Nouveau Cinema snares top films

Festival to run from Oct. 10 - 21

The Montreal Festival du Nouveau Cinema, the city’s smaller, edgier film fest, has snared some of the top Canuck pics of the year for its 36th edition, running Oct. 10 to 21.

This is in sharp contrast to the bigger Montreal World Film Festival, which was notably short on English-Canadian pics from outside Quebec this year.

Opening night pic is “Durs a cuire,” a portrait of two Montreal chefs from first-time feature filmmaker Guillaume Sylvestre.

The festival will present Guy Maddin’s tribute to his hometown, “My Winnipeg,” which won the prize for Canadian feature at the recently wrapped Toronto Intl. Film Festival; Toronto helmer Jeremy Podeswa’s Holocaust-themed “Fugitive Pieces,” the opening pic at Toronto; and Toronto director Bruce McDonald’s “The Tracey Fragments,” which world preemed earlier this year in Berlin.

The festival du Nouveau Cinema didn’t used to have a strong Canuck and/or Quebec selection, but began to beef up that side of its programming with last year’s creation of the section Focus Quebec/Canada.

And this looks to be a stellar year for Canadian fare at the fest. Nouveau Cinema program director Claude Chamberlan has an easier time snaring Canadian films than Montreal World Film Festival president Serge Losique simply due to the timing of the two events. The World Film Festival takes place right before the Toronto fest and that makes it difficult for Losique to nab Canadian pics because so many filmmakers want to be in Toronto. The Nouveau Cinema is always several weeks after Toronto, so the Montreal fest can screen many of the Canuck films that already played at the Toronto event.

There is also a strong Quebecois line-up at this year’s Festival du Nouveau Cinema, including “Continental, A Film Without Guns,” Stephane LaFleur’s pic that took first Canadian feature prize at Toronto fest.

Also coming to the Montreal fest are Clement Virgo’s “A Poor Boy’s Game,” a boxing drama set in Halifax and starring Rossif Sutherland; helmer-thesp Carole Laure’s “La Capture”; Bruce Sweeney’s “American Venus”, which stars Rebecca De Mornay as an obsessive mother; and Peter Raymont’s “A Promise to the Dead” a docu on Chilean writer Ariel Dorfman.

The full programming of the Montreal Festival du Nouveau Cinema will be announced at a press conference Sept. 25 in Montreal.

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