47th Festival du nouveau Cinema awards
47th Festival du nouveau Cinema – The 47th edition of the Festival du nouveau cinema came to an end this past weekend with the customary award ceremony. Films in the various categories that are included in this, the oldest film festival in the city, were given prizes as discerned by special juries.
“Genèse” (“Genesis”) a Canadian film directed by Quebec filmmaker Philippe Lesage was awarded the Louve d’Or in the International Competition. The Innovation Award was given to the American film “Thunder Road” directed by Jim Cummings.
The Best Actor prize went to Théodore Pellerin for his performance in “Genèse” while the Best Actress award was given to Halldóra Geirhardsdóttir for her acting in “Woman at War” by Benedikt Erlingsson (Iceland, France, Ukraine coproduction).
In the Canada/Quebec category the winners were “Edge of the Knife” by Gwaai Edenshaw and Helen Haig-Brown, which won the first prize; and “Mad Dog Labine” by Jonathan Beaulieu-Cyr and Renaud Lessard (Special Mention).
Other prizes awarded by the FNC were the Peace Prize given to the Lebanese film “Capharnaum” by Nadine Labaki. The New Alchemists prize went to the US-Jamaica coproduction “Black Mother” directed by Khalik Allah. In the Temps Ø category, the winner was chosen by the public, and the award went to “Au Poste!” by Quentin Dupieux (France-Belgium coproduction).
The FNC is a festival devoted primarily to those works that engage in different degrees of exploration, formal and narrative. It also devotes some space to new directors, and it has also increased its international scope (in the past its focus was primarily on European and North American productions). However, if I should add my own remarks on the event, I should say that this year’s selection was not as satisfactory as it has been in the past. The international selection, for instance, was irregular this time. There were, of course, great works such as Colombia’s “Birds of Passage” directed by Ciro Guerra and Cristina Gallego. On the documentary front “Graves without a Name” by Cambodia’s Rithy Panh delivered an emotional story, although its mystical references at times turned me off. For its part, the Chilean film “La casa lobo” by Joaquin Cociña and Cristobal Leon although revealed a great work of animation, it presented a story that was confusing and not well-structured. The Paraguayan movie “The Heiresses” directed by Marcelo Martinessi instead, presented a solid acting, a well-paced narrative, and an engaging story. And then the inclusion in the program of “Too Late to Die Young” by Dominga Sotomayor, with an incoherent plot and poorly designed and structured narrative, a movie which I already criticized when shown at TIFF, indicated a lack of rigour in the selection process, at least for the international films.
To sum up, the FNC despite some shortcomings already mentioned, presented an exciting panorama of the more daring and experimental filmmaking scene around the world. And that deserves our applause too!