Telefilm's Sheila de la Varende was a champion of culture

Telefilm's Sheila de la Varende was a champion of culture
Telefilm's Sheila de la Varende was a champion of culture

A key figure in Quebec’s film and television scene, the Montrealer had a prolific career as a champion of culture.

Published on: November 22, 2017 | Last Updated: November 22, 2017 10:21 PM EST

Sheila de la Varende was Telefilm's director of international promotion. She died on Tuesday, Nov. 21 in Montreal. Telefilm Canada.

Telefilm’s director of international promotion Sheila de la Varende has died.

A key figure in Quebec’s film and television scene, the Montrealer had a prolific career as a champion of culture.

“Today we have lost a most inspiring colleague,” said Telefilm executive director Carolle Brabant, in a statement. “Her legacy and impact in both the industry as well as Telefilm are difficult to sum up. There was no better ambassador, and her strength of character, vision and passion will not easily be replaced.”

“The Canadian film industry is shattered by the loss of Sheila de la Varende,” said Fantasia Film Festival co-director Marc Lamothe, via Facebook. “I’ll keep fond memories of this grande dame — lover and friend of film festivals.”

De la Varende led Telefilm’s European office in Paris for 10 years before joining Montreal’s Festival du nouveau cinéma (FNC) for a brief stint as executive director in September 2004, in the midst of the film fest shakeup that temporarily left the FNC out in the cold with funding agencies, leading to her departure in February 2005.

She moved on to the National Film Board, as project leader of digital strategy and deployment, before returning to Telefilm in 2009.

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