Posted by: michellemuldoon | February 5, 2014

Five Plot Points of Canadian Films


What makes a film Canadian? Are there plot points found most commonly in Canadian cinema and do Canadian filmmakers even know they’re using them? Is there an insidious Telefilm plot to make sure we, as filmmakers, do things the “Canadian” way? Alright, I admit, that last one was stretching things more than a little.

This post started as a joke with friends on Facebook concerning the consistent plot points of Canadian films. It then turned out that I was right about several films, and thus, a new blog post was born.

So, what are the five plot points that dictate how Canadian your film is? Look no further than below. After great study and taxing of grey matter, I give to you the five key plot points of Canadian films. The more plot points you have, the more Canadian your film is.

  1. A road trip or distance traveled in a vehicle.
  2. The road trip finishes at a house, cottage, or retreat of sorts.
  3. A dysfunctional family, or family members.
  4. Somehow, “Death” is a part of the story.
  5. Someone lights a joint. Apparently, after beer and hockey, there’s nothing more Canadian.

I can proudly say that Birthday Blues, my latest feature screenplay, is exceptionally Canadian. It rates a 4 out of 5.  I’m hoping Telefilm might find this blog post, take note, and donate a few coins to the inevitable crowdfunding campaign, because, let’s face it, that too is becoming a defining feature of Canadian film.

Take a look at what you’re writing and ask yourself, just how “Canadian” are you?



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