Montreal lines up ‘Dancer’ for launch

Festival closes with Lepage's 'Possible Worlds'

MONTREAL — The Montreal Intl. Festival of New Cinema and New Media, the city’s annual indie fest, kicks off this year with the local preem of Danish auteur Lars von Trier’s Palme d’Or-winning pic “Dancer in the Dark.”

The 29th edition of the event, which will run Oct. 12-22, closes with a screening of “Possible Worlds,” the first English-language feature from Quebec legit and film helmer Robert Lepage.

The festival lineup — which includes 72 features, 93 shorts and 50 new-media presentations — was announced Tuesday in Montreal.

Event, which tends to focus on less mainstream fare than the Montreal World Film Festival, has programmed many of the top fest titles from the past months, notably Venice Golden Lion winner “The Circle,” from Iranian helmer Jafar Panahi; Hong Kong filmmaker Wong Kar-Wai’s Cannes prize winner “In the Mood for Love”; and Edward Yang’s “Yi Yi (A One and a Two),” which took the top prize at the Sarajevo festival.

‘Bread and Roses’

Other titles set to unspool at the fest include “Bread and Roses,” Ken Loach’s agitprop tale of unionization in L.A.; Zang Yang’s “Shower”; and Spike Lee’s “Bamboozled.”

In addition, a number of high-profile Quebec pics will make their bow at the festival.

There will be a section devoted to digital cinema, including Claude Miller’s “La chambre des magiciennes” and Philippe Falardeau’s “La moitee gauche du Frigo.”

Event also will feature a forum on new media and digital trends with fest president and Softimage founder Daniel Langlois, seasoned Gallic helmer Agnes Varda and performance artist Michel Lemieux.

Dimitri Eipides, one of the founders of the festival, has returned to the programming fold after an absence of several years. Eipides, who also programs at the Toronto Intl. Film Festival, has created a documentary section, including 13 features.

Tributes readied

Fest will also pay tribute to Quebec animation helmer Michele Cournoyer, British videomaker David Larcher and dancer-performer Tatsumi Hijikata.

The early guest list for the festival includes Atom Egoyan and thesp Arsinee Khanjian (who is on the feature jury); helmer Robert Lepage and thesp Tilda Swinton for “Possible Worlds”; and Montreal helmer Denys Arcand, on hand for the docu on his life and work, “De l’art et de la maniere chez Denys Arcand.”

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