A documentary on Lovaganza, this project “too good to be true”

The Hollywood dream of a couple of Quebec directors has developed into a nightmare for small savers called to finance a project “too good to be true” is told in a documentary, Lovaganza: The Great Illusionavailable from today.

Posted on August 23

Richard Dufour

Richard Dufour
The Press

Using a series of interviews, the authors of the documentary try to explain how artists have come to lead a life of stars in recent years on the backs of hundreds of small investors.

“We spoke to a hundred investors and we heard green and unripe ones. We would have liked to put in the documentary everything we heard, but it was not possible,” says Aude Leroux-Lévesque, co-author of the documentary.

The film reports 24 million raised from more than 600 savers since the launch of the Lovaganza project, nearly fifteen years ago.

The instigators of the project dangled small investors with rents of up to 10 times their stake, plus that they were going to contribute to the producer of large-scale films and to finance humanitarian projects.

“There are people who have given money, taken out RRSPs, and even given their bank card number,” says journalist Isabelle Ducas, from The Presswho testifies in the film and was the first journalist to write about the case, eight years ago.

‘Disturbing and dishonest’

The money was mentioned, says Isabelle Ducas, in contravention of the rules of the Autorité des marchés financiers. Plus also using lies.

“They said for example that Steven Spielberg is a mentor, when it was not true,” says Isabelle Ducas.

It’s a story that goes from twist to twist. We haven’t finished talking about it.

Isabelle Ducas, journalist at The Press

The authors of the documentary say they tried, without success, to speak to the main people responsible for the Lovaganza project.

Co-author of the documentary, Sébastien Rist hopes that the film will allow the “victims” to turn the page and perhaps also understand that they were neither alone nor crazy. “Because some have been disowned by family and friends for being involved in this project,” he says.

Aude Leroux-Lévesque believes that it is particularly “disturbing” and “dishonest” to have “embarked” people for supposed values ​​of peace, unity, love and mutual aid. “No foundation for the benefit of the money allegedly mentioned,” he says.

Two separate lawsuits

Two lawsuits filed by the Autorité des marchés financiers in connection with this case are still active. The first targets fundraisers, Mark-Érik Fortin and Karine Lamarre, while the other targets those who are presented as the screenwriters, directors and heads of the project, Jean-François Gagnon and Geneviève Cloutier.

The resumption of the proceedings against the Fortin-Lamarre couple, whose guilt has already been recognized by the numerous charges, predates September 12. “We are going and continuing the representations on the sentence. The performances had been interrupted due to the state of health of Mrs.me Lamarre,” said an AMF spokesperson.


Karine Lamarre and Mark-Érik Fortin, during their comparison in November 2021, in Montreal

The AMF is asking for a prison sentence. ” He [les intimés] think rude. Just for violating investment laws. It’s rare for the AMF to ask for a prison sentence,” notes Isabelle Ducas.

The lawsuit was brought for investments without a prospectus, while the scandal in this story is on a human level, comments Aude Leroux-Lévesque. It shows, seal it, the limits of the judicial system.

Aude Leroux-Lévesque argues that with the amount of evidence amassed, he can say that there are bad intentions and lies. “Whether it’s a fraud or not is up to the court to determine,” he said.

The documentary Lovaganza: The Great Illusion is offered this Tuesday on the Vrai platform.

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