'Citizen Black,' 'Orange,' and 'Man's Gotta Do' to bow

MONTREAL — Brushing aside this week’s criticism from funders, Montreal World Film Festival execs on Thursday announced early details of its lineup. Event runs Aug. 26-Sept. 6.

Fest will include the world preem of “Citizen Black,” a feature-length doc from Canuck helmer Debbie Melnyk about embattled newspaper baron Conrad Black that includes interviews with Donald Trump, Henry Kissinger and newspaper columnist (and Black’s wife) Barbara Amiel.

Montreal fest also will include the world premiere of German helmer Andreas Struck’s buddy movie “Sugar Orange” and “A Man’s Gotta Do,” a comedy from Australian Chris Kennedy (“Doing Time for Patsy Kline”).

Italo contributions will come from helmer Pupi Avati, who brings “Christmas Rematch,” his sequel to 1986’s “Christmas Present,” and Ettore Scola’s “People of Rome.”

Also unspooling is the latest pic from Portuguese thesp-turned-helmer Maria de Medeiros, “Je t’aime … moi non plus,” which looks at the relationship between artists and critics. Filmmakers Atom Egoyan, Wim Wenders, Pedro Almodovar, Ken Loach and David Cronenberg are featured along with a number of critics, including Daily Variety‘s Todd McCarthy.

Fest also will screen German helmer Franziska Meletzky’s “Wanted,” Chinese hit “Cell Phone,” French director Philippe de Broca’s “Viper in the Fist” and Spanish helmer Xavier Bermudez’s “Leon and Olvido.”

The full program will be unveiled Aug. 10.

Earlier this week, Montreal consulting firm Secor released a report, commissioned by film funders Telefilm Canada and Sodec, that was sharply critical of the fest. Sodec prexy Pierre Lafleur said that if the festival refused to change its management style, Telefilm and Sodec will consider withdrawing coin.

Fest released a terse statement saying that its “priority is finalizing plans for the 28th edition … and it will not be in a position to respond to the Secor report until after the festival ends.”

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