ACFF 2020 | Festival’s 8th Edition Goes Online From Oct 5 During Mental Illness Awareness Week

Florence K Returns as Spokesperson

In the Great Tradition of the Au Contraire Film Festival:
“And Now for Something Completely Different”

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ACFF 8th Edition
October 5–19, 2020

For its 8th annual edition, the Au Contraire Film Festival(ACFF) is pleased to launch an exciting on-line & on-demand version of the fest from October 5 to 19, 2020.

This year’s special ACFF digital edition, which coincides with Mental Illness Awareness Week, will reach audiences across Montreal and around the globe with a unique lineup of films that offer unparalleled perspectives on mental health issues.

Thanks to festival Diamond Sponsor Lundbeck Canada, ACFF 2020 will be made available for free to the public, offering a program of more than 20 jury-selected films from 9 countries, chosen from over 250 international submissions.

“This year’s 8th edition of ACFF will be held exclusively online, ensuring a global audience can safely enjoy our stellar, jury-selected program. With films from all around the world ACFF 2020 is a truly international celebration of the cream of filmmaking on mental health,” explained ACFF Founder, Philip Silverberg. “With the new earlier starting date, we’re delighted to be holding the festival during Mental Illness Awareness Week, and on World Mental Health Day 2020.”
ACFF 2020 will be on-line & on-demand: users simply create a free account at films.acff.ca, and log in to have the festival at their fingertips!

ACFF 2020 PROGRAM


The ACFF 8th edition will stream custom-themed programming along different festival filmways:

FEATURE LENGTH

  • Alexandre le Fou by Canada’s own Pedro Pires, the story of a sensitive, refined man living with schizophrenia, at a crossroads in his life, was named Outstanding Achievement Documentary Feature at the Moscow International Documentary Festival and winner of Best Documentary, Best Cinematography and Best Director in a Feature at the IFA Istanbul Film Awards.
  • The USA is represented with Patient’s Rites by Issa Ibrahim, an 18-year inpatient in an asylum. Using the institution of popular song married to the music video idiom, he created an autobiographical musical documentary exposing the familiar tropes and stereotypes associated with the mental health community while opening a dialogue about preconceived and prejudicial ideas. 
  • From Belgium, Petit Samedi, a film by Paloma Sermon-DaĂŻ, plunges the viewer into the heart of the complex and heartbreaking relationship between a mother and her 43-year-old son struggling against his addictions.

SHORT FILMS

The Short Film program delivers very different perspectives, real and imaginary.

  • Abolir les calĂšches… et l’humain dans tout ça?, a local film by Vincent Laliberté reflects on the human impact of Montreal’s recent banning of horse-drawn carriages on the level of the coachman community. 
  • Sometimes I Think About Dying by Stefanie Abel Horowitz is a refreshingly honest examination of depression and social isolation that was nominated for Best Live Action Short Film at the 92nd Academy Awards 
  • France is represented by the musically-themed winner of the Prix TV5 Monde, Lucie Plumet’s The Girl With OCD.

ANIMATIONS

Notable among other shorts in the ACFF Animated Mind series are The Great Malaise, a Canadian narrative film by Catherine Lepage portraying the thoughts and worries of a person who suffers from anxious unhappiness, and New York based filmmaker Nate Milton’s Eli, a true story based on his experiences within the realms of high strangeness, magical thinking and manic delusion. 

Uncle Thomas: Accounting for the Days, an NFB production directed by Regina Pessoa, is a testament to the love of her eccentric uncle who played a key role in her becoming a filmmaker. It was shortlisted for Best Animated Short Film at the Oscars and won the Jury Prize at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival.  

MINI-FESTIVAL FILM SILOS

Classroom Cinema redirects its Youth Awareness Program from the theatre to the students in their schools and on-line learning venues. The 2020 program spotlights UNSTUCK: an OCD kid’s movie, a family-friendly short film that lets kids and teens speak truthfully about obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and explains how they learned to face their fears and regain control of their lives.

Clubhouse Cinema continues its tradition of presenting meaningful films to its community, but in 2020, with a broader focus, available to over 300 Clubhouses in 29 countries.

Community Cinema once again reaches out to Montreal’s mental health community through organizations such as RACOR and with virtual, interactive focused screenings like What Connects Us, a dementia community investment project, all with films that not only enlighten but educate and entertain.

Corporate Cinema provides its supporting donors and sponsors with “lunch and learn” opportunities to view a snapshot of the world of mental illness and to discuss the impact of the films.

ACFF 2020 SPOKESPERSON
Juno Award winning musician and CBC radio host Florence K is delighted to reprise her role as Spokesperson for Au Contraire Film Festival‘s 8th edition.
“It is with great pleasure that I will be the 2020 Au Contraire Film Festival spokesperson. It is critically important to continuously stem the taboos that still unfortunately surround mental illness. I feel particularly close to the mission of the Au Contraire Film Festival as it recognizes the power of creative expression as a catalyst inspiring de-stigmatization and mobilization. I am pleased to invite you to attend the 8th annual ACFF,” stated Florence K, ACFF 2020 Spokesperson.

A psychology/mental health scholar and a Bell Let’s Talk Ambassador,  Florence K has been recognized by the CAMH (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto) as one of the 150 leading Canadians in mental health. Following the release of her best-selling book Buena Vida where she recounts her journey through severe depression and psychiatric hospitalization, Florence K tours the country with talks in which she shares her story and offers audiences personal insight on the role of mental health in society today.

The full ACFF 2020 program will be available here as of Monday, Sep. 21

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