30th Montreal World Film Festival
Canada, August 23 - September 3 2007
One year after celebrating its 30th anniversary, it seems the World Film Festival (Festival des Films du Monde) has regained most of its past prestige. After surviving a couple of years of crisis, due to the unexpected competition of a born-dead event (the “New Festival of Montreal”) and the subsequent loss of some of its public and private funding, the team headed by President Serge Losique and General Director Danièle Cauchard managed to attract prestigious filmmakers, both in competition (Abel Ferrara, Claude Miller) and out of competition (Claude Lelouch, Pascale Ferran). Tributes were presented to actors Jon Voight and Sophie Marceau and Montreal-born director Fernand Dansereau.
The impressive Maisonneuve Theatre is still filled every night with film lovers wishing to discover the world competition program, while the Place des Arts, the venue of many other festivals in summer (such as the jazz fest and the Francofolies), hosts free open-air screenings of recent hits and classics. What a p leasure it is, for a cinephile, to see a young crowd overwhelmed by The Virgin Spring or The Magic Flute by Ingmar Bergman, to whose memory the festival was dedicated!
The International Critics’ Prize was awarded to the Moroccan film Samira’s Garden (Samira Fi Adayaa) directed by Latif Lahlou, a sensitive journey through the life changes of a Moroccan urban woman who marries an older man and moves to a village. The jury also chose to give an additional award to the French short film Good Night Malik (Bonne nuit Malik) directed by Bruno Danan.(Grégory Valens)