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Festival of Nouveau Cinema presents its montreal Fest vision

The Montreal Festival of Nouveau Cinema, in partnership with Ex-Centris, yesterday submitted to SODEC and Telefilm Canada an innovative and inclusive proposal to provide Montrealers with a film festival of international calibre between now and 2007. The proposal comes in response to the September 7 Call for Proposals from SODEC and Telefilm Canada and their October 29 decision to allow applicants to resubmit their projects by December 1, 2004. A number of prominent figures from the film and artistic communities have expressed their support for the Festival’s vision (see attached list).

“With its 33-year history, the Festival of Nouveau Cinema is Canada’s longest-running international film festival. We believe that it has all the necessary assets to become and remain Montreal’s major international film festival, with a unique international profile and producing significant economic benefits for Quebec. It will contribute to the development of audiences and a solid local, national and Francophone industry, all under the banner of accessibility, quality, innovation, professionalism and fiscal responsibility,” said Daniel Langlois, Chairman of the Festival’s Board of Directors.

Expanded Programming
The project proposes to greatly broaden and diversify the Festival’s programming, while maintaining its quality, by increasing the number of films presented in the eight existing sections (Competition/International Selection, Special Presentation, Time Zero, Shorts, Documentary, Tribute and Retrospective, Wee Wolves, Special Events) and by creating five new sections.

For 2005, two new sections would be added. GALA Evenings would present popular feature films from around the world for the general public, with the director and members of the cast and crew present. The second new section would be #1 At the Box Office, showcasing popular films from ten countries.

In 2006-2007, three new sections would be added, with emphasis on appealing to the general public and to members of the city’s cultural communities, Focus on a Country would showcase a different country’s cinema every year, Asian Cinema would be introduced to reflect that region’s importance and influence in international cinema. Finally, Great Rediscoveries would bring new audiences to films from the past that have gained new artistic and commercial life thanks to new technologies.

Emphasis on Quebec, Canadian and Francophone cinema
New emphasis would be placed on Quebec, Canadian and Francophone films by increasing the number of such films within the overall programming slate. Two new awards would be created, one for the best Quebec or Canadian work and the other for the best French-language feature.

The Montreal Festival of Nouveau Cinema has initiated discussions with les Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal and les Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois in order to explore new forms of collaboration. The Festival will also work in close partnership with a variety of educational organizations, with the twin aims of offering a more varied cinematic menu to the city’s youth and of educating future generations of cinephiles.

Complementary Summer Event
In June, a major complementary summer event, built upon the existing Magnifico and its seven-year history, would be organized as a popular gathering centered on films from around the world. Over ten full days, Magnifico will enliven Montreal and offer local movie lovers and tourists over sixty films showcased at the event’s venues: a FilmCity at Parc Jeanne-Mance, downtown, the Saint-Laurent Boulevard axis, and in a variety neighborhoods (thanks to a mobile projection facility), where the films shown will be programmed partly on the basis of the neighborhood’s ethnic mix.

Wider Accessibility
The Festival intends to occupy a well-defined area (a map is available at www.nouveaucinema.ca) comprising Ex-Centris and the Cinéma Parallèle, the Centre Pierre-Péladeau, the Monument National, Cinéma Quartier Latin, Cinéma du Parc and the Cinémathèque québécoise. Other downtown venues could be added depending on availability.

New Activities for the Industry
Montreal is known internationally as a focal point of technological innovation. As a reflection of the city’s high-tech dynamism, DIGIMART, a new digital market, will be launched in 2005. This new concept aims to stimulate sales, international financing, co-production and distribution of productions on the international market, thanks to new digital technologies. It will provide a new economic model for producers, rights holders, exhibitors and distributors of films, new media works and video games seeking to initiate, pursue and conclude business opportunities. This innovative project will be undertaken in partnership with Ex-Centris and DigiScreen.

Importance of Communications
The Festival will benefit from a new branding strategy, followed by the development of a dynamic local, national and international communications strategy. Magnifico will provide the Festival with an important communications platform to build local and visiting audiences for the film festival in October.

Expanded and Transparent Governance
The Board will be expanded to reinforce links with the Montreal and Quebec communities, especially the business world, in order to maximize fundraising. Two advisory committees, industry and artistic, will be created. A Memorandum of Understanding between Ex-Centris and the Festival will be developed.

“Our objective is to develop new audiences in Montreal by offering an innovative major international festival,” said Sheila de La Varende, Executive Director. “We are going to make the most of our large global network of contacts, and build strategic alliances with a range of organizations and festivals in order to fulfill our programming objectives and raise the profile of the Festival and its new activities.”

“We want to bring together the driving forces of creativity, distribution, education and mentorship. We want to open up the cinema on which our imagination thrives, helping us better understand the world and ourselves. We want to create a distinctive international festival with its sights set squarely on the future – our future,” added Festival Founder and Director Claude Chamberlan.

About the Montreal Festival of Nouveau Cinema
The Festival of Nouveau Cinema (www.nouveaucinema.ca) is a Montreal-based non-profit organization dedicated to advancing and celebrating the art of cinema, while taking into consideration the impact of the evolution of technologies on this medium. The Festival showcases Quebec, Canadian and international films to the public and delivers market and networking opportunities to film and new media professionals through the presentation of an annual film festival and complementary activities. The Festival’s 34th edition will be held from October 13 to 23, 2005.


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