37th Montreal World Film Festival

Canada, August 22 - September 2 2013

The jury

Pierre-Simon Gutman (France), Diego Brodersen (Argentina), Claudio Cordero (Peru), Lukasz Maciejewski (Poland), Akiko Kobari (Japan), Serge Abiaad (Canada)

Awarded films

The Montreal FFM 2013 is now an old institution, but is still held together by its main purpose, discovery: new movies, new film makers and new experiments still drives the whole festival. It exists since 1976, having been created by Serge Losique who is still, at this 37th edition, the chairman and head of the selection committee. It is recognized for some time now by the F.A.P. F., and the FIPRESCI has been present since the beginnings of the eighties to give two awards: best picture in the main competition, and best picture in the first movie competition. Those two selections are only devoted to world premiere. As such, the choices are bound to be sometimes deceptive, especially with the fierce competition of Cannes, Venice and, of course, Toronto. But such is the price to pay to allow the festival to make true discoveries, like this year’s winner in the best picture category: West by Christian Schowochow.

Most of the movies presented are preceded by a short picture, allowing even more screen time to the new auteurs or stars of tomorrow. A few more public and accessible moments give the festival its public momentum (Jappeloup, Anne Fontaine’ Adore), but its heart lies more in the diversity of its multiple sections and movie market. An astonishing number of sections present approximately a dozen of pictures each: China Cinema Today, Korean Cinema Today, Cinema of the World, with a mix of European pictures and a selection of short student’s movies. All of this is caped with a screening “à la belle etoile” where some cinematographic successes of past years are shown on a big screen in Place des Arts for anyone who wishes to attend.

This diversity can be sometimes overwhelming, and of course the quality can’t stay always on the same level. But the experience allows the viewer, if he feels like it, to truly immerse himself in the world of cinema in 2013, as its titles aptly suggest. The city of Montreal with its own mixed cultural heritage is a perfect backdrop for this event, and most of the screenings take place in its very beautiful movie palaces. It is definitely a festival for the curious minds and, as it is often the case, needs some patience from the participant. But, given the time and the vast offer on display, it can’t fail to reward, at one point or another, the movie buff looking for new names. (Pierre-Simon Gutman)

Montreal World Film Festival: www.ffm-montreal.org