Telefilm Canada will wait before deciding on fate of Jutra award

MONTREAL -- Telefilm Canada says it will allow Quebec's film industry to take the lead on what to do about awards bearing the name of a famous director accused of sleeping with young boys.

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Quebec Cinema has formed a committee to determine whether to keep its awards show named after Claude Jutra.

A Jutra biography released today includes four pages of testimony from "close friends" of the late film director who allege he slept with boys.

Telefilm Canada sponsors the Claude Jutra Award, given by the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, for the year's best feature film by a first-time director. That award is separate from the Quebec awards.

Spokesman Douglas Chow said today Telefilm Canada has no comment on the allegations against Jutra and said it will wait to see what Quebec Cinema does.

Jamie M. Dagg won the 2016 Jutra for his film, River.

Catherine Simmonds, a spokeswoman for the company that distributed Dagg's film, says the director will not be commenting either.

Jutra, an actor, writer and filmmaker, committed suicide in 1986 and was considered so important to the history of the province's film industry that it named its annual awards show -- and trophies -- after him nearly 20 years ago.


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