THE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF FILMS ON ART UNVEILS ITS AMBITIOUS AND DIVERSE PROGRAM REFLECTING TODAY’S WORLD
The International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA) is pleased to unveil the ambitious program for its 38th edition, which will be held in Montreal from March 17 to 29 and, for a third consecutive year, in Quebec City from March 20 to 29, 2020. More than 240 films, documentaries, interactive works, media works, and music videos from more than forty countries will captivate, inspire and open the minds of audiences. In addition to the films presented in the official selection and competition, a series of events, cartes blanches and collaborative works will be available to the public. Among the new features this year, FIFA will have screenings for families and open a section dedicated to music videos. It will also introduce the new wave of Chinese creators, devote a special program to Iranian artists and present the world’s most beautiful artistic performances on the big screen.
THE 38TH EDITION IN NUMBERS: 244 works – 39 countries – 73 Canadian films – 154 screenings in Montreal and Quebec City – 9 venues – 47 world premieres – 43 North American premieres – 52 Canadian premieres – 13 days
FIFA features as many films directed by women as by men in the competition and official selection.
THE FILMS OF THE 38TH EDITION
We Are Not Princesses by Bridgette Auger and Itab Azzam will open the 38th edition of the festival. The directors tell the story of Syrian women in a Beirut refugee camp as they put on a production of Sophocles’ play Antigone. Much like this film, the films in the official selection and competition express the wish of directors, producers and artists to share their visions of the world, their passion and their experiences. Their moving stories reach out to meet the other with empathy and selflessness.
EXCEPTIONAL WOMEN: This year, many films focus on the women who left their mark on their era. In contemporary art: Marina Abramović, Sigalit Landau, Shirin Neshat, Katharina Sieverding, Niki de St-Phalle; in design: Charlotte Perriand; in photography: Dora Maar, Martha Cooper; in film: Isabelle Huppert, Simone Signoret; in painting: Audrey Flack, Mary Pratt; in music: Barbara Hannigan; in dance: Peggy Baker. All are recognized for their extraordinary careers and exceptional work.
DANCE: This edition features a large number of feature-length and short films about dance in the form of both documentaries and filmed performances. It includes exceptional recordings such as Quatre chorégraphes d’aujourd’hui à l’Opéra de Paris by Cédric Klapisch and Miguel Octave, as well as Body and soul by Canadian Crystal Pite. Many of the short films feature dancing including Aida by Edward Lock, GHOST featuring Tentacle Tribe, and L’étreinte des Valkyries by Alan Lake. The documentary American Tap shows the evolution of tap dancing and its place in the history of the African American and Irish communities in the United States. Forward is a dance journey in northern Norway. Other films such as The Euphoria of Being, Corps émouvants, L’âge d’or and Gioia testify to the therapeutic, inclusive and inspiring nature of dance as a means of expression.
QUEBEC FILMS: Among the films from Quebec are two feature films about poetry, a rare treat at the festival. Raôul Duguay, par delà La bittt à Tibi, directed by Yves Langlois, pays tribute to this tireless multidisciplinary artist, visionary and humanist, while Plus haut que les flammes is a sensitive and touching film adaptation of a collection of poetry by Louise Dupré, narrated by Violette Chauveau and directed by Monique Leblanc. Many of the Quebec films were directed by women. Le Dernier Nataq by Lisette Marcotte takes us to Rouyn to meet a group of artists, including the well-known Richard Desjardins, who are tasked with painting a mural based on his work. Derouin métis des Amériques, directed by Julie Corbeil, is an intimate portrait of this influential artist who continues to split his work between Mexico and Quebec. Mouffe, muse et mentore directed by Carmel Dumas, tells us the story of this artist who has been part of the Quebec art scene for more than 50 years. Finally, in the film Traces of Hope by Christine Doyon, we follow the creation of an animated film by Syrian children in a Lebanese refugee camp.
ENGAGED ART: Certain artists and directors pursue their artistic, political and social engagement through their works. Many of the films bear witness to this reality and to the justness of the struggle for free expression. Beijing Spring looks back on the dissident group of artists Stars and the repression they suffered at the time of Mao’s death. Lemebel is a portrait of Pablo Lemebel, writer, visual artist and pioneer of the Queer movement in Latin America. His work shook Chilean society at the height of Pinochet’s dictatorship and he continued his fight until his death in 2015. The eponymous film, Ernest Pignon, Ernest à taille humaine, is a portrait of this artist who is considered the father of street art and who travels the globe hanging his engaged and very human images. Kirill Serebrennikov A Theatre Director Under Arrest shows the life of this internationally renowned theatre director in a Moscow jail as he follows the production of one of his pieces in Strasbourg. These stories testify to the power of art.
CREATIVITY: Creativity is at the heart of many of the feature documentaries. In Why Are We Creative: The Centipede’s Dilemma, the question is asked to dozens of artists, business people and scientists over many years; the documentary expands our vision of what it represents. Echoes of the Invisible shows us exceptional journeys that bring together art, science and spirituality. Art on Fire follows the story of Burning Man 2018 right up to the burning of the effigy at the end of the festival.
PORTRAITS OF ARTISTS: Always popular with festival audiences, this edition includes many portraits of artists: in gastronomy: Auguste Escoffier; in music: Eliades Ochoa; in photography: Peter Lindbergh and Elliott Erwitt; in fashion: Yohji Yamamoto and Yves Saint-Laurent; in architecture: Richard Neutra, Ernest Cormier and Piet Oudolf; in painting and sculpture: the Indigenous Canadian artist Robert Davidson; in contemporary art: Marcel Duchamp, and two Renaissance masters: Leonardo da Vinci and Tintoretto.
INVESTIGATIONS: Finally, many films take the form of reports. The Man Who Played with Fire looks back on the little-known work of famous writer Stieg Larsson, author of Millennium and a tireless activist who studied and fought the far right. L’affaire Caravage is a captivating report on the art market when a 400-year-old painting by Caravaggio emerges in April 2016. Léonard de Vinci et le chef d’œuvre redécouvert: In the year of Leonardo da Vinci’s 500th birthday, the Louvre must authenticate one of the master’s works, The Madonna of the Yarnwinder, of which an original already exists. Is it a copy ?
This section, curated by Nicole Gingras, showcases cinema, both films and videos, and those who see it as a tool to reflect on art, history, current events, the world and natural resources, and who use it as a way to explore the creative process via the notions of memory, identity, origins, research, shamanism, or even those of collaboration, the subject or the author. In all these works, we see unique methods and signatures emerge, as well as a vulnerability that exposes the artist as a witness of our time.
The FIFA Expérimental section includes 5 screenings and 22 works created by artists from Quebec, Canada, Germany, Austria, Belgium, the United States, Finland, Japan and Sweden.
For the first time, FIFA includes a selection of music videos chosen by Jérôme Rocipon, former singer of the group Numéro#, columnist, researcher and director of the film Coucou l’artiste, shown at FIFA’s 37th edition. During a screening entitled + de vidéoclips, the audience will be immersed in all that music videos have to offer in 2020. Stories, languages, mixing of forms, but especially a worldwide freedom, all guided this very personal selection looking at the creation of a genre that has its place on the big screen.
Wilder Building, Saturday, March 21, 2020 at 5:30 PM
THE MAIN EVENTS OF THE 38TH EDITION
FIFA has dedicated a full-day Carte blanche to the Paris Opera at Cinéma Impérial. In this majestic venue, the screen will be lit up with short films and recordings of performances from 2019 that cannot be seen anywhere else in Montreal. Among the works presented will be a recording of Verdi’s Traviata with Pretty Yende in the lead role, Body and Soul, a choreography by Crystal Pite to the music of Frederic Chopin, and Les Indes Galantes by Jean-Philippe Rameau, with stage direction by Clément Cogitore and choreography by Bintou Dembele.
Cinéma Impérial, Saturday, March 21, 2020
FIFA presents a recording of one of the most beautiful shows in the world in Las Vegas. In “O”, Cirque du Soleil weaves a timeless and water-themed tapestry of art, surrealism and romance. Inspired by the concept of infinity and the purified elegance of water, “O” pays homage to the magic of the theatre – from the simple street performer to the most extravagant operas – where everything is possible and where the drama of life unfolds before our very eyes. World-class acrobats, synchronized swimmers, divers and enchanted characters perform their feats in, on and above the water, providing an extraordinary experience.
Cinéma Impérial, Thursday, March 26, 2020 at 7 PM
To mark the 80th anniversary of Fantasia, FIFA is screening a restored version of Walt Disney’s iconic film. A masterpiece of animation, Fantasia is a film on art that expresses the harmony between music and images in the truest tradition of Disney magic.
Cinéma Impérial, Saturday, March 28 at 2 PM
SPECIAL SCREENINGS AND SPECIAL EVENTS
MASTER CLASS BY MARK LEWIS: Rapt of the Spectator
In 2016, Mark Lewis received the Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts and he is one of Canada’s most important contemporary artists. Based in London, his films, which are usually silent and presented as installations, peer into our world and the changing imaging technologies that have radically altered our perception and experience of time. A selection of eight films directed between 2010 and 2019, this event is a unique journey through Lewis’ impressive work. In either grandiose or intimate tracking shots, Lewis’ camera alternates between tension, discomfort, vertigo, and desire, constantly unsettling the relationship between the gaze of the subject and the object.
The master class will be led by Catherine Bédard, Head of the Exhibition Program and Deputy Director of the Canadian Cultural Centre of the Canadian Embassy in Paris.
Co-presented with the Musée d’art contemporain (MAC)
Cinéma Impérial, Wednesday, March 18 at 5:45 PM