The production company behind a documentary film starring a then-Liberal MP Justin Trudeau is being flooded with calls from around the world since his party won the federal election.
Montreal-based Productions de la Ruelle made the film “God Save Justin Trudeau” about a 2012 charity-boxing match the incoming prime minister took part in, which saw him facing off against Sen. Patrick Brazeau. Trudeau went on to beat Brazeau in the ring, and some would say, in politics.
Co-director and co-producer Eric Ruel says when he and his filmmaking partner Guylaine Maroist heard about the match, they saw it as the perfect political metaphor, and in turn, movie-making opportunity. Even though Trudeau didn’t have intentions of running for the Liberal leadership at the time, Ruel knew the film would be a good forum to showcase his potential.
“We knew that this was good for Justin, a good way to make sure that people, when they see him fight, that they wouldn’t underestimate him anymore,” he tells Yahoo Canada News.
The filmmakers were given three hours with Trudeau, which Ruel says is the most unfiltered and candid footage anyone will get now that he’s going to be prime minister. As they were making the movie, Ruel says the general public’s impression of Trudeau was that he was handed down opportunity thanks to his father, former prime minister Pierre Trudeau.
“It’s really about changing his image,” he says. “And he succeeded fantastically.”
The world is currently being swept by a second wave of Trudeaumania. International headlines and social media have focused in recent days on Trudeau’s looks, youth and “sunny ways.“
The other player in “God Save Justin Trudeau,” Brazeau, has also made headlines recently. In September, the 40-year-old was granted an absolute discharge after pleading guilty to assault and cocaine charges. In March, he will face a criminal trial for fraud and breach of trust arising from his Senate expenses. He’s currently on a leave of absence with pay.
So far, “God Save Justin Trudeau” has gotten interest from around the world, including from the BBC. It won top prize at a documentary film festival in Switzerland last week and Maroist is currently in Paris, taking meetings. The filmmakers are going to be touring across Canada, taking part in panel discussions of the film on campuses.
“Now people see the film in a totally different way,” he says. “It’s a premonition. It’s something that’s predicting our future…it all resonates differently.”
“God Save Justin Trudeau” is available on the National Film Board of Canada’s website, Vimeo and iTunes. Trudeau will be sworn in as Canada’s 23rd prime minister on Wednesday in Ottawa.