Filming | In the whirlwind of the Christmas Cyclone

The speed of movement of cyclones usually varies between 15 and 25 km/h. We have not calculated that of Christmas Cyclonethe first original film from Radio-Canada, but knowing that it will be released on November 8, while its writing began last fall, we can speak of a very, very high speed.

This is what we noticed on Wednesday when we set foot on the set of the feature film, which will transpose the series The eye of the storm on the big screen. In an interview, Dominic Anctil, who wrote the screenplay with Marie-Élène Grégoire and Louis-Philippe Rivard, speaks of a “dizzying” experience. When we know that normally, we count in years – and not months – the time between the writing of a script and the release of a film, we understand his reaction.

It must be said that the work did not follow the classic route of feature film projects, which traditionally must obtain the green light – and financial support – from institutions (SODEC, Telefilm Canada) to move forward. This time, the money comes roughly from the distributors (Les Films Opale, KO Distribution) and Radio-Canada. Due to the modest budget of the project (which would be below $3.5 million), the public broadcaster managed to increase its contribution. In exchange, The Christmas cyclone will then land on ICI Extra (Vé section), during the 2024 holiday period.

Things went quickly for Dominic Anctil and Alain Chicoine, the director, but as they knew the universe of The eye of the stormthey were able to make significant time savings, and everything seems to be running smoothly so far.


Director Alain Chicoine

“I didn’t have casting to do, actors to look for,” says Alain Chicoine. It’s an advantage. »

Saving Christmas with family

Filmed at the Grandé studios in the LaSalle district of Montreal, The Christmas cyclone brings together around Christine Beaulieu the same actors who play in The eye of the stormnamely Véronique Cloutier, Patrick Hivon, Catherine Souffront, Danielle Proulx, Luc Senay, Emi Chicoine, Juliette Aubé and Joey Bélanger.

The film will depict the efforts made by Isabelle (Christine Beaulieu) to keep her loved ones around her for Christmas, when she realizes, in the middle of exchanging gifts, that everyone has other plans to spend New Year’s Eve. . With the help of Éliane, her big sister (Véronique Cloutier), she will try to sabotage their plans to achieve her objective.

She will do everything to ensure that Christmas is as usual, at home, on December 24, with her whole family,” says Christine Beaulieu during her lunch break. “She can’t imagine that Christmas could be anything else. »

Christine Beaulieu didn’t have to work to understand Isabelle’s state of mind. The actress is also big on holiday traditions. “Me and my boyfriend (comedian Roy Dupuis), we are crazy about Christmas. We decorate, we make sandwich breads… Every year, I look forward to the Christmas holidays to sit in front of my TV and watch Christmas films: The tuque war, Bach and Bottine, The tree has ballsthe AsterixesWe are fans of Ciné-cadeau. »

If The Christmas cyclone could be part of this series of films that we want to watch every year, “I would be so happy and proud,” adds the actress.

Set visit

  • Christmas film obliges, Christmas trees are lying around in the studio.


    Christmas film obliges, Christmas trees are lying around in the studio.

  • The actress Danielle Proulx


    The actress Danielle Proulx

  • Véronique Cloutier and Christine Beaulieu reprise their roles as Éliane and Isabelle.


    Véronique Cloutier and Christine Beaulieu reprise their roles as Éliane and Isabelle.

  • Sonia Vachon plays the role of a hairdresser.


    Sonia Vachon plays the role of a hairdresser.

  • Filming continues until May 7.


    Filming continues until May 7.


Véro returns to the cinema

The Christmas cyclone marks the return of Véronique Cloutier to the big screen, 22 years after starring in Dangerous, one of the most publicized flops in the history of Quebec cinema. Apart from a brief appearance in Dark Ages by Denys Arcand (2007), the host has never been on a film set since.

Véronique Cloutier claims to have “turned upside down” when she learned that a Christmas feature film project inspired by the world of The eye of the storm was under construction. Reading the script, which respects the DNA of the original work, increased his enthusiasm tenfold.


Véronique Cloutier on the set of the film.

That’s what we like about The eye of the storm : the comedy, the emotion, the family ties… No one risks being disoriented. And those who have never watched the series will be able to appreciate it.

Véronique Cloutier

When a journalist asked her if there was a Christmas grump character in the script, she replied with a laugh that he was not in the film, but that he produced it, in a nod to Louis Morissette, her husband, president of KOTV.

“Even Louis is affected,” she explains. When he looks at the images from the shoot, he says: “Ah, it’s beautiful! We believe in. It feels like Christmas.” »

A smell of fir, or almost

After attending the filming of a scene from Christmas Cyclone, The Press can confirm that the Christmas spirit seems very much alive at Grandé Studios, thanks to the artificial trees lying around everywhere, among the elves, the rolls of wrapping paper, the garlands and, above all, the fake snow in a spray can.


Véronique Cloutier, Christine Beaulieu and Sonia Vachon

Exterior scenes were also filmed over the past three weeks. In the absence of snowflakes, Alain Chicoine had to use other stratagems to put his actors in the mood of a sub-zero month of December. Before shouting “Action!” », the director always asked them to imagine that it was -10 ovs.

“He was my joker. It’s the only card I had. But it worked. Even if there’s no snow, even if there’s no wind, when your actors act a little tense as if it were cold, you believe it. »

The Christmas cyclone will also feature Louise Portal, Sonia Vachon and Dominic Paquet. A few special appearances are also on the program, but the identity of the actors is kept secret. Filming is in full swing until May 7.

The fifth season of The eye of the storm is expected next winter on ICI Extra. Its filming will begin in August.


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