Gaumont already acquired the show format for adaptation and discussions are underway with companies in the UK, US, Brazil and Germany.
Produced by ComediHa!, in collaboration with Quebecor Content, the series About Anthony has wrapped its 34-day shoot in Quebec City marking the end of an incredible adventure for everyone involved. The team is now preparing for the Quebec broadcast, set to launch in 2023 on Club Illico. They’re also preparing to show the series on the international stage, starting with Mipcom in Cannes, October 17 to 20.
About Anthony is already attracting foreign interest, with French film studio Gaumont having acquired the show format for adaptation. Discussions are also underway with companies in the UK, US, Brazil and Germany.
This original series featuring 10 30-minute episodes brings together internationally renowned director Podz (Lupin, Vikings, Cardinal, Mafia inc., Minuit le soir, 19-2, Three Pines) and celebrated actor Claude Legault. Cathleen Rouleau wrote the fictional series, which is inspired by her own life, while Benoit Pelletier is the script editor.
Adding to the originality and authenticity of the show, Cathleen Rouleau, who is Antoine’s stepmother in real life, plays herself in the role. The same is true of Antoine Parent-Bédard, the only person in the world who could portray Anthony’s character so profoundly. This marks the first time in a Quebec series that such an important role is being played by a teen with multiple disabilities.
“I wrote the script with Antoine in mind,” shares Cathleen Rouleau, writer and Antoine Parent-Bédard’s stepmother. “Because of his condition, we couldn’t ask him to act out certain gestures or emotions. Antoine simply had to exist to make this character shine. I wanted people to meet him and get to know this fundamentally unique human being who pushes us all to be better people. Every day, he wowed us by opening up to the camera like it was totally natural for him.”
The About Anthony shoot was a unique and memorable experience, with everyone involved collaborating closely to bring the show to life. Each shoot day was tailored to Antoine’s needs and energy level. The show was filmed for the most part in Antoine’s and his family’s real homes to make him comfortable and to facilitate filming. Antoine’s parents were involved at every step and were on set every day, along with his medical team and amazing understudy, actor Paul Moreau.
The show tackles authenticity, sensitivity, humor and a rarely explored theme in fiction: life with a severely disabled child. Audiences get a front-row seat into the daily life of this special family with all the quirks, highs and lows it entails. About Anthony promises to shake viewers up and take them through every emotion imaginable. Audiences will also recognize the signature style of director Podz, who brings a cinematic treatment to the show, especially with his use of several sequence shots.
About Anthony tells the story of Julie (Cathleen Rouleau), who starts a new life with Mark (Claude Legault) only to find herself embroiled in a very unusual family. She becomes the stepmother to two children, including Anthony (Antoine Parent-Bédard), who has multiple disabilities (he is physically disabled, autistic, non-verbal and is a high functioning epileptic).
The production also counts on an undeniably talented cast. Micheline Bernard plays Mark’s mother, Margot. Fanny Malette plays Justine, Mark’s ex and Anthony’s mother. Sylvain Marcel and Hugues Frenette play Patrick and Philip, Mark’s brothers. Édouard-B. Larocque plays George, Anthony’s brother. Iannicko N’Doua plays Leo, Julie’s ex-boyfriend. And Christopher Marlot plays the role of Kaya, Julie’s friend. French comedians Michel Boujenah and Éric Antoine also make cameos in the show.
The show is made possible thanks to the support and collaboration of AMI-télé, Fonds des médias du Canada and the city of Quebec.