An Electrifying Edition

The Laureates

THE HYDRO-QUÉBEC GRAND PRIX is awarded by the public to LES CHIENS-LOUPS, directed by Dominic Leclerc.

An actor works on a La Fontaine fable with the students of a primary school in order to immerse them in his personal quest. Imagine a real time laboratory school, with children and teachers– a lively and participative artistic approach. In a certain way, Alexandre Castonguay embodies freedom within a school setting full of codes, paradigms and rules. Where does it end? Who of the dog or the wolf are we? The documentary film questions the ambiguity of social ranks and the limits of freedom.

 

This touching work full of spontaneity, laughter and poignant moments, with children at the heart of this extraordinary human experience, really won the public’s heart.

The Télébec Award was awarded to the medium-length film LE DÉFI, by director Melissa Major.

This documentary paints the portrait of Ian Clermont and his team members who train all year long to participate in an endurance race challenge. They run 105 kilometres in one day. A human look at the paradoxes when it comes to surpassing oneself and self-sacrifice.

 

This film tugged at the jury members’ heartstrings– it conveyed emotions through a touching story and a charismatic character. The jury mentions that this enlightening film gives hope and shows that reality is stronger than fiction.

 

A special mention of the Télébec jury is awarded to BROTHERS FOR LIFE – MÉMOIRES D’UNE SAISON, by Martin Guerin.

 

The members of the jury point out that this film conveyed a whole array of strong emotions and it makes the impossible seem achievable, despite knowing how the story ends.

Papicha, by Mounia Meddour received The Mediafilm Robert-Claude-Bérubé Award. Her open condemnation of religious fundamentalism and her portrayal of women’s struggle to enjoy their fundamental rights of freedom and equality seduced jury members.

The Jury wanted to give a special mention to LES MISÉRABLES, by Ladj Ly for its powerful, current and explosive subject and cinematic quality.

TANGLE by Iranian director Malileh Gholamzade received The Abitibi-Témiscamingue TVA Animation Award. The film discusses the lives of those who lost their homes during the war and are forced to leave their memories and loved ones behind. A poignant story that touched everyone’s heart.

 

This year again, Espace court has been even bolder than before, with an utterly crazy program during the Petit Théâtre du Vieux Noranda’s two screening evenings. The Télé-Québec Award, given by the public to their favourite Quebec short film, rewarded LE PIGEON, by William Mazzoleni. The prize is accompanied by a $1,000 scholarship.

The Espace court offered a new distinction this year, the Spira Award, given by a professional jury. The short film JE FINIRAI EN PRISON, by Alexandre Dostie won the honours and $10,000 worth of filming equipment or post-production room for future work.

 

The Relève Desjardins scholarship – college level – was awarded to the film CRISE DE CALME, by Camille Corbeil, Mélodie Charbonneau-Demers and Ariane Lafrenière. The jury was charmed by the proposal, a reflection of a current social concern that invites change. It also highlights the staging work and the originality of the script.

The Relève Desjardins scholarship – university level – was awarded to M. RICHARD, by Didier Belzile and Roxanne St-Arneault. The jury particularly loved the aesthetics of the film, the finesse of the sets and costumes as well as the quality of the sound design. The editing is clever, and the film demonstrates a great consistency of places and eras.

Guests of the Official Programming

Several friends of the Festival were on site and many guests were there to present the films of the official programming.  Therefore, the following people paraded on stage at Théâtre du cuivre: director Micheline Lanctôt, comedians Laurent Lucas, Gabrielle Lazure, Rose-Marie Perreault, Pierre-Luc Lafontaine, executive producer Carole Mondello and Maison 4 :3 distributor, Chantale Pagé (UNE MANIÈRE DE VIVRE), director Dominic Leclerc and actor Alexandre Castonguay (LES CHIENS-LOUPS), director Kim St-Pierre (RÉSERVOIR) accompanied by actor Jean-Simon Leduc and members of his team, director Lisette Marcotte (LE DERNIER NATAQ) with the artists who directed the tribute mural to Richard Desjardins, writer and director Audrey Diwan and the distribution coordinator at K-Films America, Émilie Guillemain (MAIS VOUS ÊTES FOUS), actor Damien Bonnard and Carole Labrie, director of sales and acquisitions at TVA Films (LES MISÉRABLES), director Mariloup Wolfe, actress Jeanne Roux-Côté and distributor Annie Blais (JOULIKS), director André Forcier, producer Linda Pinet and actors Roy Dupuis and Donald Pilon (LES FLEURS OUBLIÉES), director Beatriz Mediavilla and her team (HABITER LE MOUVEMENT – UN RÉCIT EN 10 CHAPITRES), director Melissa Major and her team (LE DÉFI), director Martin Guérin accompanied by the Huskies team from Rouyn-Noranda (BROTHERS FOR LIFE – MÉMOIRES D’UNE SAISON), director Anik Jean (LA PORTE), director Madeleine Arcand (PAPA), filmmakers Michelle Beaudoin and Marc-Antoine Jodoin (GOD, BLOOD AND GASOLINE), director Alexa Tremblay-Francoeur (AFFANNATO), as well as filmmakers of the Relève Desjardins, Ariane Lafrenière (SANS FILTRE, CRISE DE CALME) Camille Corbeil (CRISE DE CALME), Didier Belzile and Roxanne St-Arneault (M. RICHARD).



Activity Report

The 38th International Film Festival in Abitibi-Témiscamingue had a spectacularly powerful start with a novelty, LA WATCH – Talent Lab Nordique. For the occasion, some forty emerging filmmakers travelled to Rouyn-Noranda to attend master classes as well as to participate in the Espace court and the opening of the Festival. These emerging filmmakers spoke privately with director Micheline Lanctôt, producer Laurent Allaire, agent Claude Girard, sculptor Armand Vaillancourt, animator Pierre Brassard and director Jean-Marc Vallée. These generous professional artists opened up unpretentiously to answer the questions of emerging artists, in exceptional and unforgettable encounters. In addition to expanding their networks and participating in a networking activity, emerging filmmakers were able to get their fill of passion, creativity, combativeness and energy to tackle their future projects.

A screening of the official competition was offered free of charge to the general public on Saturday, October 26 in the afternoon, thanks to the collaboration of Desjardins. Thus, on the occasion of the world premiere of the documentary LES CHIENS-LOUPS, the Théâtre du cuivre was full of children and families. The question and answer period between the audience, director Dominic Leclerc, comedian Alexandre Castonguay and participants of the film was full of obvious excitement and emotionally charged.

Four screenings blocks of the official programming began with a scenic performance combining the performing arts and digital creation– Rouyn-Noranda en 4 temps. Artists from Productions Chiens pas de médaille, a Gumboots troupe and the Théâtre Regal group performed through architectural screenings by Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue  creative sciences and new media students derived from images by filmmakers in the region.

The opening night ended with the world premiere of film UNE MANIÈRE DE VIVRE, by director Micheline Lanctôt, which explores the philosophy of Baruch Spinoza through the story of three characters who will have to find their own reason for living. Part of the team came to Rouyn-Noranda for the occasion. Hence, actors Gabrielle Lazure, Rose-Marie Perreault, Laurent Lucasand Pierre-Luc Lafontaine, executive producer Carole MondelloChantale Pagé – Maison 4:3 distributor, as well as several actors from the community of Chisasibi accompanied Micheline Lanctôt on stage for quite an enjoyable presentation.

The icing on the cake of this beautiful film week, the North American premiere of LES PLUS BELLES ANNÉES D’UNE VIE, by Claude Lelouch, was presented to the public. Unable to come to Rouyn-Noranda, Mr. Lelouch still wanted to address festivalgoers via a short video.

One of the highlights of this 38th Festival is without a doubt the brunch-conference with Jean-Marc Vallée, which gathered 300 people eager to know the director of CRAZY, BIG LITTLE LIES and SHARP OBJECTS better. Animator Martin Guérin led the discussion in which Jean-Marc Vallée was very generous with his experiences, his love of cinema and music, while recalling the challenges encountered during his career as well as his good moves. With increasingly charming anecdotes, the audience hung to his every word, often laughing heartily to the funny anecdotes of the artist and his humorous take on his earlier works.

The classics of the Festival have once again delighted festival-goers, be it Espace court, presented for two nights to a public eager for crazy short films, the Ciné-muffin where families could enjoy breakfast and coffee in pajamas or Halloween costumes in front of the animated movie TERRA WILLY – PLANÈTE INCONNUE and the presentations of On va aux vues, which took place in eight seniors’ residences in the region. In addition, the André-Melançon Youth Component welcomed 3,500 students from the Rouyn-Noranda School Board from October 28 to 31 at the Petit Théâtre du Vieux Noranda and the Théâtre du cuivre. Workshops were also offered during high school classes and Theater students had the opportunity to meet actress Rose-Marie Perreault privately.

New Activities

It sure was a magical moment, on Sunday morning, October 27, at Cinema Paramount in Rouyn-Noranda, when several film enthusiasts came together to enjoy the presentation of a film in progress. The wonderful documentary directed by Marie-Julie Dallaire, BIG GIANT WAVE / COMME UNE VAGUE, pays tribute to music, that abstract, immaterial and invisible sequence of sounds that causes the same reaction in the brain as chocolate, sex or cocaine. The director, accompanied by executive producer Jean-Marc Vallée, had the opportunity to interact with the public following the presentation.

The Ciné- [Skate] Park, an original activity that combines sport and cinema made its comeback this year. Taking place at QG – salle de spectacles, the activity invited the population to come practice skateboard with actor Pierre-Luc Lafontaine, a skating aficionado. The highlight of the activity was the screening of the documentary THE TONY ALVA STORY, by director Rick Charnoski.

Also, in the field of sports, 430 students from the école secondaire d’Iberville, Élisabeth Bruyère Centre and the école secondaire La Source had the opportunity to watch the film BROTHERS FOR LIFE – MÉMOIRES D’UNE SAISON. They also met and discussed with director Martin Guérin, at Cinema Paramount. This film, which chronicles the historical journey of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies team of the QMJHL during the regular season until the conquest of the Memorial Cup, allowed students to have an enriching and interesting experience, through privileged access with witnesses of this dream season.

Finally, on Thursday, October 31, more than 160 people gathered at the Cinema Paramount to watch or re-watch Il pleuvait des oiseaux, by director Louise Archambault, in the company of Jocelyne Saucier, the author of the novel on which the feature film is based.  The activity was successful and ended with a small chat where the novelist was able to discuss with the audience.

© Louis Jalbert 2019

The 39th International Film Festival in Abitibi-Témiscamingue will run from October 31 to November 5, 2020.

– 30 –

 

Source : Claudelle Rivard

Louis Dallaire

communication@festivalcinema.ca

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© Louis Jalbert 2019

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