FNC 2017 – The Festival of New Cinema (FNC) at 46 is now into mid-age, but without signs of any anxieties about getting old. In fact, the emphasis is still on the new, as it was many years ago when it also added to its name “and of Video”—that was at the time when video cameras started to open new possibilities especially to people who wanted to do some experimental work. Then the FNC was also the first to showcase what now is the standard feature of any TV set: high-definition. On this occasion, the new technology is virtual reality (VR) which although not entirely a novelty, it has started to attract more people interested in making movies for this platform as well. VR will be the focus of the FNC’s Explore category, which will run between October 6 and 15 and will be completely free.
But of course, it is movies what is the primary focus of the FNC. This year with 383 films from 68 countries it also attempts to reach a real international scope (in the past the FNC had focused mostly on the so-called cinema d’auteur and non-conventional productions that were coming mostly from North America and Europe), this year the spectrum of nations and cinematic cultures has been enlarged.
OPENING AND CLOSING
The FNC will start on October 4 at Theatre Maisonneuve with a film that has created big expectations: “Blade Runner 2049” directed by Denis Villeneuve. This movie is, of course, the sequel to the already classic film of 1982 directed by Ridley Scott. Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford are starring in this new production.
For its closing night, the FNC has chosen “Loving Vincent” by Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman, an animation feature that has the particularity of reproducing in its characters and the background the painting style of Vincent Van Gogh, whose life is, of course, the subject of the story.
THE INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION
A total of 17 films are competing for Louve d’Or, the main prize given by the FNC. Among them, “Ava” (Léa Mysius, France), “Avant la fin de l’été” (Maryam Goormaghtigh, France-Switzerland), “Cocote” (Nelson Carlo de los Santos Arias, Argentina-Germany-Dominican Republic), “Holy Air” (Shady Srour, Israel), “La part du diable” (Luc Bourdon, Canada), “Meteorlar” (Gürkan Keltek, Netherlands-Turkey), “Sexy Durga” (Sanal Kumar Sashidaran, India), and “Women of the Weeping River” (Sheron Dayoc, Philippines).
THE OTHER SECTIONS
The competition is only one part of this festival, what is the most appealing are the other sections. There is one covering new productions in this country (Focus Quebec-Canada section with 18 films to be screened). Les incontournables a section devoted to the works of acclaimed directors which will show 28 movies. Among them “Wonderstruck” by Todd Haynes (USA), “The Florida Project” by Sean Baker (USA), “Sea Sorrow” by Vanessa Redgrave (UK). Here we will find a special celebration of the 40th anniversary of “Saturday Night Fever” by John Badham, featuring John Travolta, a film that will certainly bring fond memories and some disco nostalgia.
Temps Ø is a section that showcases daring works, among them the Quebec film “Les affamés” by Robin Aubert which recently won the prize for best Canadian film at the Toronto Festival (are you ready for zombies in Quebec?). Another film that may not leave anyone indifferent is the French production directed by a former porn star known as Ovidie titled “Les prédatrices.”
International Panorama should provide a dose of “socially engaged films from around the world.” Out of the 14 films in this section, we should mention “Ghost Haunting” (Raed Andoni, Palestine-France-Switzerland-Qatar), “Last days in Havana” (Fernando Perez, Cuba), and “The Nothing Factory” (Pedro Pinho, Portugal).
The section Histoire(s) du Cinema will include tributes to Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani (Italy, Seijun Suzuki (Japan), Denis Coté (Canada), and the renowned Polish director Andrzej Wajda, who passed away in 2016, among others directors to be highlighted. In conjunction with the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, there will be a Spotlight on the Western. The Special Presentations section will include the cult film “India Song” by Marguerite Duras, and fans of Italian soccer should enjoy “Black and White Stripes: The Juventus Story” by Marco and Maura La Villa. This one is not the only film with a sport as a subject; a great tennis matchup is the main story in “Borg vs. McEnroe” directed by Janus Metz.
A cine-concert is also programmed for Friday, Oct. 13, featuring the silent horror movie “The Golem” by Paul Wegener and Henrik Galeen (Germany, 1915) which will be accompanied by the music of Montreal artist Josh “Socalled” Dolgin and his guests.
The FNC also has a section for children, Les P’tits Loups” and another for young people the Rencontres pancanadiennes du cinéma étudiant. And if after seeing too many movies you feel like doing something else, some other events, including many parties, are set for the whole duration of the event.
For detailed information about the FNC including ticket prices, schedule, and film descriptions visit www.nouveaucinema.ca/en
Feature image: Les Prédatrices is announced as one of the daring films at this edition