth of Truth”.

Nils eventually came back to his hometown of Montreal. He gladly accepted a position as a physical education teacher at Ecole Secondaire Marie-Clarac, a private all-girls catholic high school in Montreal-Nord. Finally earning a steady income, he used every extra time he had in his hands to attack the film market one more time.

“I came back right in the middle of the film crisis. I approached SODEC, but was given the cold shoulder. I didn’t have enough “Canadian content” in my storyline to meet with Telefilm Canada’s prerequisites for funding. No production companies in Quebec accepted to read my screenplay. I even had meetings with top-rated entertainment attorneys to evaluate my options, but got nothing out of it.”

Obtaining government money takes years for most established filmmakers. Most Quebec stars wait a very long time to obtain grants. It is quite an accomplishment for any Montreal producers to obtain some kind of financing.

Nils adds, “I hated the idea of having to wait on someone’s decision just to get a few bucks. When an Academy Award winner like director Denis Arcand (Oscar winner for “The Barbarian Invasions”) still has a rough time finding money for his films, a kid like me wastes no time to look somewhere else for funding”. I never lost sight to my Hollywood ambition, and looking for money locally was a short lived option.”

It was time to think outside the box. He sent over four thousands letters to production companies all over the world, hammering anyone with a film credit under their belts.

“I was like Rambo with a machine-gun; I kept shooting relentlessly knowing that statistically someone was bound to collapse. My approach was very, very aggressive” he vividly recalls.

After months of correspondence, Nils was able to smother the interest of private investors in Europe. Last summer, he planed a trip that took him to various meetings all over the Old Continent. One destination caught his attention more than the others: Romania.

“A film investor in Eastern Europe contacted me, and said that he loved my script. I started doing research on the recent political and economical changes that this former communist country was going through, and used the information to workout a strategy for our meetings. I took a chance in adventuring myself in an unknown territory when my plane landed in the middle of Transylvania. We met face to face. I told him what I wanted, and he did the same. We made a deal. It worked.”

Using this momentum, Nils managed to convince a production company, High Road Productions in Los Angeles, to jump in the band-wagon and co-produce the “Mouth of Truth” with the Europeans. Nils’s negotiation skills eventually upgraded his status to executive producer.

“Nils Oliveto’s dedication and perseverance to this project is awe-inspiring. It’s hard enough to make a movie when you have all the support you need. Starting out from scratch and getting the job done on your own is incredibly hard. Nils has been working on this project with passion and a positive attitude for a long time. I for one am very impressed and looking forward to seeing this movie take off,” affirms Noah Kadner, co-executive producer for High Road.

How large is the budget for “The Mouth of Truth”? Nils won’t tell the exact amount, but he assures that it is larger than the biggest budget ever invested in Quebec cinema (Author’s note: the biggest budget invested for a Quebec film was 8$ Million, with “Bon Cop, Bad Cop”, starring Patrick Huard).

Hiring A-list Hollywood actors to co-star with Nils is the next step. Who does he have in mind? “It’s stop secret for now, but I do have a wish list and, this time, we do have the money to pay them,” smiling triumphantly.

Production for “The Mouth of Truth” is scheduled to begin in Europe and the U.S. in Fall 2008. Nils Oliveto’s website is WWW.NILSOLIVETO.COM .

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RUSH PR NEWS newswire and press release services at www.rushprnews.com
www.annehowardpublicist.com

Content- Legal Responsability
Rush PR News is not legally and/or morally responsible for content of press releases, opinions expressed or fact-checking.

Rush PR News cannot be held legally responsible for material published and distributed through its newswire service or published in its press-room and therefore cannot be sued for published material. Third-party must be contacted directly to dispute content.

Rush PR News is not the contact for material published.