Montreal Times writer Chloë Bellande, who recently moved to Los Angeles to further her career, has already been back home for a visit – to receive an award for ‘Best Producer/Director Film & TV’ at the the 2nd annual Canada Latin Awards ceremony held on Saturday October 1st at Théâtre Symposia in downtown Montreal.
Chloë had barely unpacked her bags in LA when she received news of her nomination and had to book a flight back.
“I was in Los Angeles, sitting at home, when I got a message from someone who was part of coordinating the event. They told me I was nominated…. I couldn’t believe it!” she said.
So what did Chloë do? She did what Chloë does!
“I was jumping up and down in my living room. I was SOOOOO EXCITED and happy that I booked my flight to Canada right away. I was screaming and jumping… I wanted to celebrate, so I bought ice-cream from that ice-cream truck that keeps driving by my street. I normally watch my diet but those calories made my belly feel HAPPY.”
Chloë was raised in a bilingual home, French and Spanish, with her Haitian mother and Venezuelan father. “I have always been close to my roots and throughout the years, I have earned the respect, love and support from both the Black and Latino communities in Montreal.”
When the news came out, the votes started pouring in. Chloë was up against other TV & Film producers of the Montreal Latin Community, who also had their work showcased in festivals around the world.
“Any one of them could have won the award because we all deserve it, for being Montrealers who are making waves around the world,” she said. “In my case, I have been producing movies for the past eight years, all in the English language because I wanted my work to get international exposure. I have worked and collaborated with the Hispanic community for the past 15 years. I’ve been a radio host (Dimension Latina), an entertainment columnist (El Chasqui Latino) and a TV producer (ICI-Television).”
Chloë juggles a few hats, but can handle them all – with innate talent. I first met her not long after she joined the team at the Times. We met for a cup of coffee and her energy was palpable – an energy that said, ‘I’m going for it all… and just try to stop me!’ And I had no doubt that she would. Give her a challenge and she’s at her best.
“This award is my first award ever won in Canada, that’s why it’s so important to me. I’ve been awarded and nominated in the USA several times and for each of my four movies. My latest one, ‘Searching For Paradise’, was co-produced with Chris Young from Toronto.”
Three of her movies were accepted for screening at the Cannes Film Market in the Short Film Corner section. One of the highlights of her career is when the movie trailer of her horror movie ‘While The Village Sleeps’ was nominated at the Hollywood Discovery Awards in 2012. That same year in December, the movie won ‘Best International Screenplay’ at the Rhode Island International Film Festival.
What was it like to get on stage to receive her Canada Latin Award?
“I was so nervous because I didn’t prepare a speech, so I forgot to mention a few names of the people that had supported me. I’m usually good at speeches, but not this time! I ended my speech by thanking God, because without Him, none of this could have been possible. Also, as I walked off of the stage, I was focusing on my steps to make sure I didn’t trip and fall off my heels! This would have been a disaster – and a typical ‘Chloë moment’, as I am known to be clumsy…”
She did manage to thank her friends from the radio station for supporting her work over the years and to everyone who voted for her, including her friends and family from Canada and the USA.
What about her future goals?
“I guess that getting an Official Selection laurel from the Cannes Film Festival would be one of my goals, but winning an Oscar for Best Screenplay is on top of my list!”
And therefore her move to Los Angeles?
“I took this leap of faith to extend my film network and get a chance to get my movie produced by Hollywood Studios. But I always keep a special place in my heart for the people that believed in me since I first started, the ones who have followed my ups and downs for the past decade… thank you to the Montreal Hispanic/Latino Medias and community!”
Her last words?
“This past year has thought me a lot about life. Being a screenwriter and film director isn’t an easy career here in Montreal, especially when your movies are in English language. You don’t always get the financial support that you need to produce high quality movies and get the international exposure that you want. I am not the most patient person, but I think I am one of the most grateful ones you’ll meet. It hasn’t been easy, but I’ve learned to find the positive in everything, good or bad, because the more I was grateful, the more the Universe gave me things to be grateful for. This Canada Latin Award is a gift that I will cherish forever, because to me, it was Montreal’s very own way to say ‘Good luck in Los Angeles, Chloë, and by the way, we love you’.
I have no doubt whatsoever we will be hearing much more about Chloë Bellande in the years to come. Congratulations Chloë from the team at the Montreal Times!
by Bonnie Wurst – totimes.ca