The Link’s Guide to the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma

  • Photo courtesy of the FNC

The Festival du Nouveau Cinéma, one of Montreal’s most prestigious film-festivals, is taking off for its 44th year. The Link spoke with one of the festival’s programmers, Julien Fonfrède, about the highlights and focuses of the lineup.

“There are trends right now with films on Latin America, and a boom in production [coming] from Brazil and Venezuela,” Fonfrède said. That’s why this year he says FNC is pleased to be screening Venezuelan film From Afar (Desde allá), directed by Lorenzo Vigas. The film made history when it won the Golden Lion award at this year’s Venice Film Festival, the first Latin American film to win the festival’s highest prize.

The FNC has always been a place for Canadian and Montreal films, and this year is no exception. Fonfrède gave The Link a sneak-peek into some of the hottest Canadian films featured this year.

ENDORPHINE: An ensemble drama about three Simones dealing with trauma on different story lines. Directed by Montrealer André Turpin, whose credits include work with Xavier Dolan, Fonfrède described the film as “almost like a thriller like a Christopher Nolan movie, [but] less demonstrative.”

SLEEPING GIANTS: This film by Andrew Cividino, a native of Ontario. Sleeping Giants follows three teenage boys in their summer adventures and debauchery at Lake Superior. The film was an official selection of Toronto International Film Festival 2015.

THE FORBIDDEN ROOM: The FNC will be featuring this as their closing film. It’s been called one of the most prestigious Canadian films of the year, being screened at Sundance Film Festival and the Berlin International Film Festival. Directed by Guy Maddin and starring Roy Dupuis, it follows a group of people in a submarine that has been trapped underwater for months. Parts of the film were shot in Montreal at the Phi Centre. The film will have a second screening there on Oct. 23, so the audience can experience the movie “within” the set.

Fonfrède calls the film “half and half contemporary art and cinema.”

Another theme at this year’s festival is North Korean film.

“[Its] very rare to see films from North Korea, [but there is] a very big film industry,” Fonfrède said. “Making films with drama was a way to look at the country outside of the circumstances usually surrounding it.” The four films screening are The Tale of Chun Hyang (1980), A Broad Bellflower (1987), The Schoolgirl’s Diary (2007) and The Flower Girl (1972).

Along with fictional films, FNC is bringing a documentary from North Korea to Montreal. Dennis Rodman’s Big Bang In Pyongyang follows the famous 2014 basketball game that took place between Rodman’s American team and a team of North Korean players.

“At that time, it was very covered by Western media but they couldn’t actually film anything inside,” Fonfrède said. “So while you had these insane interviews, now you can see exactly what happened there and understand.”

Some other notable films which will be screening at the FNC this year:

LOVE: Director Gaspar Noé is known for “making films which people love and shriek about for their explicit nature,” Fonfrède jokingly explained. This film is no exception, as it is a love story featuring 3D pornography. The director, Noé will be coming to present his movie, which was one of the biggest films at Cannes this year.

WACKEN 3D THE MOVIE: The German film which follows the biggest metal festival in the world, Wacken 3D is directed by Norbert Heitker and shot with six cameras and 18 stereoscopic 3D cameras. The film merges music and cinema, following not only the performances, but also the life and routine of the audience staying at the festival.

EVERYTHING WILL BE FINE: Directed by Wim Wenders, known for his Oscar-nominated documentaries Buena Vista Social Club (1999) and Pina (2011), the film follows a writer struggling to deal with the aftermath of a tragedy and stars James Franco and Rachel McAdams.

The festival also features installation art as part of its line-up. One installation, Food Sessions is a movie without images or a screen, replacing those with food and narration. The participants sit at a long table to enjoy a meal, plugging into the narration via headphones. They become a part of the narration, in unison with everyone else at the table. Fifteen sessions will be hosted over the course of the FNC at the Agora.

Festival du Nouveau Cinéma // Oct. 7 to 18 // Various locations and prices // For more info visit: nouveaucinema.ca

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