On the heels of the very successful Montreal run of the interactive art exhibition “Imagine Van Gogh”, which sold over 600,000 tickets across North America, the team of Tandem Expositions and Encore Productions will once again present an immersive artistic experience by one of the world’s greatest artists who also founded the French Impressionist movement during the 1800s, Claude Monet. Entitled “Imagine Monet”, it will have its worldwide premiere this December at Montreal’s Arsenal Art Contemporain.
The exhibition will focus on Monet’s series of 200 cathedral and water lilies paintings that he did in his garden in Giverny. And thanks to the technology of Image Totale, visitors will be totally immersed in the world of Monet’s talent as a painter, as well as the beauty of the Impressionists. To purchase tickets for “Imagine Monet”, go to www.imagine-monet.com.
One not-to-be-missed, locally-produced documentary is Evan Beloff and Marvin Rosenblatt’s “Just As I Am”.
The documentary tells the story of the Shira Choir, a group of singers who have a variety of special needs and disabilities, which is under the direction of the enthusiastic, energetic Cantor Daniel Benlolo of Montreal’s Spanish & Portuguese Synagogue. It chronicles 15 months in the life of the choir and its singers and volunteers, as they have to deal with the COVID pandemic until they get back together to record an original song that shares the title of the documentary.
As well, the documentary goes behind the music, as it profiles many of the choir’s members, and how being part of the group in general, and sharing a love of music and singing in particular, makes a difference in their lives, as they endure numerous personal challenges that they face every day, and how they cope with life during the pandemic.
“Just As I Am” will be making its world premiere on September 23, 7 p.m., at the Spanish & Portuguese Synagogue, located at 4894 St. Kevin. The evening will include a screening of the film, a performance by the choir, a Q&A session with Cantor Benlolo, Evan Beloff, Marvin Rosenblatt and several choir members, along with refreshments. The film will have its streamlining launch via CBC Gem on September 24, and air on CBC Television on September 25 at 7 p.m.
Admission is free for the world premiere on September 23. For more information, or to register for the event, go to www.eventbrite.com/e/just-as-i-am-the-shira-choir-documentary-world-premiere-tickets-168289425201.
Canada’s largest Black film festival is about to kick off its 17th edition with a total of 17 world premieres, 40 Canadian premieres and 35 Quebec premieres in a hybrid online and in person format
The Montreal International Black Film Festival (MIBFF) – created by the Fabienne Colas Foundation and co-presented by Quebecor and Desjardins — will run from September 22 to October 3, and will showcase over 134 films from 30 countries, that will both entertain and inspire.
It all begins on September 22 at the Imperial Theatre with the opening screening of the documentary “With Drawn Arms”, which focusses on Tommie Smith, the gold medal winning track-and-field runner who created a great deal of controversy by raising a gloved fist in the air during a medal ceremony at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, as a means of protesting racial inequality in America at the time. It concludes 11 days later with the screening of the feature film “Under the Stars of Paris”, which tells the story of a homeless woman in Paris, who meets up with an eight-year-old orphaned boy from Eritrea, and helps him look for his mother throughout the streets of the French capitol.
This year’s MIBFF Career Achievement Award goes to three individuals in the Black film world: Cesar-winning actor Omar Sy; Haitian-Canadian visual artist and filmmaker Nartine Chartrand; and Guadeloupean/French activist and actress Firmine Richard. All three recipients will sit down with festival founder Fabienne Colas for an intimate conversation that will focus on their respective careers (how they have developed into successful careers), as well as their take on how important diversity is on and off the screen.
Other MIBFF highlights include the annual Black Market; an intimate conversation with actress Taraji P. Henson (which was previously recorded at the Toronto International Black Film Festival); industry panels which deals with such topics as how to make your first film, landing a role and funding film projects; the series of free MIBFF in the Neighborhood film screenings; and the MIBFF Kids Program.
Individual tickets for the film screenings range in cost from $8 to $25, with MIBFF Film Passes costing between $69 and $119. For more information, or to purchase tickets, go towww.montrealblackfilm.com.
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One of the first announcements for the 2022 edition of the Montreal en Lumiere Festival is an evening with popular American humour writer, satirist and best-selling author David Sedaris, which will take place on February 25, 8 p.m., at Theatre Maisonneuve of Place des Arts.
Sedaris, has written such best-selling humour collections as Me Talk Pretty One Day, Let’s Discuss Diabetes with Owls, and The Best of Me, with more than 16 million copies of his books in print. He has also been nominated for five Grammy Awards, is a regular contributor for the weekly CBS News Sunday Morning program, and in 2001 was named Humorist of the Year by Time magazine, to name some of his many achievements and honours. His new book, a second volume of diaries called A Carnival of Snackery, will be released on October 5.
For his February 25 appearance as part of the festival, Sedaris will do a live reading from a selection of his new and published works, will conduct a Q&A session with the audience, and do a book signing for his many fans following the show. Tickets are now on sale, and can be purchased by calling 1-866-842-2112, or online at www.evenko.ca or www.placedesarts.com.