February 23, 2010 / 1:10 AM / 9 years ago

Canada wants Hollywood stars to save local films

TORONTO (Hollywood Reporter) - The Canadian government wants more Hollywood stars to work in homegrown movies to boost their negligible box office appeal.

The head of the federal government’s film financier told CBC News that his agency is looking to relax tax rules to allow foreign actors to headline more taxpayer-funded films. One of the two main leads in such projects must be Canadian.

Local films account for about 1% of screen time at multiplexes in English-speaking Canada.

“We just can’t go on this way,” said Michel Roy, chairman of Telefilm Canada. “We need to make changes. In order to make those changes we will have to dare to do new things that at times might shock some people.”

ACTRA, Canada’s actors union, slammed the proposed rule changes.

“Using Canadian taxpayers’ money to finance Hollywood is not only wrong, it’s an old idea that’s been tried and proven to fail repeatedly since the ‘70s,” said Stephen Waddell, ACTRA’s national executive director.”Frankly, I’m not sure that Mr. Roy realizes that a good number of the hottest stars in L.A. right now are Canadian.”

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