Radio-Canada does not care about its mandate

Radio-Canada doesn't care about its mandate


By pulling the plug on the film gala, Radio-Canada is once again demonstrating that the ratings are its real concern.

It is ironic that the public broadcaster's decision comes the same week that its film critic for a quarter of a century, Michel Coulombe, launches a book on the 7th art entitled Le Québec au cinéma. What our films say about us. Radio-Canada's untimely decision speaks volumes about the lack of importance it places on its cultural mandate, which it relegates almost entirely to ARTV, a specialty channel for which you have to subscribe. As if the hundreds of millions that Radio-Canada receives each year only served to better compete with private television.

Radio-Canada's decision comes at a time when cinemas are desperately trying to recover from a pandemic that has left them exhausted. Movie theater owners aren't the only ones struggling through the turmoil COVID has brought. All show producers, including the directors of our oldest theaters, are having a hard time bringing in pre-pandemic audiences. The long closures, last-minute cancellations of shows, the obligation to wear a mask and the fear of the virus have cooled the cultural ardor of the boldest. Subscribers are coming back slowly.

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Instead of being part of the solution, Radio-Canada chooses to make it worse by removing from the schedule the gala intended to promote cinema. The discomfiture of the last two galas at the helm of which we found the “non-host” Geneviève Schmidt, provided him with a golden excuse. Just as Radio-Canada can authorize itself from the disorganization of the environment and the tensions experienced by its self-proclaimed spokespersons. I have carefully read all the columnists who have commented on the death of the Québec-Cinéma gala, both those who dance on his grave and those who mourn his disappearance.

If several galas, that of the cinema like that of Gémeaux, were not always with the height, Radio-Canada cannot play Pontius Pilate. Its variety managers have always weighed heavily on the creative decisions of the galas, leaving only a limited place to representatives of the Academy of Cinema and Television and Quebec Cinema. 


Despite the flaws that I have often mentioned in this column, such as the shortcomings of many scripts, for example, Quebec cinema is better than to be delivered body and goods one week a year to the “small talk”, so as not to write about the insignificance of the summer show Good evening good evening!For half a century, rare have been the years when a Quebec film has not distinguished itself in the race for the Oscars and the Césars or in international festivals such as Cannes, Toronto, Berlin, Venice and Sundance. < /p>

Radio-Canada's decision is unacceptable. It is in clear contradiction with the more considerable means that the governments of Ottawa and Quebec grant to Telefilm and SODEC. The feature films and documentaries that these funds will make possible will need visibility and this is precisely the role that the galas play. Even the inane galas last June and the year before, which were more pensums than celebrations, were tolerated by half a million people. That's too many viewers to pretend galas are an endangered species. jpg” alt=”Radio-Canada doesn't care about its mandate” />