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Hollywood comes to Concordia

Who knew the Loyola and Sir George Williams campuses were such cinematic hotspots?
July 23, 2015

American flags fly in front of the Faculty of Arts and Science Administration (AD) Building Spot the difference in the Administration (AD) Building’s imposing facade... | Photos courtesy of Adan E. Suazo

“Concordia’s Loyola Campus goes Hollywood!” tweeted Adan E. Suazo, coordinator of the Loyola Sustainability Research Centre (LSRC), as he picked his way past cameras, rigs and other filmmaking paraphernalia on July 22.

Since last week, Loyola and Sir George Williams landmarks like the Grey Nuns Reading Room (GN) and the Quadrangle (QA) have been standing in for a fictional Los Angeles university in the sequel to the 2011 French farce Les Tuche.

It’s one of eight films and TV series to use locations at Concordia in the past two years — including Xavier Dolan’s Cannes Jury Prize-winning Mommy (2014), which recorded a scene in the parking lot of the Faubourg Building (FB).

This summer, in particular, has been busy, says property rental coordinator Esther Bozzer. “The X-Men: Apocalypse shoot took up so many locations in Montreal, everyone else had to be creative!”

In June, Quebec director Denis Villeneuve was on campus with Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker to film his latest, Story of Your Life.

May saw a tournage of the Quebec series Les Jeunes Loups II; in August, there’s a Disney-ABC shoot on the cards.

But, stardust aside, what are the benefits of Concordia's transformation into a film set? Profits made from all location fees  — an estimated $50,000 in the last two years  — go straight to student awards and scholarships, through a fund run by the Financial Aid and Awards Office.

"These film shoots take a lot of work to coordinate,” Bozzer says, describing a Concordia Facilities Management-led team in cooperation with event analysts, designated space administrators, department coordinators, security guards, custodians, electricians and others. “But when people hear it's for the students' benefit, they're always happy to help."

Find out more about Concordia's Policy on Filming and Photography on University Premises.

Keen to take in a little cinema on campus? The Fantasia International Film Festival is at Concordia till August 5.


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