Netflix has acquired award-winning French-Canadian film Les Affamés, which was written and directed by Robin Aubert and stars Marc-André Grondin, Monia Chokri and Micheline Lanctôt.
Les Affamés tells the story of a small remote village in Quebec, where the bodies of locals have started to turn against their loved ones. The few survivors go into hiding in the woods, searching for others like themselves.
Les Affamés first premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) this past September, where it won Best Canadian Feature. TIFF also named the film to its list of 2017’s ten best Canadian films.
The acquisitions comes as part of Netflix’s commitment to invest $500 million CAD in productions in Canada over the next five years.
In an email to MobileSyrup accompanying the release, a Netflix spokesperson noted that its investment, announced by Canadian Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly during the federal government’s ‘Creative Canada’ plan reveal, “means more Canadian stories like Les Affamés will be brought to millions of members around the world, from the U.S. to France to Japan.”
There was immediate backlash to the plan and accompanying Netflix deal from Quebec provincial officials, who were critical of the lack of specific requirements for French-language content.
In a press briefing following the federal government’s announcement of the deal, Quebec’s Minister of Culture and Communications Luc Fortin stated: “I am rather angry, I would say, and especially that we have abdicated on the question of language, among other things, that we are not assured that there is a definite portion of original French-language content, while the same is required of other Canadian platforms.”
Quebec’s provincial government also been vocal about imposing its own sales tax on the streaming service.
The Quebecois film will be available starting on March 2nd, 2018 on Netflix in markets around the world, except Canada, Latin America and Eastern Europe. Ironically, Canadians will have to wait for next year to stream the Canadian-produced film.