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Feature Films : Maple Syrup Thrills: A Tribute to John Dunning & André Link

Maple Syrup Thrills: A Tribute to  John Dunning & André LinkAs Fantasia rings in its 15th anniversary, we felt it was time to celebrate the founding fathers of Quebec's genre cinema heritage — the legendary producing team of John Dunning and André Link. There was a time when cutting-edge horror and exploitation cinema was the backbone of Canada’s film industry, and a core nerve centre of it all was right here in Montreal, with Dunning and Link at the helm. Very much the Roger Cormans of Canada, the duo regularly took risks supporting exciting new talent, giving birth and/or nourishment to the careers of such luminaries as David Cronenberg, Denys Arcand, Ivan Reitman, Denis Héroux, George Mihalka, Claude Jutra, Jean-Claude Lord, Don Cormody and Larry Kent, to name a few. Among their productions: SHIVERS, RABID, MY BLOODY VALENTINE, L’AMOUR HUMAINE, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME, the ILSA series, VALÉRIE, L’INITIATION, YESTERDAY, BLACKOUT, DEATH WEEKEND, THE VINDICATOR, A WHISPER TO A SCREAM, MEATBALLS, METALSTORM and BUFFALO ’66. Needless to say, Dunning & Link were also proud anti-censorship crusaders who regularly pushed the boundaries of what was permissible in Canadian film, staunchly fighting the law more than a few times during their careers. Their maverick production/distribution company Cinépix — launched in 1962 during the Quiet Revolution — continues to thrive to this day. You know it as Lionsgate. Join us in raising a glass to this extraordinary pair of independent filmmaking heroes. - Mitch Davis

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