What’s It All About?
One of Canada’s oldest festivals, the Montreal World Film Festival (MWFF) was established in 1977. It is held every year in Quebec city in Canada. Unlike its other Canadian cousin, the Toronto Film Festival, which is restricted to English-language films, this festival showcases both English and Canadian films. The MWFF also focuses on an assortment of the best of world cinema from upcoming as well as seasoned filmmakers.
The festival’s jurors are chosen from a wide range of international artists, based on their body of work and respect from their peers. This year’s jury is led by Greta Scacchi.
• World Competition
• First Films World Competition
• Hors Concours (World Greats, out-of competition)
• Focus on World Cinema (Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania)
• Documentaries of the World
• Cinema Under the Stars
• Our Cinema
• Canadian Student Film Festival
Watch Out For!
This year’s strong line-up boasts 432 films, of which 212 are features, including 110 world or international premieres; 16 medium-length films; 144 short films; and 16 films as part of the Canadian Student Film Festival.
German director Volker Schlöndorff will deliver a master class at the festival. His latest film Calm At Sea (2011) will be shown too.
The festival will open with Lisheng Lin’s Million Dollar Crocodile, which is about an escaped reptile and his young human protector.
The only Quebec film in the festival’s World Competition section is the Japanese-Canadian co-production, Claude Gagnon’s Karakara.
Sienna Miller, Billy Zane, Danny Huston and Jacqueline Bisset’s film Two Jacks (US); Yazhou Yang and Bo Yang’s film Wings (China); and Yasuo Furuhata’s Dearest (Japan) are some of the films that will also be screened.
The competition section will also feature four films circling the topic of the Second World War. Marcin Krzysztalowicz’s Manhunt (Poland) is about an armed Polish partisan awaiting orders to kill Nazi troops in 1943.
Alexander Proshkin’s Expiation (Russia) is a love story set in war-stricken southern USSR in 1946.
Franziska Schlotterer’s Closed Season (Germany-Israel) showcases a married German farmer who hides a young Jewish man in his barn, with an unusual caveat.
Jan Troell’s The Last Sentence (Sweden) focuses on a Swedish journalist who opposed the Nazis.
The lone Quebec inclusion in the First Films World Competition is Babek Aliassa’s Halal Butcher Shop, about a young Muslim couple that struggles against tradition to open a business.
China Film Business Week at MWFF
The China Film Business Week, which will be held in Montreal from August 27 to 31, within the framework of the festival. It will be articulated around four large groups including the China Movie Channel, which broadcasts on 21 national networks and the China Film Group, which produces 30 features, 1,000 telefilms and 400 TV series annually. Via its subsidiary, the China Film Co-Production Corporation, the China Film Group also manages all Chinese co-productions with foreign companies in over 50 countries.
Director James Huth’s glossy romantic French comedy, Happiness Never Comes Alone will close the festival. The film features Sophie Marceau and Gad Elmaleh in the lead.