35th Montreal World Film Festival

35th Montreal World Film Festival, Canada (August 18 - August 28, 2011)

The Montreal World Film Festival has once again presented itself as an attractive outlet for world cinema. In its 35th edition the largest city in Québec province hosted films from all over the world including 20 features in the competition section, 26 pieces in the first feature film competition and eleven short films in the short competition. The Montreal World Film Festival also gives audiences a good opportunity to watch Canadian cinema. This year André Forcier's Coteau Rouge was not only in competition but was also the opening film. Alongside Forcier, Damian Fuica also presented his latest film in the main section with the action-joint piece La Run. It was a good idea of the organizers to present the short films alongside the features program so the filmmakers of the shorts program could stand on stage in front of a bigger audience. Stars and big names are also attracted to Montreal as exemplified by the likes of Vincent Perez, Bertrand Tavernier and Claude Lelouch, who were in attendance this year, while Catherine Deneuve received a life time achievement award. Meanwhile, Vicente Aranda headed the grand jury.            

The program contained very different movies from different styles of filmmaking. Sometimes it caused problems for the jury members afterwards; e.g. to compare a political film with a romantic comedy or a boxing crime story to a politically incorrect black comedy. But Montreal is proud to do things differently to others, especially when they compete with Toronto. The francophone city – where French is the official language and spoken by 55.1% of the population – was again a great host for the FIPRESCI jury and the members had a great time in one of the most livable metropolises in the world. The working relationship and co-operation of this film festival with FIPRESCI dates back to the 1980’s. The screening hall was a short walking distance to the hotel in the city centre, which was more than comfortable. This time the FIPRESCI jury was divided into two parts to judge separately the first feature films. This was a really tough job for the juries, especially the ones engaged with first feature films, as 26 films was a huge number even in ten days. For this section particularly, maybe it could be said that the fewer the better. In an eclectic program there were some really inexplicable choices.

Our juries awarded the Critics' Prize to the Polish film Black Thursday (Czarny czwartek) by Antoni Krauze in the World Film Competition and to the Belgian North Sea Texas (Noordzee, Texas) by Bavo Defurne in the First Film Competition. (Gyorgy Karpati)

Montreal World Film Festival: www.ffm-montreal.org 

FIPRESCI PRIZE

Black Thursday Czarny czwartek. Janek Wisniewski padl Black Thursday
(Poland, 2011, 105 mins) Jury: Alin Tasciyan (Turkey) , Alissa Simon (US) , György Kárpáti (Hungary) , Eduardo Alvariza (Uruguay) , Tadeusz Szczepanski (Poland) , Juan M. Dominguez (Argentina) , Nicolas Bauche (France) , Giorgio Rinaldi (Italy) , Marie Claude Mirandette (Canada)
International Sales: Kino-Swiat

Ul. Belwederska 20/22 00-762 Warsaw
T: +48 22 840 68 01, Fax: +48 22 840 68 06
e-mail: kinga@kinoswiat.pl
web: www.kinoswiat.pl 

North Sea Texas Noordzee, Texas North Sea Texas

by Bavo Defurne  

(Belgium, 2011, 94 mins)
International Sales: Wavelength Pictures

John Flahive
24 Alexandra Grove / Apt 4 London, N4 2LF
T: +44 7968 772792
e-mail: john.flahive@wavelengthpictures.co.uk
web: www.wavelengthpictures.co.uk 

What's Love Got To Do With French Movies?

by Nicolas Bauche

During the 35th Montreal World Film Festival, the selected French films showed a strange obsession for stories about love using a bitter or dark approach that questions the over-rated reputation of romance cinema.   read more

First Feature Flicks

by Alissa Simon

 Out of a whopping field of 27 candidates, FIPRESCI winner North Sea Texas (Noordzee Texas),  read more

Of State Violence and People's Solidarity

by Alin Tasciyan

Black Thursday (Czarny Czwartek) is a profoundly touching docudrama about state violence, showing the contradictions between the essential values of human life and the inhuman aspect of totalitarian state mechanism. read more

Down with Political Correctness at the Movies

by Giorgio Rinaldi

Death is ferocious, the non-seeing are blind, the disa... read more

Crossing the Boundaries

by Tadeusz Szczepanski

This year, the border character of the Montreal World ... read more

The Perennial Feel-Good Factor

by Juan M. Dominguez

There is such a thing as a little feel-good sensation ... read more

Iranian Cinema is Still Moving Ahead

by György Kárpáti

At The Montreal World Film Festival it was great to see that Iranian cinema still has potential for new and innovative films. In the competition section, Iranian director Bahram Tavakoli’s Here Without Me particularly enslaved Gyorgy Karpati. read more

On The Short Side

by Marie Claude Mirandette

The short film and short animation provided moments of vivid brilliance which overshadowed much of the feature program, according to Marie Claude Mirandette who looks closely at three of them. read more