Monday, February 15, 2016

Quebec film industry shaken by book claiming prominent director Claude Jutra was a pedophile

MONTREAL — His name is on the trophies handed out for excellence in Quebec cinema, but a new biography describing the late Claude Jutra as a “pedophile” who enjoyed sex with boys has thrown the province’s film world into turmoil.

Québec Cinéma, the organization that oversees the annual awards ceremony known as the Jutras, convened an emergency meeting Monday after the news broke on the weekend.

With the next awards show scheduled for March 20, Québec Cinéma announced it has formed a special committee to look into allegations contained in Yves Lever’s book and make recommendations if necessary.

“The recognition of the exceptional works of Claude Jutra remains as justified today as it was yesterday,” said Ségolène Roederer, general manager of Québec Cinéma. “That said, we take the situation very seriously and are going to follow closely the evolution of the issue, in the interest of our mission and of the concerns of the industry and the public.”

Some industry members have heard enough and made their feelings known on Twitter. Producer Michel Trudeau urged artists to put their Jutra awards in the closet, while screenwriter Steve Galluccio suggested people should boycott the ceremony.

Lever, a respected film critic and former teacher, said he discovered early in his research that there was a taboo surrounding Jutra that had to be broken — that he regularly had sex with 14- and 15-year-old boys, and in one case even younger. He told Radio-Canada he had confirmation from multiple sources, sufficient to satisfy the lawyer for his publisher Les Éditions du Boréal.  (more...)

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