Lepage pic to open Montreal Festival

TORONTO — The world premiere of Robert Lepage’s “NO” will unspool for the opening-night gala of the 22nd annual Montreal World Film Festival, running Aug. 27-Sept. 7.

Set in Osaka during the 1970 World’s Fair, “NO” is about a woman who discovers she is pregnant and then must face an urgent and difficult choice alone as a new life begins to transform her own.

“NO” stars Annie-Marie Cadieux, Alexis Martin, Marie Brassard, Marie Gignac and Richard Frechette. In addition to directing “NO,” Lepage also co-wrote the screenplay with Andre Morency. Lepage’s first film, “Le Confessional,” opened the Directors Fortnight in Cannes. “NO” is his third feature.

“Hansards ou Coincidences,” the latest from Claude Lelouch, has been chosen as the festival’s closing-night gala. Filmed in Quebec, Italy, Mexico and Turkey, “Hansards ou Coincidences” is about Miriam (Alessandra Martines,) a young dancer who, in the midst of a fairy tale globe-trotting existence, sets out on a quest for love. The film also stars Pierre Arditi, Marc Hollogne, Laurent Hilaire and Veronique Moreau. Lelouch will be attending the festival.

“Hansards ou Coincidences” is a Canadian/French co-production between Les Films 13 and SDA Prods., a Coscient Group company. The film’s Canadian distributor is Coscient’s Motion Intl.

As always, there will be a strong Japanese cinematic presence at the festival, this year with a lineup of nine Japanese films, including Hideyuki Hirayama’s “Begging for Love,” which will represented in the official competition, and Shohei Imamura’s “Dr. Akagi” and Nobuhiko Obayashi’s “Sada,” which will be presented in the Official Selection.

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