A Peek at Le Festival du Nouveau Cinema

Film Entries Include a Collaboration with Studio Ghibli, Queer Issues and More

La tortue rouge, directed by Michael Dudok De Wit. Still Courtesy FNC

Feel like being transported in a world where giants walk the streets, one where hopeless romantics can’t find love because of their animal tails? Ever wanted to choose the ending of a movie? Or dreamt of exploring Mars?

The Festival du nouveau cinéma de Montréal is the venue to explore these fantasies. The organization strays from the norm, typically featuring films that break traditional narratives, and focuses on the newest developments relating to image and sound. “We want to show a vision of the future not to stay static in tradition,” said Nicolas Girard Deltruc, the FNC Executive Director.

From October 5 to 16, 340 screenings will be offered in theatres across Montreal for the 45th edition of the international festival. Creative works from 62 countries will be represented in the form of short and feature films sorted into different competitions.

For the first time this year, new categories have been created for the festival. One of these new classifications, for example, is called “The New Alchemists”—aiming to bring poetic fiction to the screen. It will supplement the existing categories like International Competition, Focus on Quebec/Canada, and others.

Also exclusive to this year are the augmented reality exhibitions that transport the viewer right into the experience. Swap bodies with someone else in “Be Boy Be Girl,” a piece from the Netherlands, or go for a stroll on Mars with “Mars 2030,” a virtual reality project from the United States.

Concordia will be featured as well. Etienne Lacelle, a student-director from the university, will be competing in the “Canadian Student Films” category with his short film, “Les Beiges.” His mini-doc is focused on the crew members that work behind the scenes in the Maple Leaf Bash, a grassroots auto-drift competition in Quebec. A free screening of the film, in addition to a ceremony event introducing the short films will take place on Oct. 11 at the Agora Hydro-Quebec of UQAM.

The sheer diversity in films this year means that “there’s something for everyone,” Girard Deltruc said.

“There’s something for everyone.“— Nicolas Girard Deltruc, FNC Executive Director

The goal with the festival, he continued, is to create a place to stimulate creation and to follow the revolution of moving images, and their producers. His goal for the audience experience-based festival is to create an environment that people will want to share together. With this in mind, the 11-day event will incorporate immersive films, with interactive experiences, live music and dance, visual art, as well as workshops and keynotes.

An announcement last week at the FNC opening press conference revealed that the festival received $20,000 from the Government of Canada through the Canada Arts Presentation Fund to ensure the growth of the festival.

Mélanie Joly, the Minister of Canadian Heritage, said she is “proud to support a cultural event that showcases Quebec and Canadian films in addition to promoting innovation and bringing together industry professionals.”

Despite the effects of austerity policies in Quebec, the festival “succeeded in surviving” the financial cuts, Girard Deltruc said.

What to Catch

Radio Dreams // Oct. 7 // 7 p.m. // Cineplex Odeon in the Quartier Latin

A film that garnered international praise—and won a prize—at the International Film Festival of Rotterdam this year, Radio Dreams follows an Iranian rock radio station settled in downtown San Francisco as they wait in anticipation for Metallica to play a live session for them. The low-budget, yet high-quality US-Iranian film is a must-see.

Wolf and Sheep // Oct. 7 // 9 p.m. // Cineplex Odeon in the Quartier Latin
This Danish-Afghan drama explores traditional beliefs about gender through a group of shepherd children in rural Afghanistan. It follows the narrative of a young girl on the edge of her community, as she dreams of doing the work of men. The film won a prize at the Festival de Cannes.

Prank // Oct. 14 // 9:30 p.m. // Cinema Imperial
On a lighter tone, Prank is an action and comedy film about teenagers getting into trouble—engaging in mischievous acts in their community to revolt and fight boredom. This endlessly creative and wacky film should be a riot.

La Tortue Rouge // Oct. 9 // 7 p.m. // Cineplex Odeon in the Quartier Latin
For all animation enthusiasts out there ,_ La tortue rouge_ is a French animation ten years in the making about a man on a deserted island trying to survive. This collaboration with Studio Ghibli and a Dutch animator shouldn’t be missed.

Below Her Mouth // Oct. 7 // 9:15 p.m. // Cinema du Parc
If you’re looking for a something passionate, Below her Mouth lends itself if a unique way to the all-too-common scenario between a woman in a hetero relationship, and her treacherous attraction to another woman. This film is unique, as it is the first Canadian fictional film to be entirely made by women.