The Anti-Young People F**king Act

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Canada's generous subsidies for home-grown filmmakers—no matter how weird—have always been a mystery to me. I see they've become a mystery to Canada's Tory government as well. Charlie Smith writes on Bill C-10, a law that seemingly restricts funding for films "contrary to public policy."

At the centre of the uproar is a small Canadian film called Young People Fucking, which will open in Vancouver on Friday (June 13). The $1.4-million movie has a lot more to do with relationships than with carnal pleasure, but its title has raised the ire of religious conservatives, including Charles McVety, president of the Canada Family Action Coalition. For Steven Hoban, the producer of Young People Fucking, this is a serious affair that could have an impact on all Canadian filmmakers and the crews that work on their productions.

Hoban told the Georgia Straight in a phone interview that his film has $80,000 in federal tax credits, which is a relatively small percentage of the budget. There is an additional $120,000 provincial tax credit, Hoban added. In addition, Telefilm Canada owns a 30-percent equity stake. He noted that if the federal government were to deny his federal tax credit, it wouldn't be catastrophic for him financially. He could probably take out a second mortgage on his house to cover the debt.

"But the real problem would be the next movie I go to finance or any other Canadian producer goes to finance," Hoban said. "The bank is going to say, 'We're not going to bank your tax credit. We can't count on banking it because Young People Fucking didn't get the tax credit at the end of the day, and we don't deal in risks. We only deal in certainties, because we're a bank.'"

More on movie censorship (of the voluntary, not-tied-to-taxpayers kind) here.

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  1. Funding this movie is censorship of dissenting taxpayers.

  2. The free publicity this has generated should be worth a few thousand shouldn’t it?

  3. Canada’s generous subsidies for home-grown filmmakers-no matter how weird-has always been a mystery to me

    Why? The Canadians are desperately afraid of being “overrun” by “American culture” and have many strict rules regarding homegrown content in the media. Only a certain percentage of shows shown on TV can be from the US (or a certain percentage must be Canadian, I forget which). They created the SPACE channel in Canada rather than just allow in SciFi because SciFi is American. (Guess how many actors in SciFi programs, especially BSG are Canadian. Lots.)

    It’s dumb as hell, but that’s why they do it.

  4. The $1.4-million movie has a lot more to do with relationships than with carnal pleasure, but its title has raised the ire of religious conservatives, including Charles McVety, president of the Canada Family Action Coalition.

    Oh man! You guys have been infected by these fuckers too! I’m so sorry. It seems our shit has been spreading northwards.

    jj —

    Yeah, I suppose, but somehow I can’t bring myself to care about people who are willing to whine about [*gasp*] sex being portrayed on a [*gasp*] publicly available film. I’m sure your response is correct and ideologically pure and all, but sometimes sticking one’s thumb in the eye of moralist hypocrites is worth muddying the non-aggression principle for.

  5. Is anyone surprised that a publicly-funded artistic venture is pissing in the face of conservative values? Artists in most countries expect government funding for their hobbies, and people are being a bit naive if they think that those tax dollars aren’t eventually going to go to objectionable material. Sure it’s artistic freedom, but like jj said, when do the dissenting taxpayers get a say? Never, that’s when.

    Elemenope,

    Or these artistic visionaries could try actually putting their own capital on these ventures. Maybe then they wouldn’t be so quick to churn out whatever garbage is polluting their minds, because then they’d actually have to be financially accountable for it.

  6. Why? The Canadians are desperately afraid of being “overrun” by “American culture” and have many strict rules regarding homegrown content in the media.

    Well, that’s retarded. Canada and the US are basically the same place, culturally, right?

  7. Charlie Smith writes on Bill C-10, a law that seemingly restricts funding for films “contrary to public policy.”

    On its face, this seems a logical extension of public funding for any kind of art. Why should public funds ever be expended in a way that is “contrary to public policy”?

    Of course, the logical implications of fundamentally stupid policies are generally unpalatable, which strikes me more as a reason to get rid of the fundamentally stupid policy than to cry about its logical implications.

  8. Or these artistic visionaries could try actually putting their own capital on these ventures. Maybe then they wouldn’t be so quick to churn out whatever garbage is polluting their minds, because then they’d actually have to be financially accountable for it.

    As I said, I basically agree with that sentiment, but I just *in my gut* can’t bring myself to care so much. Sure, it would be better if film was not subsidized by tax dollars, but seeing how it is I can’t bring myself to care that some religious blowhards may have inadvertently funded porno.

    Rather, I find it darkly and insipidly amusing.

  9. Canada and the US are basically the same place, culturally, right?

    Have you ever even been to Canada?

    Heck, have you ever even met a Canuck?

    They think differently up there. I blame the Coriolis Effect.

  10. Rather, I find it darkly and insipidly amusing.

    I get what you’re saying (or at least I think I do) – since they seemingly wouldn’t have any problem forcing the same tax dollars to subsidize movies about Jesus and “family values.”

  11. Well, that’s retarded. Canada and the US are basically the same place, culturally, right?

    Your second sentence strikes fear deep into the hearts of Canadians.

  12. “SCREW YOU, TAXPAYER!”

  13. Canada and the US are basically the same place, culturally, right

    Yep they are almost god-dangged identical in the main populated areas that are around the border with the US. Once you go futher north you can start getting into the ‘hill-folk’, but again that variation seems to be very similar to the US.

    But dont tell any canucks that we are all the same. Have you ever seen that I’m Canadian commercial? Apprently Canadian culture is defined by hockey, beavers and mounties.

  14. I get what you’re saying (or at least I think I do) – since they seemingly wouldn’t have any problem forcing the same tax dollars to subsidize movies about Jesus and “family values.”

    Got it in one. It is sooooo obvious they care not one whit about the principle of the thing; only the expedience matters. So, fuck ’em.

    This is generally why I don’t make decisions based on my gut reaction; it privileges irony and humor over principle. It might make for a greater measure of amusement, but rarely does it lead to better *outcomes*.

  15. Ya know, if you put up your own cash, instead of everyone else’s, you could tell that pucker-faced prude to go fuck off.

  16. Telefilm Canada owns a 30-percent equity stake.

    If they actually wanted to see a return on investment, “Young People Fucking (parts 1 – 523)” would be the way to go.

  17. “SCREW YOU, TAXPAYER!”

    Forget the film fund for a second. In Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, there exists a travesty know as the Catholic School Board. That is a religious publicly funded school system. All other religions need not apply. There is actually a UN Human Rights commission ruling against it.

  18. hockey, beavers and mounties

    A national culture defined by soccer on ice, hairy vulvas, and cosplay cops?

    Canada makes it hard to love her.

  19. The movie tax break has more than one goal:
    1) The “cultural” thing alluded to earlier.
    2) Promoting the production of movies in Canada.
    3) Subsidizing US studios to come to Canada to make movies and TV series and employ Canadians. (This one pisses off California.) It works, too: I’ve lost count of the number of Vancouver sites I’ve seen in “US” tv series.

  20. If you get up to Canada and turn on the TV, watch the credits of any program. The Canadian government is all over it, principally because of the tax credit program. It turns my stomach every time I see it.

    The result of all this interventionism is COMPLETE UTTER SHITE. 99% of the “Canadian content” is crap that no one watches.

    PS Just a few days ago, a TV producer friend was asking me if I wanted to make a website for them “because the government will pay for it”. Seriously, you can apply for a grant and get thousands of dollars to pay for your show’s web presence. Unbelievable.

  21. A national culture defined by soccer on ice, hairy vulvas, and cosplay cops?

    Canada makes it hard to love her.

    Indeed. Hairy vulvas we can learn to love again though.

  22. val,

    Actually a Kids in the Hall reference.

    Screw you, Taxpayer! YouTube’d!

  23. On a side note, the private-sector CTV network stuck it to the public-sector CBC a few days ago, which made me whoop with delight.

    Apparently the CBC didn’t like the licensing terms for the theme to its iconic “Hockey Night in Canada” so it dropped it from the program after 40 years of playing it. Canadians freaked out, causing the CBC to reconsider, but they weren’t fast enough — CTV saw a gigantic opportunity for its hockey programming and quickly snapped up the theme outright for $2.5 million.

    Mwahahahahahaha.

    The CBC is left running a lame $100,000 contest to find a replacement.

    More details:
    http://www.thestar.com/Sports/Hockey/article/439845

  24. “…we don’t deal in risks. We only deal in certainties, because we’re a bank.”

    Am I the only one who found this funny?

  25. Forget the film fund for a second. In Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, there exists a travesty know as the Catholic School Board. That is a religious publicly funded school system. All other religions need not apply. There is actually a UN Human Rights commission ruling against it.

    What’s weirder is that Canada’s head of state is a monarch who also happens to be the head of the state religion which was formed in protest of Roman Catholicism. The only thing worse than a theocracy is an incompetent theocracy.

  26. The only thing worse than a theocracy is an incompetent theocracy.

    I initially read that as, “The only thing worse than a theocracy is an impotent theocracy”, and was thinking, “An impotent theocracy works out pretty good for the kids at those Catholic schools.”

    Never mind.

  27. Am I the only one who found this funny?

    No.

  28. I thought Hoban’s movie was a mixed bag the first time I saw it when it was called “Kids.”

  29. 1. Tax money should never subsidize art of any kind.

    2. Anything that pisses of the xtian fundy morons is good for a laugh.

  30. Bill C-10, a law that seemingly restricts funding for films “contrary to public policy.”

    Not exactly. The bill removes a tax credit for those films. So, instead of refusing to pay for films it doesn’t like, the gov’t is refusing to give the makers of those films as much of their own money back as it returns to those whose films they like.

  31. So, instead of refusing to pay for films it doesn’t like, the gov’t is refusing to give the makers of those films as much of their own money back as it returns to those whose films they like.

    Thus showing one of the inevitable dangers of confiscatory taxation. When taxes are low enough that they are not particularly burdensome, this is a non-issue.

  32. These filmmakers need to now do a documentary (shot on DV, of course) about the situation and release that.

  33. It’s funny you mention these laws because I am an American living in Canada with my wife, and I tried to get a role as a zombie extra on both George Romero’s Land of the Dead and Diary of the Dead; but nooooo, they have to hire a certain number of Canadian actors, and so all the zombies are Canadian. Alas, I don’t have a work permit. I asked Romero about this at a signing and he said there’s nothing that he can do about the Canadian zombie embargo. But, goddamit! What good is Condoleeza Rice if not to fix problems like this?

  34. Maybe the title comes from the old joke…Native father is entertaining questions from his kids, ‘where did my name come from?’…stuck my head out of the tent when you were born, saw a running bear, thats where your name came from, Kid # 2, same idea, saw a soaring eagle, etc…Kid # 3, Father asks the kid back, why do you ask, “Two Dogs Fucking?”

  35. “We can’t count on banking it because Young People Fucking didn’t get the tax credit at the end of the day, and we don’t deal in risks. We only deal in certainties, because we’re a bank.”

    Uh, have these guys never heard of the sub-prime mortgage fiasco?

  36. There used to be (maybe still is) a Rude Dog Beer, whose bottle cap had six paw prints, with the phrase “Why do you ask?”

  37. they have to hire a certain number of Canadian actors, and so all the zombies are Canadian.

    So that’s where my Member of Parliament was that day!

  38. I applaud the People’s Republic of Canuckistan for funding all those excellent David Cronenberg movies.I oppose any funding of the arts by our United States of America.

  39. “…we don’t deal in risks. We only deal in certainties, because we’re a bank…”

    Every time I read this line, I imagine it being spoken by the floppy-headed Canadians from South Park, buddy.

    And, echoing a previous posting here, did the speaker mean to suggest that no Canadian banks participated in the sub-prime mortgage meltdown? I’ll bet plenty of them purchased those “securitized” mortgage packages because they were presumed to be a “certainty,” without actually being one, of course, just as people earlier rushed to invest in dot-coms because the laws of economics didn’t apply to the internet. Riiiiiight.

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