Montreal's annual comedy shebang — its Juste Pour Rire or for you non-Francophones, Just For Laughs — takes over the French-Canadian city each July.
This year, for the third straight year (and second under JFL proper), the festival plans an ancillary conference for the show business industry. JFL always has had panels and seminars running concurrently to all of the live comedy, but began ramping things up in 2008 with a more formal "Comedy Conference."
For July 15-17, 2010, Montreal has lined up Lewis Black to deliver a keynote address to the conference. This is in addition to Andy Kindler's annual must-see "State of the Industry" speech. Other elements to this year's conference include a "Comedy Bootcamp for Film" in conjunction with CFC Film's Telefilm Canada Features Comedy Lab (if you want to participate, check the eligibility and application requirements starting March 15 at www.cfccreates.com and www.hahaha.com/conference. The annual TV pitch event also returns this year to Montreal, with a panel of industry executives and network people involved in an open-forum session.
‚ÄúThese two programs add a new dimension to our goal of discovering and promoting emerging talent and gives them a shot at getting opinions of decision-makers who can change their lives in an instant‚Äù said Just For Laughs Chief Operating Officer, Bruce Hills, in a press release today. ‚ÄúIn addition to our seminars and panel discussions, these two pitch programs give us the chance to bring a hands-on approach to nurturing new talent and being involved in the birth of exciting new programming.‚Äù