Montreal’s French-language film festival Cinémania runs from Wednesday, November 1 until Sunday, November 11.
The opening night film is Doubles Vies, directed by Olivier Assayas. Stars include Juliette Binoche, Guillaume Canet and Vincent Macaigne. The films characters are involved in the book publishing industry in France.
The film has English subtitles; its English language title is Non-Fiction.
Opening night tickets are $25, but the film will also be shown again on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018 at 11:15 a.m. Tickets cost $9 for people 30 and under; $12.75 (people 65 and older). General admission is $13.50
Both screenings will be at Cinéma Imperial, 1430 Bleury.
The Cinémania lineup includes films from France, Belgium, and a Quebec-Belgium co-production.
In a fun twist, the French film Le Grand Bain (Sink or Swim) will have one of its two screenings at the swimming pool of the MAA Sports Centre, 2070 Peel St. Le Grand Bain is about a bunch of guys who form a synchronized swimming team. Some have compared it to the British film The Full Monty.
Big film fan? Got time to see lots of films? Montreal’s Festival du nouveau cinéma has got a deal for you! Several deals, really. You’ll have to move fast though, because Monday, Sept. 25, 2017 is the last day to take advantage of some extra-special prices.
On Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017, the film lineup and schedule will be made public. But until then, you can get an early-bird pass for $150. Students (with a student ID card) and seniors (65 and older) will pay $125. The pass is good for all films except the opening one (Blade Runner 2049!) the closing one, and the Stereoscopic – Dear Criminals 3D show.
On Tuesday, Sept. 26 the price of the regular pass will increase to $200. Students and seniors will pay $160. A single, regular ticket, will cost $13; a student or senior ticket will be $9. A booklet of 6 tickets will be $66. (There is also a discount for films shown before 4 pm. It can get a bit complicated.)
Is it a gamble to buy a pass without knowing which films will be shown? Based on my past experience, I would say, not at all! Last year, the festival showed 138 features and 170 shorts from 62 countries, including works from Wim Wenders, Jim Jarmusch, Andrea Arnold, Lav Diaz, Werner Herzog, Hong Sang-soo, Hirokazu Kore-Eda, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Bruce McDonald, Kim Nguyen, Park Chan-wook, Ulrich Seidl, Sion Sono, and Bertrand Tavernier.
There were dramas, comedies, fantasies, documentaries, European TV episodes and films suitable for children. There were two interactive films where audience members made decisions for onscreen characters via apps on their smart phones or tablets.
Apart from Blade Runner 20149, we also know that the zombie flick Les Affamés, from Québécois director Robin Aubert is on the schedule. It won the award for Best Canadian Feature Film at the recent Toronto International Film Festival. Marc-André Grondin, Monia Chokri and Micheline Lanctôt are among the stars.
I’ve never had a problem at the Festival du nouveau cinéma finding enough films that appealed to me, my only difficulty was making a schedule that included as many of them as possible. I have a friend who is a true film festival fiend. He often sees 60 to 70 films at a typical Montreal festival. If he did see 70 films at FNC, each one would cost him a mere $2.14 with the $150 pass or $2.86 with the $200 pass. If he only saw 30 films, that would work out to $5 or $6.66 each. Still a great deal!
The Festival du nouveau cinéma will run from Oct. 5 to Oct. 15, 2017 in Montreal.
Films will be shown at Cinéma du Parc, Cinéma Impérial, Cinémathèque québécoise, Cineplex Odeon Quartier Latin.
This year, like last year, the Montreal World Film Festival/Festival des films du monde is a shadow of its former self. The festival doesn’t seem to be getting any money from any level of government. All the same, it IS still alive, thanks to some wonderful volunteers! I doff my metaphorical hat to them!
You’ll see them selling tickets, working as ushers etc., but there are more unseen workers behind the scenes, as well. Without their work, the cinemas would be dark.
Many of the volunteers don’t even know festival founder Serge Losique, but they do follow his maxim: “It’s all about the films!”
While I didn’t formally interview any of them, I can see that the volunteers range in age from their early 20s to 60s, maybe even 70s. While some of the older volunteers are retirees, others are giving up precious vacation days. They are film fans have enjoyed the festival for decades and they don’t want to see it die. Several people now working for free were on the festival payroll for many years.
The volunteers and the people who are still buying tickets truly appreciate the festival’s dedication to films from the far corners of the globe that are not made in the familiar Hollywood mold. (If I had a nickel for every time I heard that over the years. . .seriously, I really would be rich.)
(Do you care about those film fans, government people? While most of them are tax-paying citizens, some of them are tourists, from other parts of Canada, and the U.S., who have been coming to Montreal for the festival for years.)
Check out the festival this long holiday weekend. Many directors are here with their films, and some brought their actors, too. Sometimes there are Q&As in the cinema right after the screening, but even if there isn’t one, you can usually ask questions in the lobby. At the very least, if you liked the film, you can thank and congratulate the director. They seem quite willing to have their pictures taken with fans, too. A nice souvenir of the festival! Fans are quite friendly, too. If you ask nicely, most will be happy to tell you what they have seen and what they thought of it.
Films are being shown at the Imperial Cinema, Cinéma du Parc and the Dollar Cinema. From my own experience I can say that some of them are very good! And people I trust have said the same about other films. So far, I haven’t seen anything that I regret. I particularly liked The Hidden Sword, from China, directed by Xu Haofeng, and Y de Pronto el Amanecer, from Chile. It was directed by Silvio Caiozzi. Both films are playing in competition.
Links to schedules are below. Unfortunately, there isn’t a fancy printed program this year, nor is there the “big book” of yesteryear, but at Cinéma du Parc, you can pick up a schedule, with synopses, of the films that are being shown there.
The Montreal World Film Festival / Festival des films du monde continues until Monday, Sept. 4, 2017. Tickets are $11 each, or you can buy a booklet of 10 coupons, which must be exchanged for tickets, for $85.
ShazamFest is an annual summer event that combines music, food, circus arts, skateboarding, and local artisans, to name just a few of its ingredients. It takes place from Thursday, July 14, through to Sunday, July 17 in Barnston Ouest in the Eastern Townships. Camping facilities are available.
The entertainment lineup includes Michelle Bourque The Blacksmiths, Old Time Honey & Cirquantique, Blue Mushroom Sirkus Psyshow, Bloodshot Bill, Gypsy Kumbia Orchestra and Kiriaki.
This year marks ShazamFest’s eleventh edition. The event was founded by Ziv Przytyk, a guy who’s full to bursting with energy, warmth, enthusiasm and optimism – truly amazing soul. Przytyk holds ShazamFest on land adjoining the organic farm that his parents established many years ago (and that’s another story unto itself.) ShazamFest just got bigger and more popular over the years; many participants have been coming since the very beginning.
Advance tickets for Thursday are $10, they’re $15 at the gate. Tickets for Friday are $40 and $45; Saturday $45 and $55; Sunday is free. A family pass (two adults and two teens) for the whole weekend is $175 in advance and $200 at the gate. People who arrive on bicycles can get a 20 % discount. (More info about tickets here.)
If cycling isn’t convenient and you don’t have a car either, a shuttle bus will leave Montreal at 6 p.m. Friday, July 15. It will leave ShazamFest at 7 p.m. on Sunday July 17 for the trip back to the city.