The arts are things that fall by the wayside somewhat during tough economic times. FIFA is around to remind us how important all the art forms are to human expression and experience. They provide us with an outlet and means to help understand the world around and communicate with each other. In other words they are essential.
Way back in 1981 (well, that is way back for some people) UNESCO’s International Council for Film, Television and Audiovisual Communication supported the creation of FIFA (International Festival of Films on art) and it was helped financially by the Musee d’Art Contemporain de Montreal. The mandate of the festival has always been to educate the public about art and increase knowledge and appreciation.
It started off small with the duration being five days and included the screening of 50 films from 12 countries. Today the festival has doubled to 10 days in length, is screening 290 films from 30 countries and attracts tens of thousands of people. The amazing increase in attendance has led to the length of the festival increasing and shows that the public, despite their reduced disposable income, has chosen to support the festival in good times and bad.
FIFA in no way restricts what it considers to be art. In the festival, besides the mediums traditionally thought of as art like painting, photography and sculpture, they have show films having to do with cartoons, miming, tattooing, music, fashion, film, circus arts, comics, literature, and dance. This year the subject matter of the films screened ranges far and wide from “Bauhaus – Model and Myth” to “Basquiat, Un Vie” to “Jean Paul Gauthier ou les Codes Boulverses” to “T.S. Eliot”. Subjects of the films include jazz, fashion, painting, music, design, literature, and architecture.
This type of festival is unique in North America and the largest one in the world. It has not only become important in this city, but worldwide in that FIFA aids in the distribution of some of the films in other parts of the world like Paris, London, Boston, New York, Quebec City, Ottawa, and Washington.
-Venues: Canadian Centre for Architecture – 1920 Baile St.
J.A. De Seve Cinema (Concordia) – 1400 de Maisonneuve West
Cinémathèque Québécois – 335 de Maisonneuve East
Goethe-Institute – 418 Sherbrooke East
Grande Bibliotheque – 475 de Maisonneuve East
Montreal Museum of Fine arts – 1379 Sherbrooke West
Musee d’Art Contemporain de Montreal – 185 Ste. Catherine West
NFB Cinema – 1564 St. Denis
Cinquième Salle de Place des Arts – 175 Ste. Catherine West
-Ticket Purchase: Place des Arts box office – 175 Ste. Catherine West
By Phone: (514) 842-2112
At film venues starting one hour before screening
Ticket Prices: Individual Tickets: General Admission: $12.00
Youth (25 + under): $9.00
Seniors (65+): $10.00
Booklet – 8 Films: General Admission: $85
Youth price (25 & under): $65
Seniors (65 & over): $75
Media Arts Booklet – 5 films: General Admission: $25.00
Ambassador Passport: $250.00