This year the 10th edition of Festivalissimo (a festival showcasing Ibero-Latino American culture) has a line up that should please everyone. The festival will be comprised of films, dance shows, musical performances, and art exhibits. This type of variety will go a long way towards showing Montrealers the different nuances and flavours that make up this vibrant community. At the press conference announcing the line up for Festivalissimo, festival founder Elisa Pierna said that to be a good Quebecer means that you must be proud of your roots. Well, this is definitely one proud community made up of good Quebecers! The Latin American community feels that they have much in common with Quebecers, so much so that they want to show it. A sampling of the countries involved include, Argentina, Chili, Portugal, Brazil, Mexico, Spain, Uruguay, Peru, United States, Cuba, and Canada.
To kick off the festival on February 25, 2006 is an event called, "La Movida de la Nuit Blanche". It looks to be a warm evening that will help get you through our cold winter. For the 3rd consecutive year this event is being put on in association with The Montreal High Lights Festival. The evening starts with a series of short films at Cinema du Parc and then moves on to a fiesta at the Club espagnol du Quebec. At the fiesta you can expect piñatas, food, dancing, live performances, and hot rhythms. Rest up for this event for it will go on to the break of dawn as it is billed as the longest evening of the year in Montreal.
The centerpiece of the festival is the film portion, which, for the first time this year, is slowly introducing works from Quebec filmmakers. Opening the festival will be the film "Blessed by Fire" from Argentinean filmmaker Tristan Bauer. The festival is divided into different sections including, Official Selection (the films in this section will be competing for El Sol awards), Regard Argentina (Argentina is the spotlight country in this year's festival), Los Classicos (classic Latin American films), Invited Country: Portugal, documentaries, shorts, and Latinos Del Norte (Canadian films).
Art Feria is the art exhibit portion of the festival and this year it highlights paintings from the Latin world. The exhibits will take place at many different galleries throughout the city.
Finally the Show portion of the festival is made up of musical and dance events. On the evenings of March 9th and 10th at Centre Pierre Peladeau, Festivalissimo will present the Canadian premiere of Tangokinesis from Argentina. Tangokinesis is staging its new show "Nuevo Tango", which is a work by famed choreographer Ana Maria Stekelman. This highly anticipated show will combine classic dance with modern tango. "La Movida", a night of dance and music, will take place on March 1st at Club Newtown (on Crescent). The Montreal Flamenco Studio and Studio Tango will be there to give those interested lessons as well as performing. The evening is free so it would be a shame to miss it. Closing out the festival on March 11th will be "La Noca Loca" at Club Soda. This party involves Luisito Rosario and his 12 musicians who will provide you with an evening full of Rumba music. Dancing will be order of the evening!
-Tickets: a) La Movida de la Nuit Blanche – Cinéma du Parc (3575 Parc) – $8.00 (includes entrance to screening of short films, entrance to Club Espagnol du Québec and breakfast
b) Filmfest – Cinéma du Parc (3575 Parc) or ONF (1564 St. Denis) – One ticket: $10.00, Booklet of 5 tickets: $40.00
c) Tangokinesis – (514) 790-1245 or www.admission.com – $65.00 or $70.00 (tax included)
d) La Noche Loca – Club Soda (1225 St. Laurent) – (514) 286-1010 ext. 200 or www.clubsoda.com – $29.95 plus tax