Montreal World Film Festival


After twelve days of intense film viewing, the Montreal World Film Festival jury has chosen the winners.  Montreal director Louis Bélanger walked away with a handful of awards last night including Special jury grand prize and Most popular Canadian film for 'Gaz Bar Blues', the portrait of a small Quebec gas station and the family who owns it.   Best film went to 'Kordon', a Serbia and Montenegro production dealing with the tension between the protesters fighting to overthrow dictator Milosevic and the policemen taught to oppress them, while Best director went to Antonio Mercero for 'Planta 4a', whose title refers to the Fourth floor of a children's hospital reserved for cancer patients.   Best European film went to 'Kopps', by Swedish director Josef Fares, which had the audience roaring with laughter at the small town police force who resort to committing crimes themselves to save their jobs.  'The Delicate Art of Parking', Trent Carlson's mockumentary about parking enforcer Grant Parker,  took home the award for Best Canadian film whereas Alexandra's Project, the unnerving "psychological thriller", was declared Best film from Oceania.  And finally, with Charles Busch's brilliantly funny script and a fantastic ensemble cast, Best American film went to Mark Rucker's well-deserved  'Die, Mommie, Die'.  Another highlight of the film festival this weekend was Martin Scorsese presenting o­ne of his early films, Mean Streets to a crowd buzzing with anticipation at the Parisien Cinema o­n Saturday night.  Recognised by many as the greatest American contemporary filmmaker, Scorsese received a standing ovation and loud cheers from the sold-out theater.  In his short speech, he admitted that the film, starring Robert DeNiro and Harvey Keitel, was primarily about his own experiences growing up, living o­n the East side of Manhattan in the fifties.  He also thanked Montreal and everyone in the city for welcoming him during the past few weeks while he has been in town filming his latest picture, 'The Aviator', saying that the experience has been a real joy.  As for the MWFF, it is scheduled to return next year from August 26 to September 6.  Until then, there is the New Cinema, New Media Festival which begins in early October.


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