World Film Festival Wrap-Up


All I expect out of a film festival is quality and access to films I cannot go and see at my local multiplex. I have never understood film festivals like Toronto where the emphasis is on showing (or giving more lip service to) Hollywood films. Why? What is the big deal when I can see them myself next week at my local AMC theatre? Film festivals like Fantasia and Montreal World Film Festival should be applauded for bringing quality without the ego and excesses of Hollywood. They bring us films from all corners of the Earth that never would have made it into our consciousness otherwise. And my heart and mind do handsprings in anticipation every year.

Once again, for me, this year the World Film Festival did not disappoint. I saw several films and each one was moving/riveting/heartbreaking, etc. for a different reason. We experienced all aspects and facets of the human condition with these films and were happier for it. It is unfortunate, however, that not as many people as I would have hoped came out to see these films. I did go to a few that were sold out like "Don't Look Down" and "Cyrano Fernandez", but others were sparsely attended.

The awards were given out at the Imperial Theatre on the evening of September 1st and it was an encouraging night for Quebec cinema. The big winner of the festival turned out to be "Ce Qu'il Faut Pour Vivre" by Quebec director Benoit Pilon. Quebec-made short film "Le Noeud Cravate" won for best short film. Beyond that films from Japan, Spain, Germany, Mexico, Israel, Belgium, Austria, France, Turkey, India, and Argentina won prizes. This demonstrated to me that the health of the worldwide film industry is good.

As part of the tributes to actor Tony Curtis and producer Alan Ladd Jr. some of their films were screened outdoors under the stars. "The Right Stuff" and "Some Like It Hot" went over well with the crowds. It was also interesting to hear some of Alan Ladd Jr.'s comments after watching his film "Young Frankenstein". He had not seen the film for roughly 33 years so his memory of it was rather foggy to say the least. Afterwards he commented that he was pleased at how well he felt it had held up over time. I think that despite all its bumps and bruises over the 32 years of its existence the same can be said for Serge Losique and his World Film Festival.

Award Winners:

JURY
President : MARK RYDELL, director (U.S.A.)
EVELYNE BOUIX, actress (France)
JOHANNE DUGAS, representing the general public (Canada)
XIE FEI, director (China)
VOJTECH JASNY, director (Czech Republic)
DANY LAFERRIÈRE, writer and director (Canada)

FEATURE FILMS

Grand prix des Americas:
OKURIBITO (DEPARTURES) by Yojiro Takita (Japan)

Special Grand Prix of the jury :
THE NECESSITIES OF LIFE (CE QU'IL FAUT POUR VIVRE) by Benoît Pilon (Canada)

Best Director :
THE TOUR (TURNEJA) by Goran Markovic (Serbia/Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Best Actress :
BARBARA SUKOWA for the film THE INVENTION OF THE CURRIED SAUSAGE (DIE ENTDECKUNG DER CURRYWURST) by Ulla Wagner (Germany)

Best Actor :
ERI CAÑETE for the film TEO'S VOYAGE (EL VIAJE DE TEO) by Walter Doehner (Mexico)

Best Screenplay:
WELCOME TO FAREWELL-GUTMANN (BIENVENIDO A FAREWELL-GUTMANN) by Xavi Puebla, screenplay by Xavi Puebla and Jesús Gil (Spain)
NOBODY TO WATCH OVER ME by Riyoichi Kimizuka, screenplay by Riyoichi Kimizuka and Satoshi Suzuki (Japan)

Best Artistic Contribution :
WOLF (VARG) by Daniel Alfredson (Sweden-Norway-Finland)

Innovation Award:
IT ALL BEGINS AT SEA by Eitan Green (Israel)

SHORT FILMS :
1st prize :
THE NECKTIE (LE NŒUD CRAVATE) by Jean-François Lévesque (Canada)

Jury Award:
FAL by Hans Van Nuffel (Belgium)

ZENITHS FOR THE BEST FIRST FICTION FEATURE FILMS 2008

Members of the jury of the First Fiction Films :
Pierre-Henri Deleau (France)
Denis Héroux (Canada)
Armand Lafond (Canada)

Golden Zenith for the Best First Fiction Feature films :
FOR A MOMENT, FREEDOM (EIN AUGENBLICK, FREIHEIT) by Arash T. Riahi (Austria/France)

Silver Zenith for the First Fiction Feature Film :
WELTSTADT by Christian Klandt (Germany)

Bronze Zenith for the First Fiction Feature Film :
SUMMER BOOK (TATIL KITABI) by Seyfi Teoman (Turkey)

PUBLIC AWARDS

The public was invited to vote for the most popular films among the feature films presented during the 2008 Montreal World Film Festival.

Public Award for the most popular film of the Festival:
THE NECESSITIES OF LIFE (CE QU'IL FAUT POUR VIVRE) by Benoît Pilon (Canada)

Public Award for the most popular Canadian Feature Film :
THE NECESSITIES OF LIFE (CE QU'IL FAUT POUR VIVRE) by Benoît Pilon (Canada)

Glauber Rocha Award for the Best Latin American Film :
DON'T LOOK DOWN (NO MIRES PARA ABAJO) by Eliseo Subiela (Argentina-France)

Award for Best documentary :
CHILDREN OF THE PYRE by Rajesh S. Jala (India)

Award for Best Canadian Short Film :
THE NECKTIE (LE NŒUD CRAVATE) by Jean-François Lévesque (Canada)

FIPRESCI PRIZE (INTERNATIONAL FILM CRITICS)
THE TOUR (TURNEJA) by Goran Markovic (Serbia/Bosnia and Herzegovina)

ECUMENICAL PRIZES
WOLF (VARG) by Daniel Alfredson (Sweden-Norway-Finland)
Special mention of the Ecumenical jury :
TEO'S VOYAGE (EL VIAJE DE TEO) by Walter Doehner (Mexico)

OTHER AWARDS
Special Awards for their exceptional contribution to the cinematographic art :
ALAN LADD JR.
TONY CURTIS
ISABELLE HUPPERT

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