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Victor Loewy overcame a childhood of adversity to make a mark on the landscape of Canadian cinema and worldwide film distribution.
“I grew up in Romania, and my childhood was not normal in any traditional sense,” Loewy says.
Parents - Families - Holocaust - Father - Family
Both his parents’ families died in the Holocaust. His father left the family when he was only a year old, and he lived with his mother and sister in communist Bucharest until age 18.
Then, in 1964, they were allowed to immigrate to Montreal. Loewy went on to graduate with a B.A. in German and economics from McGill U. in 1971, before jumping head-first into an industry of which he wasn’t exactly.
Business - Side - Filmmaking - Dealmaking - World
“I was most intrigued by the business side of filmmaking, the dealmaking world and distribution. Before that, I’d seen films strictly as entertainment, but I figured I could do something exciting within the world of cinema.”
While music, food, clothing design and architecture were his original passions, Loewy’s love for cinema took root while he was a student at McGill. And that’s where he met long-time friend and business partner Robert Lantos. In 1971, acquiring the rights to “The Best of the New York Erotic Film Festival,” they founded Vivafilm.
McGill - Period - Turmoil - Lantos - Producer
“We were both studying at McGill during a period of intense political turmoil,” says Lantos, who is now a producer for Serendipity Point Films. “And Victor was fully focused on one thing — making money. He was a wheeler-dealer during a time when nobody else was. We started our first company in a tiny little office across from the campus, with chairs and desks that we took from the student union.”
From there, a relationship was forged that would become Alliance Films, which was founded in 1984. “Victor has the extreme entrepreneurial spirit of a penniless immigrant who had no choice but to sink or swim,” says...
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