The CINEMANIA Film Festival will present 85 feature films and some 30 short films this year, including many international, Canadian and Quebec premieres, selected from the best of French-language cinema, all with English subtitles and accompanied by no less than 23 guests from abroad. For its 27th edition, CINEMANIA will be back in Montreal theatres from November 2 to 14 and online, accessible to the pan-Canadian public from November 2 to 21 on a dedicated broadcasting platform created in association with FestivalScope and Shift72.

Guilhem Caillard, General Director of the Festival, describes the new edition as follows: “ Exceeding. This is the first word that comes to mind when thinking about the past two years. Several crises came and went but we kept our heads and today we stand proud. Once again, we will be able to celebrate francophone creativity which has never ceased to produce, reconsider and make heard new voices that contribute to making of cinema this art so inventive and unifying.” 

Opening and closing films

Catherine Therrien’s feature film UNE RÉVISION will open the festival on Tuesday, November 2 at the Imperial Cinema, before playing across the province on November 4. UNE RÉVISION, which had its world premiere at the Angoulême Film Festival where it was a critical success and received a standing ovation from the public, is the very first Quebec film to open CINEMANIA in its 27-year history. This social-political drama, directed by Catherine Therrien and produced by Denise Robert, stars Patrice Robitaille, Nour Belkhiria, Rose-Marie Perreault, Anne-Élisabeth Bossé, as well as Rabah Aït Ouyahia, Édith Cochrane, Pierre Curzi, Gabriel Sabourin and Michel Laperrière, among others. The opening gala of the 27th edition, will be animated by Catherine Beauchamp, and made possible thanks to the Sofitel Montréal Le Carré Doré.

Étienne, a philosophy professor at the Cégep, teaches his students with passion. One day, Nacira, one of his students, puts into practice what he has taught them: questioning. Étienne and Nacira embark on a journey that challenges their deepest convictions.

On Sunday, November 14, Xavier Giannoli’s LOST ILLUSIONS will close this 27th edition of CINEMANIA at the Imperial Cinema, a screening made possible by Air Canada. This adaptation of the novel by Honoré de Balzac, which had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival and was in competition, stars Cécile de France, Vincent Lacoste, Jeanne Balibar, Gérard Depardieu, Benjamin Voisin, and Quebec’s Xavier Dolan.

France, 1800s. Lucien, a young unknown poet, leaves his native province to try his luck in Paris. Left to his own devices, he discovers the backstage of a world devoted to the law of profit and pretense. A human comedy where everything is bought and sold, literature as well as the press, politics as well as feelings, reputations as well as souls. He will love, suffer, and survive his illusions.

Distributed by Les Films Séville, a subsidiary of eOne, a Cinémaginaire production, UNE RÉVISION will be released across Quebec on Thursday, November 4, 2021. LOST ILLUSIONS will be released on January 21, 2022 and is distributed by Les Films Opale.

Many unreleased titles

During this edition, spectators will discover numerous premieres in the presence of international guests, starting with Catherine Corsini’s THE DIVIDE, presented this year in official competition at the Cannes Film Festival. In addition to accompanying her latest feature film, the director will serve as Co-President of the Jury of the “Faces of the Francophonie” Competition. THE DIVIDE stars Marina Foïs, Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi and Pio Marmaï. Festival-goers will also see Pio Marmaï in Elie Wajeman’s THE NIGHT DOCTOR alongside Vincent Macaigne. Winner of the César for Best Actress in 2020 for her role in Alice et le Maire, Anaïs Demoustier will accompany ANAIS IN LOVE by Charline Bourgeois-Tacquet, for this love story between a young woman in search of meaning and a successful novelist. Festival-goers will also see WARS by Quebec’s Nicolas Roy, which won an acting award for Éléonore Loiselle at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival earlier this year, and THE RESTLESS by Belgian director Joachim Lafosse, starring Leïla Bekhti and Damien Bonnard, who will be coming to Montreal for the occasion. Khalil Joreige and Joana Hadjithomas will present the Franco-Lebanese family drama MEMORY BOX, a co-production between Lebanon, France and Canada; MADLY IN LIFE by Ann Sirot and Raphaël Balboni will be screened in the presence of Belgian actress Jo Deseure (who just won the Best Actress award for her role at the Saint-Jean-De-Luz International Film Festival); ZERO FUCKS GIVEN, which offers a dive into the daily life of a stewardess (Adèle Exarchopoulos), will be accompanied by the two Belgian directors Emmanuel Marre and Julie Lecoustre; Gessica Généus will present the Haitian film FREDA. . Also presented will be: HONEY CIGAR by Kamir Aïnouz and AZOR by Andreas Fontana, which will be followed by a discussion on Argentina. The Belgian Laura Wandel will be present to talk about her film PLAYGROUND, which depicts harassment in schools from the perspective of a child. The screening will be followed by a public discussion on bullying in schools with the director, Quebec actors Émilie Bierre and Jasmin Roy, as well as several specialists on the subject (in association with the Jasmin Roy Foundation). Among the must-see films of 2021, we also note the selection of VILLA CAPRICE, a drama directed by Bernard Stora with Niels Arestrup and Patrick Bruel, and THE FAMILY by Fabien Gorgeart with Mélanie Thierry.

Several adaptations of literary works will be in the selection this year, starting with HAPPENING by Audrey Diwan, winner of the Golden Lion at the 78th Venice Film Festival. In this highly topical work, adapted from Annie Ernaux’s autobiographical novel, the filmmaker portrays a young French woman who must find the courage to talk about her pregnancy and her desire to end it in 1963, when the Veil law authorizing abortion had not yet come into effect. Another adaptation of Annie Ernaux’s work is SIMPLE PASSION by Danielle Arbid, with Swiss actress Laetitia Dosch, who is also featured in A LITTLE LESSON IN LOVE by Ève Deboise. Other adaptations include BETWEEN TWO WORLDS by Emmanuel Carrère with Juliette Binoche, adapted from the autobiographical story by Florence Aubenas; EUGÉNIE GRANDET, a drama based on the famous novel by Honoré de Balzac, directed by Marc Dugain; SUZANNA ANDLER by Benoît Jacquot starring Charlotte Gainsbourg, based on the Marguerite Duras play of the same name; THE SPEECH by Laurent Tirard and adapted from the novel by Fabrice Caro; FAITHFUL by Hélier Cisterne based on the work of Joseph Andras which won the Goncourt Prize for first novel in 2016; Dominik Moll’s ONLY THE ANIMALS, based on the eponymous noir novel by Colin Niell and starring Denis Ménochet and Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi alongside Laure Calamy who is also in the cast of Hubert Viel’s LOULOUTE; APPEARANCES by Marc Fitoussi freely adapted from the novel Trahie and starring Karin Viard who will also be seen in TOKYO SHAKING by Olivier Peyon whose presentation will be accompanied by a discussion on Communication in times of crisis in association with the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Montreal. Another discovery: PLAYLIST by comic artist Nine Antico who will meet her readers on Friday, November 5th at 6 pm during a signing session at the Planète BD bookstore. During this meeting open to the public, she will be accompanied by her colleague Mathieu Sapin, also a comic book artist, who will present the documentary THE DISAPPEARANCE by Jean-Pierre Pozzi at CINEMANIA, an investigation led by the illustrator on the erosion of the French Socialist Party in the context of the fortieth anniversary of the election of François Mitterrand.

In addition, festival-goers will be able to discover, as they do every year, numerous titles by established directors, including Nicole Garcia’s LOVERS with Stacy Martin, Pierre Niney – also starring in BLACK BOX, a breathtaking French thriller about the civil aviation sector – and Benoît Magimel, who will also be in the cast of PEACEFUL by Emmanuelle Bercot alongside Catherine Deneuve and Cécile De France; ANOTHER WORLD by Stéphane Brizé, presented at the Venice Film Festival with Vincent Lindon and Sandrine Kiberlain; ON A HALF CLEAR MORNING  by Bruno Dumont: a dive into the heart of the French media system with Léa Seydoux and Blanche Gardin; PROMISES, a thriller by Thomas Kruithof with Isabelle Huppert and Reda Kateb; THE YOUNG LOVERS by Carine Tardieu with Melvil Poupaud and Fanny Ardant as well as HAUTE COUTURE by Sylvie Ohayon, a behind-the-scenes look at the House of Dior with Nathalie Baye and Lyna Khoudri.

CINEMANIA will present several titles from the latest Cannes Film Festival and its parallel sections, including ONODA: 10000 NIGHTS IN THE JUNGLE by Arthur Harari, presented as the opening film of the Un Certain Regard section; GOOD MOTHER by Hafsia Herzi as well as LOVE SONG FOR TOUGH GUYS by Samuel Benchetrit; MAGNETIC BEATS by Vincent Maël Cardona; THE BRAVES by Anaïs Volpé; A TALE OF LOVE AND DESIRE by Leyla Bouzid, the drama THE HEROICS by Maxime Roy; SOFTIE by Samuel Theis and OLGA by Elie Grappe, all three presented at the Semaine de la Critique; OUR MEN by Rachel Lang with Louis Garrel and Camille Cottin; HOLD ME TIGHT by Mathieu Amalric; LINGUI directed by Chadian Mahamat Saleh Haroun and the French-Luxembourg animation film THE SUMMIT OF GODS by Patrick Imbert.

The Festival will offer, as always, a fine selection of comedies including PRESIDENTS by Anne Fontaine, loosely based on the lives of former French presidents Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande, respectively played by Jean Dujardin and Grégory Gadebois;  LABOR DAY by Julien Rambaldi, MINCE ALORS 2 by Charlotte De Turckheim, and produced by Dominique Besnehard who will be present at the screening; and finally, the choral film FANTASIES by David and Stéphane Foenkinos with Carole Bouquet, Monica Bellucci and Suzanne Clément who will be present at the screening at the Cinéma Impérial

In addition, until November 21, CINEMANIA will present many films from its online selection, including the thriller MADELEINE COLLINS by Antoine Barraud in which Virginie Efira leads a double life between France and Switzerland; ALBATROS, the latest feature film by Xavier Beauvois, presented at the Berlinale, starring Jérémie Renier, who the public will also be able to see again in THE ENNEMY by Stephan Streker; ROUGE, an ecological drama by Farid Bentoumi, with Zita Hanrot; ATOMIC SUMMER, an independent film by Gaël Lépingle about a nuclear disaster; PAUL W.R.’S LAST JOURNEY, a science-fiction film directed by Romain Quirot, with Jean Reno, and presented at the Angoulême Festival; SECRET NAME by Aurélia Georges; IBRAHIM by Samir Guesmi; SKIES OF LEBANON by Chloé Mazlo; BEASTS by Naël Marandin; FINAL SET by Quentin Reynaud with Alex Lutz and Kristin Scott Thomas and POLY, a film for children by Nicolas Vanier, adapted from the French series Les aventures de Poly by Cécile Aubry.

Finally, CINEMANIA will present Valérie Lemercier’s ALINE, a drama freely inspired by the life of Céline Dion, on November 23 at Place-des-Arts during a Gala screening at Théâtre Maisonneuve in the presence of the film’s entire crew, including the director. Distributed by Maison 4:3, ALINE will be released everywhere in Quebec on November 26, 2021.

A new competitive documentary section

This year, CINEMANIA welcomes a brand-new competitive section dedicated to French-language documentaries. The jury of this competition, composed of 5 young French-speaking professionals and presided by Mara Gourd-Mercado (Executive Director of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, Quebec section), will be in charge of awarding the Best Planet + Documentary Prize worth $2500 in cash to one of the eight filmmakers in the selection. Among the eligible titles: JANE BY CHARLOTTE by Charlotte Gainsbourg; the adaptation of Didier Eribon’s essay RETURNING TO REIMS (FRAGMENTS), presented at the Directors’ Fortnight and narrated by Adèle Haenel; the environmental film ABOVE WATER by Aïssa Maïga; WE by Alice Diop (Encounters Prize of the Berlinale 2021); VEDETTE by Patrice Chagnard and Claudine Bories; the Luxembourgish docu-drama YEAR ZERO: HOW LUXEMBOURG DISAPPEARED by Myriam Tonelotto and Julien Becker; THE DISAPPEARANCE by Jean-Pierre Pozzi; LADIES OF THE WOOD by Claus Drexel, a guided tour of the Bois de Boulogne in Paris alongside its sex workers; THEIR ALGERIA, directed by Lina Soualem.

CINEMANIA presents a selection of short films from Quebec

During this edition, CINEMANIA will present some thirty short films, 12 of which are Quebec productions. For the occasion, the festival is pleased to announce the creation of a new section within its programming: “Les Soirées du court québécois“. On Tuesday, November 9 and Wednesday, November 10, at 8:00 pm at the Outremont Theatre, several artists and artisans from the Quebec short film community will come together to present recent works in premiere. The Soirées du court québécois will be divided into two sessions of 6 titles each. Each screening will be introduced by the Festival’s Quebec short film programmers, Jason Béliveau and Catherine Pelletier. All of the selected works will be eligible for the AQCC-Nespresso Critics’ Choice Award for Best Short Film, along with other short films from the four corners of the French-speaking world, including France, Belgium, Switzerland, and Louisiana.

Events and special presentations

  • Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette Retrospective – This edition will pay tribute to director Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette. For the occasion, on Wednesday, November 3, the festival will present GODDESS OF THE FIREFLIES and INCH’ALLAH at the Cinémathèque Québécoise. Then, on November 6th, CINEMANIA will dedicate the evening to the director with the presentation of a documentary produced by the festival and directed by Kalina Bertin, ANAÏS BARBEAU-LAVALETTE: PORTRAIT OF A CREATOR. This film features the actors from GODDESS OF THE FIREFLIESKelly Depeault, Caroline Néron, Éléonore Loiselle, Robin L’Houmeau, Antoine DesRochers, Noah Parker – who all share their respective experiences working with the director, and what makes her special. The evening will be presented in collaboration with the Association des Réalisateurs et des Réalisatrices du Québec (ARRQ) and Réalisatrices Équitables.
  • BENEDETTA at Cinéma l’Amour – On the occasion of Halloween, CINEMANIA presents BENEDETTA by the sultry Paul Verhoeven in its Canadian premiere. Starring Virginie Efira, Charlotte Rampling and Lambert Wilson, this exceptional screening will take place on Sunday, October 31, 2021 at 7:30 pm at Cinéma L’Amour
  • Retrospective and master class of Catherine Corsini – Friday, November 12 at 6:30 pm at Hôtel Sofitel Montréal – Le Carré Doré. In addition to presenting her latest feature film, CINEMANIA is dedicating a retrospective to the filmmaker’s work with a master class and the presentation of two of her films: REPLAY and SUMMERTIME. The discussion will be moderated by Patrick Fabre, Director of the Saint-Jean-de-Luz International Film Festival and master of ceremonies of the Angoulême Francophone Film Festival.
  • Patrick Fabre will also present his latest documentary on cinema, LES TÊTES À CLAP, about teenage actors, on Tuesday, November 9 at 8:30 pm at the Cinéma du Musée.
  • ACTION MONTRÉAL! – From November 1 to 14, CINEMANIA presents ACTION MONTRÉAL!, an itinerary on the theme “Montreal, City of Cinema”, a fun and immersive experience that plunges spectators in the city’s various emblematic film locations. The experience takes the form of an exhibition on the Place des Festivals in the Quartier des Spectacles and a sound trail available throughout the city until July 2022. This project was made possible by the exceptional support of the City of Montreal and the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership. Produced and presented by the CINEMANIA Film Festival, directed by Lucion and Laboratoire de Contenus La Marquise.
  • On November 13 at 8:30 pm at the Imperial Cinema, CINEMANIA will present the first two episodes of the French series GERMINAL by Julien Lilti, adapted from the novel of the same name by Émile Zola. The screening will be attended by French actor Louis Peres and Quebec actress Rose-Marie Perreault.
  • On Thursday, November 4, CINEMANIA will present a retrospective on filmmakers Khalil Joreige and Joana Hadjithomas, in association with the Cinéma Public. In addition to presenting MEMORY BOX, festivalgoers will be able to discover their two previous feature films: I WANT TO SEE and THE LEBANESE SOCIETY. The filmmakers, present in Montreal, will then be part of the round table discussion La coproduction francophone au lendemain de la pandémie, which will be held on Friday, November 5 at the Cinémathèque Québécoise starting at 6pm. The discussion is made possible by the Association Québécoise de la Production Médiatique (AQPM).
  • On Monday, November 8 at 6pm, still at the Cinémathèque, the evening will be dedicated to Colonelle Films and will begin with the presentation of L’AVENTURE DE COLONELLE FILMS : PARCOURS DE PRODUCTRICES QUÉBÉCOISES, a short documentary self-produced by CINEMANIA dedicated to the young production company behind Une Colonie. The presentation will be followed by the screening of the short films MIMINE and LA VIE HEUREUSE.

Events for professionals only

  • On Tuesday, November 9, from 10:30 to 11:45 a.m., at the Cinémathèque québécoise, CINEMANIA and SODEP (La Société de développement des périodiques culturels québécois) are partnering to present a round table discussion entitled “La presse cinématographique francophone : un état des lieux“. The discussion will address several questions: How is the French-language film press doing today? In the age of social networks and forums, who still needs to listen to or read film reviews? And what about the place given to film reviews on the radio?
  • Image education symposium – For the 4th consecutive year, CINEMANIA is organizing a session of image education workshops on November 9 at the Cinémathèque Québécoise. The conference is designed specifically for high school teachers who wish to exploit the pedagogical potential of cinema. A project conducted in association with MédiaFilm and the Consulate General of France in Quebec.

Awards and Jury Official Competition “Faces of La Francophonie”

The Jury of the ” Faces of the Francophonie ” Competition is co-chaired by a Franco-Quebec duo: French filmmaker Catherine Corsini and Quebec actor Rémy Girard. It will award three prizes and is also composed of Suzanne Clément (actress), Monia Chokri (director, actress), Sébastien Pilote (director), Ava Cahen (General Delegate of the Critics’ Week of the Cannes Film Festival), and Guy Daleiden (General Director of the Film Fund Luxembourg).

Among the titles selected for the “Faces of the Francophonie” competition SOFTIE by Samuel Theis; PLAYGROUND by Laura Wandel; A TALE OF LOVE AND DESIRE by Leyla Bouzid; ZERO FUCKS GIVEN by Julie Lecoustre and Emmanuel Marre; UNE RÉVISION by Catherine Therrien; WARS by Nicolas Roy; OLGA by Elie Grappe; FREDA by Gessica Généus; MEMORY BOX by Khalil Joreige and Joana Hadjithomas and LINGUI by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun. The public will also be invited to vote for the traditional Mel Hoppenheim Audience Award.

Three major awards will be presented during the Closing Ceremony, hosted by Patrick Fabre, on Sunday, November 14 at 6:00 p.m. at the Imperial Cinema (made possible by the support of Air Canada):

The TV5 Quebec-Canada Best Film Award, for the best film of the competition, which must reflect a focus on societal, geopolitical, economic, political, or identity issues, marking one of the key countries of the great Francophonie. This must be done through a strong artistic proposal and a positioning centred on the future and/or the next generation of creators.

The National Bank Outreach Award, for the best feature film from Quebec or a Quebec minority co-production. The jury will recognize the importance of the Quebec voice in French-language film creation, specifically its thematic particularities, the role played by its cinema on the international scene and its professionals who have proven to be excellent players in the co-production field. Finally, this award was created to support the influence of Quebec cinema within the province and across Canada.

The Transatlantic Bank Jury Prize, which will be for the jury’s favourite film, is the equivalent of a special mention given to highlight the originality of a work that has made a lasting impression on the jury.


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The 27th edition of CINEMANIA will take place from November 2 to 14 in Montreal and from November 2 to 21 online across Canada.


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