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Montreal World Film Festival












The 2011 edition of the Montreal World Film Festival, one of the largest film events in North America, is set for August 18 28, 2011. With close to 300 films from all over the world, including premieres of films from the province of Quebec, the Festival is a major cultural event.


Spotlight On Canadian Cinema in Montreal


SILENCE LIES (Julie Hivon, Canada) 

The Montreal World Film Festival, which is at the midway point of its celebration of world cinema, also sees part of its mission as a showcase for new Canadian film talents to shine for both local audiences and for visiting professional guests from all over the globe. While Canada’s film industry is rather strong, it still must compete with the overwhelming marketing machine of its powerful neighbor to the south. Fighting for screens and for attention, Canadian filmmakers have a powerful ally with this Festival and the exposure that its spotlight can offer.


The Festival demonstrated its commitment to local filmmakers by giving its coveted Opening Night slot to Quebec director Louis Belanger for the world premiere of ROUTE 132, a metaphysical road movie that will open commercially later this month. The film is competing for the Grand Prix des Ameriques, the Festival’s highest honor, along with fellow Canadian film SILENCE LIES, a psychological drama set in Montreal’s bohemian art world, written and directed by Julie Hivon.


In the First Films World Competition, a section devoted to debuts by up-and-coming film talent, the US/Canadian co-production THE NEIGHBOR (Hamseyeh), written and directed by Iranian-born Naghmeh Shirkhan, tells the emotional tale of an Iranian woman ex-pat living in Vancouver who must reconcile her traditions with the demands of her new country.  In the non-competitive Focus On World Cinema section, I HEART REGINA is a multi-part anthology film by fourteen different Canadian director who offer short form valentines to the small (and rather unexplored) Canadian city. Other films in this section include I WAS ONCE TOLD, a three-sided love story set in an Arab immigrant community, directed by Aliaa Khachouk; and MARY, a necrophiliac romance directed by Ukranian-born Audrey Petrusha.



BLACK HANDS (Tetchena Bellange, Canada) 


Canada has a strong tradition of documentary filmmaking, and this year’s Festival features some very strong non-fiction works by Canadian documentarists. In BLACK HANDS, local filmmaker Tetchena Bellange, recreates the sensational trial of a black slave in 1734 who was accused of setting fire that led to the destruction of a large part of the young city of Montreal. In CHILDREN OF SOLDIERS, director Claire Corriveau focuses on the tight-knit community of an army base where the families of men and women fighting in Afghanistan must wait for their loved ones’ return. Other Canadian documentaries in the Documentaries of the World section include CORPUS, director Connie Diletti’s exploration of the “death industry” of morgues and afterlife communities; TURNING 32 revisits a group of people from different countries that were originally interview at age 16, to reveal how their earlier selves have evolved; THE HIDDEN FACE OF SUICIDE enters the world of loved ones who have lost relatives to suicide, as directed by therapist-turned-filmmaker Yehudit Silverman; MONTREAL, 31 FRAGMENTS OF URBANITY is a visual poem to the Festival’s host city as rendered by director Jean Tessier;  THE FALL OF WOMENLAND offers a portrait of a minority community in China where women  rule the roost; and FUNERAL SEASON brings viewers into the heart of the mystical and colorful funeral celebrations in Cameroon.


Canadian filmmakers are also showcased in the special programs devoted to INIS, the National Institute of Image and Sound, and a student film competition that offers a wide-ranging group of new works from some of Canada’s most prestigious film schools. From short to long, fiction to non-fiction, Montreal to Vancouver, Canadian films are given the spotlight at this year’s Montreal World Film Festival.

 Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor 


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About Montreal World Film Festival

Sandy Mandelberger
( International Media Resources)








Online Dailies Coverage of the 35th annual Montreal World Film Festival to be held from August 18 to September 28, 2011. 

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