Winners of the indoors 39th Festival du cinéma international en Abitibi-Témiscamingue

A feel good Festival

The 39th Festival du cinéma international en Abitibi-Témiscamingue just ended. The closing ceremony broadcasted online through the Facebook page of the Festival, for each one to watch from the comfort of their homes.


As usual, the audience granted the GRAND PRIX HYDRO-QUÉBEC For the first time, this year, the audience voted online for its favorite film, a new way of doing that received much positive feedback.

They chose La odisea de los Giles, by Sebastián Borensztein, as the big winner of the GRAND PRIX HYDRO-QUÉBEC.

In times of the infamous Argentinian Corralito in 2001, the financial crisis hits. After figuring out that their bank manager and a corrupt lawyer have stolen all their money, a few neighbours from a little town trace a plan to recover the money they lost by acquiring abandoned silos. Nothing goes as planned.

The spectators particularly loved the humorous tone of the scenario, the endearing characters and the originality of the story.


In the same line, the audience, also through online voting, chose the winner of the PRIX ANIMÉ TVA ABITIBI-TÉMISCAMINGUE.

They elected Athleticus : Une patinoire pour deux, directed by Nicolas Deveaux.

Flamingos are practicing their ice skating choreography, while elephant hockey players invade the rink.

The audience was charmed by the humorous proposition, its uniqueness and the animation work, reproducing perfectly the artistic skaters’ and hockey players’ mimics.


The PRIX TÉLÉBEC rewards the director for best short or medium film of the 2020 selection, by a jury consisting of Bruno Crépeault, Magali Monderie Larouche and Dominique Paquin-Raymond. The winner, who also gets a grant of 1 000 $, is Comme une comète, by Ariane Louis-Seize.

The Télébec jury explains what pleased them:

« The honesty of the scenario and the casting, the surprising and refreshing ending, for the technical sensibility and the daring of director who did not demonize the stepfather, the jury Télébec decided to reward Comme une comète, by Ariane Louis-Seize. »


The PRIX MÉDIAFILM-ROBERT-CLAUDE-BÉRUBÉ rewards a feature film on its artistic quality and ethical values. The jury included Béatriz Mediavilla, Camille Trembley and Olivier Lefebure, who watched the 16 participating films.

Here are the reasons that motivated their final choice :

« For its subtle and strong perspective about the reality of immigrants in the United-States, for its original cinematographic story about a family, for its mastered direction delivering a message of hope, for all these criteria, we decided to grant the prize MÉDIAFILM-ROBERT-CLAUDE-BÉRUBÉ to Los Lobos, by director Samuel Kishi Leopo. »


Espace court was exceptionally solely online, for the great pleasure of people at home. In fact, we counted more than 3 800 views for the two screening blocks. Another spectacular change, the PRIX TÉLÉ-QUÉBEC selected by a jury consisting in professionals, François Charette, Rémi Fréchette and Aude Weber-Houde.

Here are the criteria on which they based their choice:

« For the ambition of the production, its ease to promote strong emotions with very few words, for its impressive formal quality (photography, acoustic design and edition) and, at last, for the ensemble, having captivated us all the way. The Espace court jury chose Found me, by David Findlay. »


The same jury had also to determine the winner for the PRIX SPIRA for Best director of all Espace court selection. This prize consists of a 10 000 $ grant to rent equipment or post production services for a future production at Spira. Here they share what they loved about the grand winner :

« For the preciseness of the staging, creating an agonizing atmosphere, for the detail orientation of each scene, for the remarkable actors’ direction, for his format mastering of horror codes, the jury for Espace court gives the PRIX SPIRA for best director to the film Regret, by Santiago Meng.


The 2020 jury included Annie-Claude Caron, Valentin Foch and Marika Jacob, who had the joyous task to choose the winners of the Prix de la Relève Desjardins of the Cégep de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue and the Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, each one a grant of 500 $.

The grand winner of the Cégep de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue is Antoine Girard, with his traditional animated film, L’apocalypse confortable. The juries explain their choice :

« We were pleased by the choices of staging, the polished work of the director and cynical but relevant theme, truly a subject of timeliness. That is why we chose L’apocalypse confortable by Antoine Girard. »

As of the victor of the Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, the juries decided to reward Mia Salera and Félix Caouette, for the 3D animated film Drought. Here is why:

« We were very impressed by the great cinematographic quality of our final choice. With the amazing lightning, the preciseness in details, the texture work and audio processing and the successful intrigue, we chose the film Drought, by Mia Salera and Félix Caouette. »


Because of rigid and safe measures, the 39th Festival du cinéma international en Abitibi-Témiscamingue was able to welcome a few guests of our Québec artistic landscape. They all were thrilled to introduce their work to a real audience, in a real screening room.

We had the great pleasure to welcome on the Théâtre du cuivre’s stage, Benoit Pilon, Sébastien Ricard, Émilie Bibeau, Arnaud Vachon, (Le club Vinland), Martin Villeneuve (Imelda 3 : Simone et Imelda 2 : Le notaire), Ginette Reno (Imelda 3 : Simone), Robert Lepage (Imelda 2 : Le notaire), Philippe Falardeau (My Salinger year), Maxime Genois, Félix Poirier (Tranche de nuit), Claude Gagnon, Paul Doucet, Hassan El Fad, Yuriko Yoshimura, Samuel Gagnon, Bahija Essoussi, Samuel Pagé-Lemay (Les vieux chums), Raphaël Beaumier-Dionne, Nathan Gilbert (Temps mort), Antoine Girard (L’apocalypse confortable), Béatriz Mediavilla (Still feel you with me), Sarah Baril Gaudet, Gabrielle Goupil, Rémi Giguère, Audrey Fallu, Jacob Marcoux (Passage), Geneviève et Matthieu (L’Opéra d’or), Yves Langlois (Raôul Duguay : par-delà la Bittt à tibi), Mélanie Tardif, Jérémie Monderie-Larouche (Quand l’amour ne suffit pas), Guillaume Sylvestre (Irvin Blais : La voix du peuple), Philippe Arsenault (Un jour de fête) and Rachelle Roy, Dominic Leclerc, Cédric Corbeil (Danser sous la pluie).


    • Since the beginning of the pandemic, the only Quebec cinema festival to offer its principal section entirely indoors, with an audience, guests and safest as it could be ;
    • The delivery of Honoris causa doctorates to Manon Barbeau and the three founders of the Festival, Jacques Matte, Louis Dallaire and Guy Parent, by the Université du Québec under the auspices of the Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue;
    • About fifty magical premieres, from about twenty different countries, through all the festive week ;
    • The presentations of each production teams, who all mentioned how much they appreciated having a real audience, something they all miss terribly ;
    • A very moving introduction by director Claude Gagnon before the world premiere of Les vieux chums ;
    • The appearance of generous Ginette Reno, talking about her participation in short film Imelda 3 : Simone by Martin Villeneuve ;
    • The virtual brunch-conference with the creative and open-handed Robert Lepage (still available for replay on the Facebook pages Ici Abitibi-Témiscamingue and the Festival’s);
    • The daily live Web interviews with Benoit Pilon, Sophie Dupuis, Jean-Michel Dufaux and Hélène Florent, with the friendly host, Martin Guérin;
    • An obvious fewer audience (an average of 150 people instead of 725) but none the less warm-hearted: multiple standing ovations deeply moved the artists ;
    • Managing a snowstorm with strong winds on Sunday night, forcing about 15 guests to stay one more night because the flight was rescheduled to the next morning and a power outage forcing the organization to cancel the night presentation of the feature film projection, a first in 39 years ;
    • 206 preschool and elementary classes of the area of Abitibi-Témiscamingue watched with great interest the digital Volet Jeunesse André-Melançon ;
    • The Festival opened with strength and light with the feature film Le club Vinland, which was loved by the audience. The closing night surfed on a tsunami of love, with the presentation of Danser sous la pluie.


– 30 –

Sources :
Claudelle Rivard
Louis Dallaire
819 762-6212



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