Montreal and Toronto have always been enemies. Whatever they do whether it be festivals, sports teams or major events, we here in Montreal want to do it better. But when it comes the two cities international film festivals Toronto has started to really overshadow Montreal. And that it okay because TIFF now overshadows all film festivals in the world maybe other than Cannes and Sundance. Don’t panic as there is still room in the film world for Montreal to make its mark. There is still an opportunity for the Montreal World Film Festival (MWFF) to be something that puts us on the map and makes us proud of.
The MWFF can carve a niche for itself by presenting less of the Hollywood pictures that TIFF does and shed some of the spotlight on world cinema, cinema from parts of the world or filmmakers that normally doesn’t get to be seen in this part of the world. Honestly if a film is good it does not matter if Kate Winslet or an unknown actress is in it; a good film is a good film. That being said, this is the motto of the festival to introduce truly international films to fans here in Montreal. Cultural diversity and promoting films from all over the planet is what the MWFF is all about and what they stand for.
This is not an empty statement as they have fulfilled it year after year. And it is no different this year as filmgoers can see films from every corner of the planet at this the 39th edition of the festival. Besides the typical Canada and United States, you can take in films from Finland, Singapore, Pakistan, Belgium, Germany, Brazil, France, United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Hungary, Egypt, India, China, U.K., Denmark, Spain, Japan, and Algeria amongst others. These are short films, feature length, animated, dramas, comedy, documentary, action, and many other genres or types. In other words, the choice is endless.
Plus what many will have you believing is that this is a second or even third class film festival so it gets no filmmakers of actors of note. Again, while it might not be of the embarrassment of riches that happens at TIFF, there are stars and well-knowns to be found. In regards to filmmakers you have Majid Majidi (Children of Heaven) – Muhammad, Ventura Pons (Food of Love) – The Virus of Fear, Ken Kwapis (He’s Just Not That Into You, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) – A Walk in the Woods, and Jean-Jacques Annaud (Seven Years in Tibet, Enemy at the Gates) – Wolf Totem who will all be bringing their latest films. As for actors you have the opportunity to see the latest films of Robert Redford (A Walk in the Woods), Nick Nolte (A Walk in the Woods), Emma Thompson (A Walk in the Woods), Kevin Pollack (Borealis), Joey King (Borealis), Gerald McCullouch (Daddy), Hilarie Burton (Good ‘Ol Boy), Anna Sophia Robb (Jack of the Red Hearts), Famke Janssen (Jack of Red Hearts), soccer player Eric Cantona (Les Rois du Monde), and Jason Lee (Good ‘Ol Boy).
The scope of the festival is wide in regards to subject matter as you will get films that examine music, adoption, gangsters, disadvantaged children, Gerard Depardieu, Orson Welles, romance, child soldiers, marriage, death, and the end of the world. As a result of this variety you get a whole bunch of different categories the films are slotted into. The Montreal World Film Festival includes the following sections: World Competition, First Films World Competition,Hors Concours (World Greats, out-of competition), Focus on World Cinema (Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania), Documentaries of the World,Chinese Cinema,Tributes, Cinema Classics, Francophone Film Festival (Films distributed among Festival’s sections), Student Film Festival, and Cinema Under the Stars.
Plenty to discover and you have twelve days to do so. Take advantage and enjoy!
-Dates: August 27 – September 7, 2015
-Venue: Quartier Latin Cinema (250 Emery), Imperial Theatre (1430 Bleury), Theatre Maisonneuve – Place des Arts (175 Ste. Catherine W)
-Ticket Purchase: Imperial Theatre or Cinema Quartier Latin or www.admission.com
-Ticket Prices: Individual film – $10
10 Films Package – $70
Passeport – $120
Cinephile – $250
Prestige Membership – $750