Montreal World Film Festival
Montreal World Film Festival – If everything goes well by the time you are reading this story the 41st edition of the Montreal World Film Festival must be going underway, and people should be lining up at the Imperial Theatre to see some of the movies scheduled this year. With some notable differences compared to other times: there is no catalogue (there was none last year either), and the only way to get information about the film schedules and descriptions is to go on the Internet, which is O.K. for most people in these days when technology is no longer an arcane domain. Still, movie fans and some journalists came to ask the same question: why is that this beloved Montreal institution is in such a bad shape? How is it possible that the city—just to mention one level of government—can spend 24 million in just one event like the controversial Formula E race, and cannot spend a few million dollars to inject some needed cash to an event that is part of the city’s cultural tradition?
Some would blame the president and director of the World Film Festival (WFF), Serge Losique, for the problems the festival is facing claiming bad management on his part, but that is not the whole story. It is impossible to ignore the fact that the so-called cultural bureaucrats—namely those who manage Telefilm Canada in Ottawa, and SODEC, at the provincial level—have tried to destroy the WFF at least since the beginning of this century. The truth is that the cultural bureaucracy never liked the WFF, and with the help of some people in the media and others in the film industry who have an axe to grind, as the saying goes, they want the festival dead. First, they tried to create an alternative festival which was a failure and had to fold after only one edition and millions of taxpayers dollars wasted in the venture. In recent years the tactic employed by the bureaucrats has simply been the refusal of any financial support to the event.
The WFF started this Thursday with the screening of the Russian film “Anna Karenina. Vronsky’s Story” directed by Karen Shakhnazarov which is one of the 18 movies competing for the Grand Prix des Amériques in the Official Competition category.
The other films are “A Prominent Patient” by Julius Ševcík (Czech Republic-Slovakia co-production) based on the life of the diplomat and politician Jan Masaryk, son of the founder of Czechoslovakia. “Cardinal X” by Angie Wang (USA), based on the real story of the most powerful drug dealer in the West Coast in the 1980s. “Dear Stranger” by Yukiko Mishima (Japan), “Des amours, désamour” by Dominic Bachy (France), “Elvis Walks Home” by Fatmir Koçi (Albania-UK co-production), “Y de pronto el amanecer” (“And Suddenly, Dawn”) by Silvio Caiozzi (Chile), “Footprints” by Wai Wong (Hong Kong, China), “The Hidden Sword” by Xu Haofeng (China), “The Colour of Eroticism” by Xiaoyan Xu (China), “Reconciliation” by Maciej Sobieszczanski (Poland), “La route de Marie” by Atia Aldaraji (Iraq-Germ,any co-production), “Les bases de meurtres” by Jan Cvitkovic (Slovenia-Serbia co-production), and “Who has confiscated Christmas” by Dinu Tãnase (Romania).
There are also 19 films competing in the First Work category, featuring movies from Hungary, Brazil, USA, Russia, China, France, Japan, Dominican Republic, U.K., Italy, Canada, Morocco, Australia, South Korea, Mexico, and Kyrgyzstan.
Individual tickets are $11, a pack of 10 tickets for $85. Tickets are sold at the Imperial Theatre ((1430 Bleury, metro Place des Arts) or online going to ticketpro.ca
The screenings are scheduled to take place at the Imperial Theatre, Cinema du Parc (3575 Park Ave.), and Dollar Cinema (6900 Decarie Square, metro Namur). For more detailed information visit the festival website: