Set aside the dates of October 17-27, 2007 for the 36th annual version of Nouveau Cinema. I even recommend taking the week off if you are a film aficionado; the festival is that good! The 35th Nouveau Cinema wrapped up last Saturday and was breathtaking in its packed schedule and quality of films. This was reflected in the attendance at the festival as it was more successful than ever. Even festival director Claude Chamberlan seemed overwhelmed at the closing 5 à 7 last Thursday night. He mentioned that the festival had reached a wider audience (numbers-wise and age-wise) than even before. This is partly due to the festival's brass deciding to actively pursue the dollars and cents of the younger parts of the population. A special was offered in the hopes of attracting the younger population in that all films before 5 p.m. were $5. This also brought in an older population who were new to the festival. By all accounts this marketing ploy was a big success.
They are so confident about their numbers that Chamberlan predicted that their attendance would be up around one-third over last year. A large number of films sold out during the festival including "Babel", "The Wind That Shakes the Barley", "Angry Monk: Reflection on Tibet", "Klimt", "I Don't Want to Sleep Alone", "La Tourneuse de Pages", and "American Hardcore". Most films, if they did not sell out, were well attended. The closing gala featuring Pedro Almodovar's film "Volver" was also a huge success despite its $35 price tag. The days of worrying about whether they are relevant enough to come back the next year seem to be a thing of the past for Nouveau cinema.
The nightly events that happened at Just for Laughs on St. Laurent were also fairly successful. A nice mix of multi-media events took place including DJ sets, a dance-a-thon, and virtual tennis. Another event that happened in conjunction with the festival was the re-opening of the Cinema du Parc. It was a nice touch that the festival supported the rebirth of Montreal's longest running repertoire cinema house.
L'Ouvre D'Or Jury Prize: Day Night Day Night by director Julia Loktev (U.S./Germany/France)
Jury's Special Mention: The Bothersome Man by director Jens Lien (Norway) and Rechecher Victor Pellerin by director Sophie Deraspe (Quebec)
Quebec Film Critics Association Prize: The Bothersome Man by director Jens Lien (Norway)
Best Acting: Kate Dickie in Red Road (U.K./Denmark)
Radio-Canada Audience Award: The Lives of Others by director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (Germany)
NFB Short Film Award: Les Jours by director Maxime Giroux (Quebec)
Special Mention: Immortal Stories by directors Roderick Mills and Rosie Pedlow (U.K.)
Z-Tele Grand Prize (Public chosen award for best film in the outré Temps Zero section): Paprika by director Satoshi Kon (Japan)
photos by: Richard Lefevbre