Esperamos is a Montreal-based documentary production company with projects for cinema, television and new media. Grounded in each creator’s unique viewpoint, our projects tackle the many great issues of our time: art, citizenship, identity, political resistance, the environment, revolution, indigenous people and immigration
Esperamos was founded in 2005 by author, filmmaker and producer Hugo Latulippe.
Several of our films have been in competition in major festivals in Québec, Canada and abroad: IDFA (Amsterdam, Netherlands), Visions du Réel (Nyon, Switzerland) and Hot Docs (Toronto, Canada). Our feature-length documentary Ce qu’il reste de nous (What Remains of Us) ran in the official competition at the 2004 Cannes Festival, garnered awards worldwide and won the Jutra for Best Documentary Film in Quebec. Hugo Latulippe’s documentary Alphée des étoiles opened the 2013 Visions du Réel Festival where it won the Audience Award. Alphée then received Hot Docs’ Special Jury Award, in Toronto, and several other prizes around the world. In 2015, Sophie Deraspe’s The Amina Profile (Le profil Amina) was in official competition at the Sundance Festival (USA).
Among some of the filmmakers and artists with whom we have worked are Simon Beaulieu, Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette, Vali Fugulin, François Méthé, Sarah Fortin, Émile Proulx-Cloutier, Sophie Deraspe and Francine Pelletier.
In 2013, Esperamos joined Groupe Fair-Play. The merging of the companies’ resources and film and television heritage is a successful blend of cultures and provides momentum to new projects, respective or collective. (In 2016, Fair-Play acquired the remainder of Esperamos’ assets.) Hugo Latulippe now acts as artistic director as well as executive producer, with Michel St-Cyr and Guy Villeneuve.
Filmmaker Mathieu Roy joins Esperamos as co-artistic director with Hugo Latulippe to develop projects together and invite other filmmakers to come and develop theirs. Esperamos releases four documentaries: D’une mer à l’autre, by Eza Paventi, Rencontres particulières, by Mathieu Vachon, Félix dans la mémoire longtemps, by Hugo Latulippe, La musique à tout prix, by Dominique Laurence and the television series L’amour pour tous.
The Musée de la civilisation de Québec hosts Hugo Latulippe’s documentary odyssey 25 X la révolte!, an inventory of 25 events and of society's vital and transformative forces that are changing the world, and the portrait of a new political generation. Release of Du hockey propre : petite histoire d’un film culte by Sarah Fortin and Christian Laurence about Quebec's worship of the 70s hockey movie Slap Shot. The film receives a Gémeaux nomination in the Best Documentary Series or Program category, Arts and Culture.
Release of Le profil Amina / The Amina Profile. The film premieres at the Sundance Film Festival in the World Cinema Documentary Competition; Amina also wins Toronto’s Hot Docs Special Jury Prize and is nominated at international festivals in Stockholm, Dallas and Cleveland.
Esperamos releases three feature documentaries: Wendy Champagne’s Love Under Cuban Skies, Miron, un homme revenu d’en dehors du monde, by Simon Beaulieu, and Le plancher des vaches, from Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette and Émile Proulx-Cloutier. Also out this year is Hugo Latulippe’s documentary series (8 x 1 hour ) Le théâtre des opérations.
Esperamos becomes part of Groupe Fair-Play. Alphée des étoiles wins three Gémeaux awards including one for Best Documentary, Nature and Science; the film also takes home the Audience Award at Vision du Réel, in Nyon, Switzerland; the Special Jury Prize at Toronto’s Hot Docs; the Audience Award at the Festival international du film francophone in Namur, Belgium; and Japan’s NHK President Award in Tokyo. Esperamos releases François Méthé’s Hors Combat, about the lives of four of Quebec’s Extreme Fighting amateur hopefuls. Resilience and a quest for excellence characterize these modern-day warriors, four young men with very different backgrounds and ideals but who all thrive on living dangerously.
Release of Alphée des étoiles, a feature-length documentary about 5-year-old Alphée, a little girl with a rare genetic disease. In this moving love letter to his daughter, filmmaker Hugo Latulippe takes his family abroad on a one-year hiatus from “normal life” to help the little fairy develop her learning skills so she can enrol in regular school.
Release of République : un abécédaire populaire. With Quebec in the midst of unparalleled political gloom, filmmaker Hugo Latulippe invites 53 opinion leaders to come together and reformulate a social project for the province. Together, they engage in a “quest for new words, provocative words, words with a country within”. Indignant, funny, biting, they display the very kind of energy that’s typical of everyday Quebec, and we watch as they create, word by word, an abecedarian template, free and irreverent, for the Republic of the Third Millenium
Release of La reine malade, by Pascal Sanchez, a film about one beekeeper’s efforts to stop the planetary collapse of bee colonies; La reine garners high praise from Variety and wins the Gémeaux for Best Documentary, Nature and Science. Another Esperamos release: Charles Gervais’ La part d’ombre about a young woman’s quest for freedom; the daughter of Cambodian refugees, Thida was born in the suburbs of Montreal and has never known the Khmer Rouge. But she has inherited a past that haunts her. After her brother dies in troubled circumstances, she heads into the Cambodian jungle in search of her family history. As she comes face to face with both victims and executioners, she descends into the heart of a people who, one day, suffered the loss of their own humanity. A journey of extreme self-discovery.
Hugo Latulippe forms Esperamos, based on the notion of auteur documentary cinema that’s part of the québécois filmmaking tradition brought forth in the 60s by National Film Board of Canada artists and artisans. Since then, Esperamos productions have run official competitions in major festivals throughout Québec and Canada and abroad, including IDFA (Amsterdam, Netherlands), Visions du Réel (Nyon, Switzerland), Hot Docs (Toronto, Canada), Cannes (France) and Sundance (USA). Over the years, Esperamos has worked with several Quebec filmmakers among whom are Sophie Deraspe, François Méthé, Vali Fugulin, Christian Laurence, Sarah Fortin, Émile Proulx-Cloutier, Mathieu Roy, Eza Paventi, Pascal Sanchez, Marc Labrèche, Francine Pelletier, Simon Beaulieu, Michel Lam and Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette.
In February, Esperamos releases Manifestes en série. Over eight episodes, Hugo Latulippe and his crew draw a subversive and decidedly modern portrait of Quebec in the 2000s. Manifestes is nominated nine times at the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television’s Gémeaux Awards.
Release of Hugo Latulippe and François Prévost’s Ce qu’il reste de nous, a powerful documentary shot in Tibet without the knowledge of Chinese authorities: a young Tibetan refugee living in Quebec smuggles on Tibetan territory a video with a message of resistance from the Dalai Lama. The film enjoys a long international career and garners accolades all over the world; in 2004 only, it runs in the Cannes Festival official competition, it wins the Jutra for Best Documentary in Quebec and Best Documentary at the Hollywood Film Festival, it is crowned most popular film at the Vancouver International Film Festival, and is part of Canada’s Top Ten at TIFF (Toronto). In 2009, Ce qu’il reste de nous also wins a Gémeaux award for Best Script.