Montreal film festival faces closure if owner doesn’t pay $500000 in back taxes

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Montreal film festival faces closure if owner doesn’t pay $500000 in back taxes

CTV Montreal


Published Thursday, July 12, 2018 3:50PM EDT


Last Updated Thursday, July 12, 2018 4:08PM EDT

It’s a court case that could decide the fate of the Montreal International Film Festival.

The festival owes half a million dollars in taxes, and Revenue Quebec was in court Thursday trying to get it shut down permanently.

The fest’s organizational and financial issues are well known, and have been well-documented over the years.

Fesitval founder, Serge Losique, was given an ultimatum in 2015: to pay off the festival’s tax debt.

In the three years since 2015, this amount accumulated to approximately $500,000 – the rough equivalent of Provincial sales tax collected, but not paid over the years.

Appearing in court Thursday, Losique was reportedly disheveled, without a lawyer, and seemed to not understand what was going on.

He argued that the festival needs to go ahead this year, and that he’s already begun the process of booking films.

The judge had to redirect Losique several times to remind him that this was not the issue.

He then asked whether Losique could pay the outstanding balance, or at least the minimum amount – $30,000 – before the 1st of August.

The judge also said he needed a few more days to think about whether the festival will proceed as planned this year.

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