‘Vi­sion­ary’ arts cham­pion

Ex­ec­u­tive spear­headed film ex­pan­sion, cul­tural growth

Standard-Freeholder (Cornwall) - - ENTERTAINMENT -

MON­TREAL — Fran­cois Macerola, a “vi­sion­ary” arts ex­ec­u­tive who was a cham­pion for Cana­dian cin­ema and headed ma­jor cul­tural in­sti­tu­tions in­clud­ing Tele­film Canada, has died. He was 76.

“To­day, with the death of Mr. Fran­cois Macerola, Canada’s cul­tural mi­lieu lost a long­stand­ing ally and leader who pos­sessed a unique vi­sion and an in­nate gift for com­mu­ni­ca­tions,” Christa Dick­en­son, Tele­film’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, said Thurs­day.

Born Jan. 31, 1942 in Mon­treal and ed­u­cated at the Uni­ver­sity of Mon­treal, Macerola was a leader in var­i­ous arts dis­ci­plines in Que­bec through­out his ca­reer, which he be­gan as a lawyer.

At Tele­film Canada, he was ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor from 1995 to 2001, and chair of the board from 2001 to 2002.

He also had top jobs at the Na­tional Film Board of Canada, Place des Arts, Cirque du Soleil, and the So­ci­ete de de­vel­oppe­ment des en­treprises cul­turelles du Que­bec, among oth­ers. Macerola helped ex­pand Cana­dian cin­ema’s pres­ence at fes­ti­vals and mar­kets around the world, and spear­headed “a re­mark­able in­crease in co-pro­duc­tion ac­tiv­ity,” Tele­film said.

He helped set up the Canada Fea­ture Film Fund and forge the very first part­ner­ship be­tween Tele­film and the pri­vate sec­tor through the Cana­dian Tele­vi­sion Fund, now the Canada Me­dia Fund.

“Through­out his ca­reer, Fran­cois Macerola es­tab­lished him­self as a vi­sion­ary, builder, skilled strate­gist and leader with a ta­lent for bring­ing peo­ple to­gether,” Dick­en­son said.

“He was en­er­getic, af­fa­ble and open — he saw the big pic­ture — and work­ing with him was a stim­u­lat­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. A man of ac­tion, he was also a lov­ing and de­voted fa­ther to his two chil­dren, Stephanie and Louis.”

The Academy of Cana­dian Cin­ema & Tele­vi­sion and the NFB were among those who shared trib­utes on so­cial me­dia Thurs­day.

“Send­ing out our heart­felt con­do­lences to the fam­ily and friends of Fran­cois Macerola, a man who made an in­deli­ble mark on Que­bec’s cul­tural sec­tor,” the academy posted on Twit­ter.

Fran­cois Macerola

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