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Listen to an interview with director Dylan Reibling on Radio Q

Private investigator, David Perry who involved in the search, on the missing person in your life.

On April 3, 2002, the Toronto Police were called in to investigate a strange smell coming from the apartment of computer salesman Michael De Bourcier. They knocked on his door and called his phone, but received no response. They were issued a warrant to investigate and gained entry to the apartment. There they discovered Michael's body - dead from what appeared to be a heart attack. At 35 years old, Michael was not the typical profile of a heart attack victim. The police took note - more investigation might be needed.

The police searched through Michael's wallet for identification. There, they found a laminated card instructing them to call a phone number in the case of Michael's death. They called the number and found themselves speaking to a funeral company. They were told that Michael had pre-paid his own burial exactly one week before he died. The police immediately classified the case as suspicious.

SCENE FROM THE FILM: Dylan Reibling gets a call from the police

Searching through Michael's personal documents, the police discovered that they were unable to track down any of Michael's next of kin. The names and phone numbers of family members listed on his official identification lead to dead ends or disconnected numbers. As they dug deeper into the files, they realized that they couldn't trace any piece of identification back further than the year 2000. It was becoming clear that "Michael De Bourcier" was a fake identity. 

After months of investigation, the police detectives were unable to solve the mystery of Michael's true identity. Since 2002, it has remained unsolved - sitting as a cold case in the Toronto Police case files.  The case of Michael De Bourcier has been forgotten by everyone. Everyone except filmmaker Dylan Reibling.

Filmmaker Dylan Reibling standing by a murder boardFilmmaker Dylan Reibling Photo: Chris Katsarov

Dylan was friends with Mike. The two of them began working together at a small internet startup in 2000. They struck up a friendship quickly, bonding over their similar backgrounds as small-town boys living in a big city. When the police called Dylan up to break the news of Mike's death, no one was more shocked to discover that Mike had been living under a fake identity. Dylan compiled as much information for the police as possible to help them find Mike's real identity - but their search turned up nothing. For months, Dylan grappled with the sudden loss of his friends as well as his feelings of betrayal at his friend's deception. Gradually, Dylan was able to come to terms with Mike's deception and put his memory to rest.  At least for a while.

Ten years later, the memory of Mike found its way back into Dylan's life. Going through some old boxes in 2012, Dylan came across the file he had compiled on Michael De Bourcier. All of his memories of Mike came flooding back. He checked in with the police and discovered that the police detective in charge of Mike's case had retired and Mike's file had been abandoned, still unsolved. Having spent the last decade working as a documentary filmmaker, Dylan felt he now had some of the resources and skills needed to pursue the truth.

Detective Dave Perry at deskDetective Dave Perry Photo: ISN

Looking for Mike catches up with Dylan and his investigation into his friend's true identity.  Dylan hires private investigator Dave Perry to help him take the case to the next level. Dave is a retired Toronto Police homicide detective with a formidable record of high profile cases with the Toronto Police. Looking For Mike explores the nature of appearances and what it means to really know someone.

The shocking revelations that came out after Mike's death had a devastating impact on those around him. His friends and co-workers began second-guessing themselves – parsing through every little detail they knew about Mike and trying to figure out who “Michael De Bourcier” really was. Friends With Mike follows Dylan as he pieces together a portrait of a man who didn't want to be known.


Credits (Click to expand)

written & directed by
Dylan Reibling

produced by
Laura Perlmutter
 Andrew Nicholas McCann Smith

Jordan Crute

director of photography
Stephen Chung

original music composed by
Justin Small
Ohad Benchetrit

production manager
Jamie Miller

location sound mixer
James Lazarenko

private investigator
Dave Perry

additional sound mixers
Jeffery Magat
Eugenio Battaglia
Voice Gajik

additional photography
Ben Lichty
Henry Sansom
Nick Wilson
assistant camera
Evan Seccombe

Ryan Hernandez
Bryan Brooks
Edwin Lau

key grip
Katie Yealland
Dan Sturman

Ryan Seifert
Victoria Low

Ted Nobles

production design by
Jennifer Marie Thomas
Tisha Myles

set dressers
Mong Tho Mach
Lauren Passander
Laura MacKenzie
Pierce D O'Sullivan

wardrobe designer
Hanna Puley

hair and makeup
Monik Walmsley

stills photographer
Chris Katsarov

production assistant
Brandon Craggs
Charlie Black

Nicole Segal

post production coordinator
Jamie Miller

first assistant editor
Aaron Phalen

assistant editor
Margaret Hutz

Richelle Charkot
Rebecca Gruhin
Kyle Schmalenberg

dialogue coach
Rae Ellen Bodie

visual effects provided by

vfx supervisor
Kevin Pitts

vfx producer
Debbie Diniz

vfx artist
Michael Francisco

comp artist
Aaron Phalen

post production services by

account manager
Ahmad Ismail

di producer
Linda Johnston

di colourist
AJ McLauchlin

di online editor
Adam Gagnon

assistant di online editor
John Pyke

sound supervisor
Steve Gurman

dialogue editor
Scott Donald

sfx editor
Cailey Milito

re-recording mixer
Brad Zoern

foley artist
Paul Hubert

archival materials provided by
Dave Gibson
Toronto Star
Globe & Mail
© Mapbox, Data ODbL © OpenStreetMap contributors

Laura-Louise Tobin
David McDougall
Kenton Vaughan
Kevin McMahon
Jeff Vanderwal
Shaun Bowring
Joe Novak
Linda Couto
Joel Roff
Jim Cairns
Elaine Fielder
Adam Heaney
Steven Scopa
David Gilbert
Jason Little
Joanna Binkowska
Tristan Geilich
Rod Orelanna
Kelly Cloney
Christine Gilbert

for the CBC

director of production
Alexandra Lane

director of finance
Julie Lawlor

executive in charge of production
Charlotte Engel

executive director, unscripted content
Jennifer Dettman

produced with the participation of
the Canadian Media Fund

Produced with a grant awarded by
Bravo!FACT (Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent)
a division of Bell Media Inc.

produced with participation of
Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit

produced with participation of
Ontario Media Development Corporation

produced in association with
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
©9475702 Canada Inc, 2016

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