GenreComedy, Drama CinematographyFrancois Dutil WriterZiad Touma LanguageEnglish
Release dateApril 24, 2003 (2003-04-24) CastKaren Simpson, Danny Gil Similar moviesNonsense Revolution (2008), La Florida (1994), An Imaginary Tale, How to Make Love to a Negro Without Getting Tired (1989), Mambo Italiano (2003)
Saved by the Belles, also known by its French title Échappée belles, is a 2003 feature film by Ziad Touma, his first long feature film. Touma is a Lebanese Canadian film director and producer residing in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Touma is the founder of Couzin Films film, television and digital media production company and it was released through the company.
The film's storyline has a young man rearing his head in Montreal's club milieu, claiming not to remember a thing about his past or who he is. Discovered by local drag diva Sheena Hershey (played by Brian Charbonneau, aka Brian C. Warren) and scenestress Scarlet VJ (played by Karen Simpson), this young amnesiac is soon dubbed "Sean" and taken under wing by the club-junkie duo. Hoping to jar his memory, they take him on a tour of Montreal's club scene, introducing him to various characters along the way; Touma's cast includes numerous authentic night life figures, among them drag fixtures Mado and Madame Simone.
The press kit describes it this way: "Saved by the Belles" stars fags and hags, blonde bimbos, label whores, sugar daddies, club kids, biceps builders, leathers and feathers, funky junkies, freaks and geeks, sex addicts, chupa chicks, lube monsters, pimply pimps, weight watchers, nympho virgins, mingle singles, glowstick ravers, cheap strippers, wannabe actors, guestlist leftovers, glittery debutantes, kinky grannies, impotent hustlers, baggy-eyed scenesters, size queen cupids, self-taught porn stars, air miles jetsetters, showgirls, smoking players, bendable bisexuals and mama's toys.
Brian Charbonneau ... Sheena Hershey (as Brian C. Waren)
Karen Simpson ... Scarlet
Steven Turpin ... Chris
Danny Gilmore ... Sean
Lydia Lockett ... Magda
Matt Williston ... Tobey
Ron Diamond ... Doug
Marcelle Lapierre ... Edith
Mado Lamotte ... Mado
Dennis O'Brien ... Dennis
Varda Etienne ... Varda
Terry Sigalas ... Terry
Louise Bastien ... Loulou
Robert Horble ... Chicken
Driss Berki ... Driss
Paul Pabello ... Paul
Alessandro Mangiarotti ... Alessandro
Bernadette Rusgal ... Bernadette
Nohémie Renaud ... Noémie
John Thomas Fraser ... Sean's Dad
Awards and nominations
A theatrically distributed feature film, Ziad Touma's Saved by the Belles won several awards in festivals around the world.
The film went on to win "Best Feature Film" award at Toronto's Inside Out Film Festival in 2003.
In 20023, it was nominated for three Genie Awards for "Best Achievement in Cinematography", "Best Achievement in Art Direction" and "Best Achievement in Music - Original Song".
Saved by the Belles website
"Belles" film led to the launching of a website by Ziad Touma, co-wrote and co-produced with Mouna Andraos and BlueSponge. The website won the "Boomerang Awards" for "Best Arts & Culture Website" and was nominated as "Best Extreme Entertainment Site" at the South by Southwest SXSW Awards.