Canada’s film industry wants to be funnier, eh?

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A new feature film "Comedy Lab" is being launched by Telefilm Canada, the Canadian Film Centre and Just for Laughs with the goal to put five original feature comedies for Canadian and international audiences into production by 2011-2012.

The hilariously titled Telefilm Canada Features Comedy Lab pairs accomplished Canadian feature film producers and their writer and/or director teams and their theatrical comedy scripts, with the best comedy minds in the world, including actor Eugene Levy.

“While Canada has made some great comedies, such as Strange Brew, Porky's and Bon Cop Bad Cop, for a country that is recognized globally for its sense of humour, we have not fully exploited our potential to make funny and commercially successful feature films,” said Sheila de La Varende, Director of National & International Business Development for the Federal cultural investment agency. “This is a gap in how we tell our stories to each other and the world and the Telefilm Canada Features Comedy Lab was created to fill this gap.”

The three-year program is funded through the Department of Canadian Heritage's Canada Feature Film Fund with a budget of just over $1 million. Telefilm selected the Canadian Film Centre to deliver the training program.

Guest mentors joining Eugene Levy at the Telefilm Canada Features Comedy Lab have yet to be announced. Full criteria and application details are available online at

Aspiring Judd Apatows have until Sept. 18 to submit their proposals.

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About Robert J. Ballantyne

Robert J.Ballantyne is a senior editor at Popjournalism and Creative Director at Previously, he was a journalist at the CBC on a number of news programs including the fifth estate, Marketplace and The National. He also worked as a staff writer at the Toronto Star.

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