Montreal World Film Festival Preview

The Montreal World Film Festival has come under some hard times in recent years with the Toronto Film Festival really gaining momentum and industry buzz allowing it to attract the "larger" films and stars, competition from another fledgling film festival that tried to take over as Montreal's premiere international film festival (that festival quickly went under) and the festival's president, Serge Losique, getting into fights with film distribution companies resulting in the festival not getting as many Canadian films as it used to.

What we do have to keep in mind is that the Montreal World Film Festival does not have as its mandate attracting the biggest Hollywood films and the big stars; it is a film festival that prides itself in being truly international and promoting cultural diversity within the film community. And on those counts I think it does just fine, thank you.

In its 34th year the Montreal World Film Festival is once again filled with films (maybe too many films if there can be such a thing) that demonstrate talent and diversity of subject. There are films being screened from all corners of the world. You will have the opportunity to see films from countries like Iran (there is a Tribute to this country), France, United States, New Zealand, Australia, Russia, Brazil, Germany, Finland, Mexico, and of course Canada.

Films to get excited about include: "In the Electric Mist" starring Tommy Lee Jones, "Love Lust Lies" – a documentary by director Gillian Armstrong, opening film "Route 132" by Quebec director Louis Bélanger, a short by actor James Franco entitled "The Feast of Stephen", "Pete Smalls is Dead" starring Steve Buscemi and Tim Roth, and a France/U.S. co-production "Le Caméléon" starring Famke Janssen and Ellen Barkin. Besides these gems there are over 400 films waiting for you to discover them.

Films that you can see for free (yes, you read that correctly!) outdoors during Cinema Under the Stars include Spain's "Carmen", Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining", David Lynch's "Blue Velvet", France's "Cyrano de Bergerac", and Denmark's "Pelle le Conquerant". A different film each night! Also Complexe Desjardins has a tent set up where you can see Quebec films such as "Les Doits Croches" with Roy Dupuis, "De Père En Flic" and Xavier Dolan's "J'Ai Tué Ma Mère".

There are many different categories of competition in the festival. Some of them are World Competition, Documentaries of the World and First Films World Competition. Then there are the out of competition categories like Hors Concours, Cinema Under the Stars and Tribute.

We should be proud that Montreal is the host of the largest fully independent film festival in the world. It doesn't have sponsors, film studios or governments telling it what to do and which films to screen. We should also be thankful because it offers us the chance to see on the big screen films that we wouldn't have ever had the chance to otherwise.

Additional Information:
-Website: www.ffm-montreal.org
-Venues: Quartier Latin – 350 Emery
Imperial Theatre – 1430 Bleury
Theatre Maisonneuve @ Place des Arts
ONF Cinema – 1564 St. Denis
-Ticket Purchase: www.admission.com or (514) 790-1245
-Ticket Prices: Cinephile Pass: $250.00
Prestige Member: $750.00
Individual Tickets: $10.00
10 Coupons: $65.00
-Program: $20.00

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