Midway Report of Cinemania Film Festival

Film festivals such as Cinemania have always been important ones for independent film makers in that it allows them exposure to an audience and sometimes if a film does well then it gains a backer and wider release. For instance, at this year's festival the film "13 Tzameti", an award winning film at the Venice and Sundance film festivals, will be released in theatres this Friday. It is also important for Montrealers in that it gives us a chance to see many films from the Cannes Film Festival on the big screen. "Selon Charlie", "Meurtrières", "Quand J'Etais Chanteur", and "Changement D'Addresse" all were hits at Cannes. We are also afforded the privilege of several North American premieres this year including, "L'Un Reste L'Autre Part", "Tout La Beauté Du Monde" and "Aux Abois".

Attendees have also been given the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the films stars and directors. Juliet Binoche and director/boyfriend Santiago Amigorena were here on Thursday evening for the opening gala and screening of their film "Quelques Jours en Septembre". Miss Binoche was in town for only that evening but managed to enchant everyone. Other guests at the festival include actor/director Eric Caravaca, director Phillippe Collin, director Lisa Azuelos, and director Nicole Garcia. After each screening the audience was allowed to participate in a Q&A session with the directors.

The theme running through the festival this year is the male psyche. We have been presented with films examining what exactly goes on in the hearts and minds of the hairier of the species. To compliment this on Saturday, November 4th there was a free round table discussion entitled "Men in Film: Strength and Fragility" which was hosted by television personality/newsman Dennis Trudeau. The panel included actress/director/screenwriter Micheline Lanctôt, actor/director Eric Caravaca and Le Devoir film critic André Lavoie. Such topics as how men are depicted in film and how trends are changing were discussed. The audience in attendance at this round table seemed to really enjoy themselves and definitely gained some insight.

We are coming up on the last couple of days of the festival, but don't despair there is still plenty of good cinema. On Wednesday evening there is a screening of the Cannes award-winning "Meurtrières" – a kind of Thelma and Louise film, Thursday afternoon with director Phillippe Collin in attendance you can take in "Aux Abois", Friday evening is the Cannes film "Selon Charlie", Gerard Depardieu's cute romantic film "Quand J'Etais Chanteur" is screening on Saturday morning, and the closing film "L'Ivresse du Pouvoir" will round out the festival on Sunday. Check out the schedule, buy your tickets, don't delay and bonne cinema!

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