The 39th Festival du cinéma international en Abitibi-Témiscamingue : Challenge taken up!

It has already been a few days since the closing night of our dear 39th Festival du cinéma international en Abitibi-Témiscamingue. Festival-goers, volunteers, team members and partners have demonstrated an amazing capacity to adapt, in a creative manner, for us all to live this Festival, a 2020 different edition, but also deeply joyous. Let us remind ourselves of all the good times. You can also discover the recap video of the 39th Festival du cinéma international en Abitibi-Témiscamingue.



Opening night was memorable, with the presentation of world premiere of short film Imelda 3 : Simone, the story of imagined reconciliation between producer and actor Martin Villeneuve’s grandmothers. Accompanied by Ginette Reno, with whom he shared the screen, to introduce this moving picture. The night ended with the chance to see on stage producer Benoit Pilon, for the North-American premiere of his film, Le club Vinland. With him were the actors Sébastien Ricard, Arnaud Vachon and Émilie Bibeau, as well as producer Chantal Lafleur. Film lovers truly adored this story about the positive influence that teachers can provide to the youth. For the first time, the opening night screening presented twice, to allow a bigger number of spectators to enjoy it.

The great festive week ended on an emotional note, with world premiere of feature documentary Danser sous la pluie. This unique film introduces Rachelle Roy, a young mother, and her fight against breast cancer. Producer Rachelle Roy, video editor Cédric Corbeil, and director of photography Dominic Leclerc, came to tell us a few words. Just before, Mayor of Rouyn-Noranda and Rachelle Roy’s mother, Diane Dallaire spoke from the heart; to tell us how proud she was of the demonstration of her daughter’s strength. It was a historic moment as well, since it was the very first time that the Festival du cinéma international en Abitibi-Témiscamingue ended on a regional film. Closing night also presented twice.

The guest list of the 39th edition included Robert Lepage, a great man in Quebec, with multiple talents and projects. He was very generous by participating in the traditional brunch-conference, in a special version. This year, the brunch-conference broadcasted simultaneously on the Facebook pages of Radio-Canada Ici Abitibi-Témiscamingue, of Radio-Canada Arts and of Festival du cinéma international en Abitibi-Témiscamingue. The brunch-conference is still available for re-watch on our Facebook page. As of November 12th 2020, the video has over 2 000 views.

Espace court also offered a new formula. The nine off-the-wall films, broadcasted in two separate screenings, directly on The movies, funny, disturbing or even frightening, were available to watch from the comfort of home. Our 2020 selection exclusively contained Quebec productions. This formula received a great appreciation, with over 3 800 views for both blocks.


The Volet jeunesse André Melançon also presented on the Web, allowing kids of 204 classes to watch the refreshing selection of magnificent films, without leaving their classrooms. It seems to be a winning way of doing, with the actual sanitary context. A recorded hosting, by Veronique Aubin, pleased young and less young spectators. The screenings preceded by a short introduction by Samuel de Chavigny and Céline Lafontaine, producers of one of the animated films. At last, the kids of Rouyn-Noranda also got the pleasure to drink a chocolate milk, a well-known tradition of the Volet jeunesse. Testimonials were strongly positive. The movie that seems to be the favorite is L’Odyssée de Choum. Although the movie was a bit longer than the usual, for 26 minutes, it still managed to keep the children’s attention until the very end. Eventually, 3819 kids watched the Volet jeunesse, with 3323 of Rouyn-Noranda and 496 of La Sarre.


On Saturday, October 31st afternoon, a rare event was held. Two honorific doctorates by the Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT), under the auspices of the Université du Québec, granted in a formal ceremony, in the screening room of the Théâtre du cuivre and simultaneously on the Facebook pages of the Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue and of the Festival du cinéma international en Abitibi-Témiscamingue. These doctorates granted to Manon Barbeau and to the three cofounders of the Festival, Jacques Matte, Louis Dallaire and Guy Parent. For the three cofounders, it emphasizes the tremendous amount of work since the beginnings of the Festival, over 40 years ago. The Festival has been a central vehicle for cultural, financial, touristic and social development as well as an initiative for numerous cultural projects in the area. For Manon Barbeau, this reward clearly states how important her contribution to the youth of First Nations of Québec, among others, the creation of Wapikoni mobile, that allows these teenagers to re-appropriate their culture and to express it through the 7th art.

For the first time, the Festival du cinéma international en Abitibi-Témiscamingue associated with TVC9 to offer high quality movies to the regional film lovers, from their own living rooms. Various local productions, from past Festival editions, broadcasted on the local channel, with a few interviews. Here are the chosen movies: Les Chiens-Loups, by Dominic Leclerc, Le Défi, by Mélissa Major, Jingo, by Danick Audet and Jamie Côtes-Turpin, Chlorophylle, by Valérie Gauron, Marika Jacob, Simon Lapierre, Qin Wang, Yun Wang, Yi Yang, and Xia-Xu Zhu, Contribution volontaire, by Hélène Théberge, Dépression dans une mer de suie, by Élise Massy, Ils étaient six, by Sarah Baril Gaudet and Marianne Pelletier, L’envers de la médaille, by Marie-Pier Ricard, Lutherie sauvage, by Andréane Boulanger and Jean-François Perron, Richard, by Didier Belzile and Roxanne St-Arneault, Massacre à la chinzilla, by Samuel Bernier, Vie et mort d’un objet usuel, by Simon Descôteaux, Valentin Foch, Martin Laroche and Gabriel Tardif, Danse avec elles, by Béatriz Mediavilla, Lappy, Réjean et Pit, by Yvor Barr, Voir Ali, by Martin Guérin, and Alex marche à l’amour, by Dominic Leclerc.


In the same line of idea about Web diffusions, the Festival du cinéma international en Abitibi-Témiscamingue hosted the recordings of two podcasts with cinematographic flavors. The recordings took place in the Espace studio of the Théâtre du cuivre, streamed live on the Facebook page of the Festival. The podcast Appropriation culturelle gives the speech to significant personalities of Abitibi-Témiscamingue cultural stage, welcomed Louis Dallaire, Sébastien Ricard and Geneviève et Matthieu, on October 31st. The next day, the podcast Mojito Elektro, interested in the digital development in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, greeted Rachelle Roy and Louis-Paul Willis, to talk about new forms in writing that emerge from the evolution of technologies.


Another brilliant addition to the regular program, wonderfully appreciated by the audience, was the Great interviews… on the Web, with Martin Guérin. Already the host of the brunch-conference, he offered more of his time to allow four encounters with Québec artists with diverse profiles. Discussions also took place on our Facebook page at 5 PM, on Monday through Thursday nights, about the cinema universe, inspirations and interests of four known stars of the Quebec landscape. He interviewed Benoit Pilon, a well-known producer, Sophie Dupuis, an emerging producer with growing popularity, Jean-Michel Dufaux, a professional from the world of television, and Hélène Florent, a great actress of the province.



The 40th Festival du cinéma international en Abitibi-Témiscamingue will happen from October 30th to November 4th 2021.

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Sources :

Claudelle Rivard

Louis Dallaire

819 762-6212



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