The 22nd edition of CINEMANIA ended this past Sunday evening with the screening of the movie VICTORIA by Justine Triet with French-Belgian actress Virginie Efira in attendance. A successful edition, particularly popular with film buffs. Several screenings were sold out. CINEMANIA being the unique opportunity to see in Montreal the greatest French-language films of the year that have distinguished themselves at international festivals, the 2016 edition included 50 films, including 40 premieres, several prestigious guests and numerous professional events.
On stage at the Imperial Cinema, several special guests took part in the 11 days of the festival: the guest of honor, the director, screenwriter and actress Nicole Garcia, accompanied by her habitual co-writer Jacques Fieschi, directors Philippe Lioret, Thomas Lilti and Elliott Covrigaru, directors Muriel and Delphine Coulin, actor Raphaël Personnaz, actresses Astrid Whettnall, Soko and Virginie Efira, producer Marielle Duigou, and producer Dominique Besnehard. These artists also participated in exchanges with festival attendees after screenings of their films.
Shot in Québec, Philippe Lioret’s Le fils de Jean is the recipient of the Grand Prix Mel Hoppenheim, which has been awarded at the Festival since its creation in 1998. Presented as a North American premiere, this France-Québec co-production features several actors from Quebec, including Gabriel Arcand, Marie-Thérèse Fortin, Catherine De Léan, Pierre-Yves Cardinal and Patrick Hivon. The film follows the story of Mathieu (Pierre Deladonchamps), a 33-year-old Frenchman who never knew his father. One morning in Paris, an phone call comes that tells him that his father was a Quebec native and that he has just died. Discovering that he also has two half-brothers, Mathieu decides to go to Montreal to attend the funeral and meet them. Once there, he realizes that the two did not even suspect his existence. Moreover, the best friend of the deceased, an introverted sexagenarian seems to want to conceal the identity of Mathieu.
Le fils de Jean was also presented at Cinemania as part of the Francophone Coproduction Meetings (RCF) co-organized by SODEC and the Festival. The North American premiere of this highly anticipated film took place during the 13th RCF, bringing together over 230 professionals who participated in workshops and conferences from November 8 to 11 at the Sofitel Montreal Le Carré Doré and at the Cinémathèque québécoise. Le fils de Jean was produced by France (Marielle Duigou and Philippe Lioret of Fin August Production) and Quebec (Marie-Claude Poulin and Pierre Even of Item 7) and it embodied perfectly the spirit of the RCF.
La Danseuse by Stéphanie Di Giusto wins with the Prix du Public TFO for the best debut feature length film.
There were seven films eligible for the TFO Audience Award and festival attendees chose their winner.
Presented at CINEMANIA for its North American premiere, this historical drama tells the true story of Loïe Fuller, American dancer and choreographer in Paris Belle Epoque. A visionary creator, Fuller was a pioneer of modern dance, costumes and stage lighting. Creative visionary of the Folies Bergère, she quickly became famous and was the muse of Toulouse-Lautrec and Rodin. Portrayed by the talented actress Soko, Fuller truly influenced modern artistic aesthetics. LA DANSEUSE also starred Lily-Rose Depp (daughter of Vanessa Paradis and Johnny Depp), who plays the legendary Isadora Duncan, Loïe Fuller’s lover.
The 23rd edition of the CINEMANIA Film Festival will take place from November 2-12, 2017.