UPDATE: Y de Pronto el Amanecer did indeed win the Grand Prix of the Americas, for Best Film.
I predict that Y de Pronto el Amanecer (And Then the Dawn) will win the competition for best film at the 2017 Montreal World Film Festival / Festival des film du monde tonight.
I did not even see all the films in competition, but I really liked The Hidden Sword, from China; Upstream, from Taiwan, was very well done, and friends who saw it told me Anna Karenina: Vronsky’s story was spectacular.
Given all that, it might be rash to predict a win for Y de Pronto el Amanecer, but the story, the acting and the scenery in this Chilean film from director Silvio Caiozzi were all so very impressive. The film is 195 minutes long, but I was never bored for even one second.
A few hours from now I’ll either be saying “Ooops!” or “I told you so!”
The awards ceremony will be at 7 p.m., at the Imperial Cinema, 1430 Bleury St. When it is over, at approximately 7:30 (so I am told) there will be a free, closing film. The name of the closing film will only be announced at the ceremony.
These are the films in competition:
41ST MONTREAL WORLD FILM FESTIVAL
18 films in WORLD COMPETITION
A PROMINENT PATIENT / MASARYK by Julius Ševcík (Czech Republic / Slovakia)
100min; anglais s.t.f & s.t.a
AND SUDDENLY THE DAWN / Y DE PRONTO EL AMANECER by Silvio Caiozzi (Chile)
195min; espagnol s.t.f & s.t.a
ANNA KARENINA. VRONSKY’S STORY / ANNA KARENINA. ISTORIYA VRONSKOGO by Karen Shakhnazarov (Russia)
138min; russe s.t.f & s.t.a
APPENDIX by Hossein Namazi (Iran)
83min; farsi s.t.f & s.t.a
CARDINAL X by Angie Wang (USA)
98 min; anglais s.t.f
DEAR ETRANGER / OSANAGO WARERA NI UMARE by Yukiko Mishima (Japan)
127min; japonais s.t.f & s.t.a
ELVIS WALKS HOME by Fatmir Koçi (Albania / UK)
94min; anglais s.t.f
FALLING IN /OUT OF LOVE by Dominic Bachy (France)
95min; français s.t.a
FOOTPRINTS by Wong Wai (Hong Kong, China)
120min; mandarin s.t.f & s.t.a
FROZEN IGNAT / CINE A UCIS CRACIUNUL? by Dinu Tãnase (Romania)
81min; roumain s.t.f & s.t.a
PATH OF MARYAM by Atia Aldaraji (Iraq / Germany)
76min; arabe s.t.f & s.t.a
RECONCILIATION / ZGODA by Maciej Sobieszczanski (Poland)
87min; polonais s.t.f & s.t.a
SAYAKBAY – HOMER OF 20TH CENTURY by Ernest Abdyjaparov (Kyrgyzstan)
82min; kyrgyz s.t.f & s.t.a
THE BASICS OF KILLING / DRUŽINICA by Jan Cvitkovic (Slovenia / Serbia)
99min; slovène s.t.f & s.t.a
THE HIDDEN SWORD by Xu Haofeng (China)
137min; chinois s.t.f & s.t.a
UNAWARE CONTROL / HUA SE by Xiaoyan Xu (China)
94min; chinois s.t.f & s.t.a
UNSUNG HEROES / NOI ERAVAMO by Leonardo Tiberi (Italy)
90min; italien s.t.f & s.t.a
UPSTREAM by David Chuang (Taiwan)
80min; mandarin s.t.f & s.t.a
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.
Xu Haofeng practices martial arts, writes books and film scripts about martial arts, makes martial-arts films AND does the fight choreography, too! Impressive, right? That would be a dream life for some aficionados!
Xu’s previous films are The Sword Identity, Judge Archer and The Final Master. The latter was shown to appreciative audiences here at the Fantasia International Film Festival just a few weeks ago.
Now Xu himself is here in Montreal, at The Montreal World Film Festival / Festival des film du monde to present his latest work, The Hidden Sword.
The Hidden Sword will be shown at 7 p.m., Sunday Aug. 27, 2017 at the Cinema Imperial, 1430 Bleury St. (H3A 2J1).Here’s a plot synopsis from an article in Screen Daily: “Based on Xu’s own novella, the film is set in the 1930s when a special sword has helped the Chinese army win the war against Japan. The old man who developed the sword tries to go into hiding with his family, when his martial techniques start to attract too much attention, but eventually the outside world starts to intrude.”
A few hours before the film, Xu will give a master class at the nearby L’Astral, 305 Ste. Catherine St. W. (QC H2X 2A3). Admission to the master class is free of charge and open to anyone.
Xu will also give a press conference at 4 p.m, on Monday, Aug. 28, 2017 at the Intercontinental Hotel, 360 St. Antoine W. (QC H2Y 3X4). That is free and open to all, as well.
The Montreal World Film Festival / Festival des film du monde is running until Sept. 4, 2017.Films are being shown at Cinema Imperial. Cinema du Parc and the Dollar Cinema. Consult the FFM/MWFF schedule on the Internet. Tickets are $11, a booklet of 10 coupons, which must be exchanged for tickets, is $85.
The Hidden Sword, 7 p.m., Sunday Aug. 27, 2017 at the Cinema Imperial, 1430 Bleury St.