Quebecor Inc.

Quebecor Inc.

November 18, 2008 18:00 ET

Quebecor Announces Official Launch of "Elephant" Cinema Archiving Project on Video on Demand and the Internet

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Nov. 18, 2008) - Quebecor (TSX:QBR.A)(TSX:QBR.B) is pleased to announce the official launch of "Elephant : memoire du cinema quebecois" on Videotron's illico Digital TV video on demand service and of the Elephant project Internet component at Elephant is a major initiative to archive Quebec movies and make them accessible to the public. Twenty-seven feature films are being made available in High Definition (HD) on illico on Demand immediately, with more titles to be added gradually. The project will also create the largest existing online database and information source on Quebec cinema.

Repertory films in high definition

Last year, Quebecor announced that it would spend $2.5 million on a project to create a website devoted to Quebec cinema, and to restore, digitize and make available all Quebec feature films made to date. Many of these movies have become virtually inaccessible because they exist only on old film stock that is delicate and cannot be screened without risk of damage. The Elephant project is therefore needed in order to preserve and disseminate Quebec's film heritage.

All Quebec feature films will eventually be added to the illico on Demand catalogue, and will therefore be available for rental 24/7. The films will be in high definition, a remarkable technical feat given that many were made more than 60 years ago. The prints must be handled with painstaking care and often need to be restored before the movies can be converted to HD. Nevertheless, the HD versions are faithful to the originals in all respects.

With the exception of a small amount to cover part of the operating costs of the platform, all revenues from the distribution of the films on illico on Demand will go to the filmmakers, in recognition of their contribution to Quebec cinema. Therefore, Quebecor will make no profit from the project. Subscribers to illico Digital TV will be able to order the movies for $1.99 in standard format or $2.99 in HD.

The titles that are available on illico on Demand as of today include several classics of Quebec cinema and a number of other films that have marked the history of filmmaking in Quebec but which audiences have not been able to see for decades. On illico on Demand, the movies are preceded by exclusive interviews in which actors and directors involved in the making of the films share personal memories and help recreate the spirit of the period.

"Our movies reflect who we are," said Pierre Karl Peladeau, President and Chief Executive Officer of Quebecor. "They embody our collective memory, our language, our identity. A people's cinematic heritage is a precious thing. As a company with a longstanding commitment to culture, Quebecor wanted to support the restoration, digitization and dissemination of our movies to ensure that they are preserved for posterity and readily available to all film buffs, young and old."

Producer Marie-Jose Raymond and director Claude Fournier are overseeing the project, with help from various stakeholders and organizations. "Since the first days of Quebec cinema, talented artists and actors have drawn inspiration from our roots to tell stories that have the power to move us," said Claude Fournier. "This major contribution from Quebecor will make it possible to give their works a second life, and to give audiences a chance to rediscover their own cinema through Videotron's digital television service and the Internet."

Website dedicated to Quebec movies

The largest existing database on Quebec movies is also available as of today on the website, another powerful platform for the dissemination and promotion of Quebec cinema. The site features synopses, photos from the set, exclusive interviews on video, trailers, movie posters and reference materials. Now that the documents are posted online, they can be seen, read and heard anywhere in the world.

Quebecor thanks all the individuals and organizations that have helped make this project possible.

List of 27 films available on illico on Demand starting November 18 or shortly thereafter:

Title Year Director
Le pere Chopin 1945 Fedor Ozep
La forteresse 1947 Fedor Ozep
Le cure de village 1949 Paul Gury
Les lumieres de ma ville 1950 Jean-Yves Bigras
Le rossignol et les cloches 1952 Rene Delacroix
Les mains nettes 1958 Claude Jutra
Les Brules 1959 Bernard Devlin
Trouble-Fete 1964 Pierre Patry
La corde au cou 1965 Pierre Patry
La vie heureuse de Leopold Z 1965 Gilles Carle
Poussiere sur la ville 1968 Arthur Lamothe
Les smattes 1972 Jean-Claude Labrecque
La vraie nature de Bernardette 1972 Gilles Carle
Les corps celestes 1973 Gilles Carle
La mort d'un bucheron 1973 Gilles Carle
La conquete 1973 Jacques Gagne
Bar salon 1974 Marc-Andre Forcier
Il etait une fois dans l'est 1974 Andre Brassard
Partis pour la gloire 1975 Clement Perron
La tete de Normande Saint-Onge 1975 Gilles Carle
Gina 1975 Denys Arcand
Le soleil se leve en retard 1977 Andre Brassard
Ti-Mine, Bernie pis la gang 1977 Marcel Carriere
Bonheur d'occasion 1982 Claude Fournier
The Tin Flute 1982 Claude Fournier
Mario 1984 Jean Beaudin
La dame en couleurs 1985 Claude Jutra

The Company

Quebecor Inc. (TSX:QBR.A)(TSX:QBR.B) is a holding company with a 54.7% interest in Quebecor Media Inc, one of Canada's largest media groups. Quebecor Media owns operating companies in numerous media related businesses: Videotron Ltd., the largest cable operator in Quebec and a major Internet Service Provider and provider of telephone and business telecommunications services; Sun Media Corporation, the largest publisher of newspapers in Canada; TVA Group Inc., operator of the largest French language over the air television network in Quebec, a number of specialty channels, and the English language over the air station Sun TV; Canoe Inc., operator of a network of English and French language Internet properties in Canada; Nurun Inc., a major interactive technologies and communications agency with offices in Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia; magazine publisher TVA Publishing Inc.; book publisher and distributor Quebecor Media Book Group Inc.; Archambault Group Inc. and TVA Films, companies engaged in the production, distribution and retailing of cultural products; Le SuperClub Videotron ltee, a DVD and console game rental and retail chain; and Quebecor MediaPages, publisher of print and online directories.

Contact Information

  • Quebecor Media
    Isabelle Dessureault
    Vice President, Public Affairs