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New Montreal FilmFest professional meetings program

The New Montreal FilmFest announces its first professional meetings with noted film personalities from the local and international scenes. Presented by Technicolor in collaboration with Astral Media, these meetings will discuss scripts, short films, film criticism, cultural diversity and encounters with filmmakers. The New Montreal FilmFest, presented by Toyota Canada in collaboration with Vidéotron, will show 175 films from 40 countries at its inaugural edition, September 18 to 25, 2005.

Seven meetings dedicated to the 7th art

On Monday September 19 at 10 a.m., Robert Daudelin, who headed the Cinémathèque québécoise for three decades, will open the proceedings with a conference at which he will interview Michel Brault. One of the great names of Canadian and Quebec cinema, whose credits as director and/or cinematographer include nearly 200 productions and four of the ten best Canadian films of all time, Brault will be honoured by the Festival with an Iris Achievement Award.

The following morning, Tuesday September 20 at 10 a.m., Minou Petrowski, critic, journalist and long-time contributor to Radio‑Canada, will interview the noted French cineaste Michel Deville. The veteran director-screenwriter, author of over thirty features, many of which won prizes at festivals around the world, will be honoured with an Iris Achievement Award at an evening tribute, September 19 at the Théâtre St-Denis 2, which will also see the North American premiere of his latest film Un fil à la patte starring Emmanuelle Béart and Charles Berling. That evening will be presented by Air France in collaboration with the Consulat Général de France à Québec.

Former Quebec minister of Culture and Communications, Louise Beaudoin, who is currently associate professor of history at the Université du Québec à Montréal, Pierre Curzi, co-president of the Coalition for Cultural Diversity, and other personalities whose names will be known soon, will participate in a conference on cultural diversity. This meeting, to be held Wednesday, September 21 at 9:30 a.m. and chaired by Jean‑François Nadeau of Le Devoir newspaper, follows up on UNESCO’s recent stance in favour of cultural diversity and will consider the topic in its historical, philosophical, cultural and economic aspects.

In the afternoon of September 21, at 1 p.m., eminent directors will discuss the creative process and describe the behind the scenes efforts needed to make their respective films, which are being shown at the Festival. These case studies will include the presence of three noted international directors and will be hosted by a well-known Quebec personality.

Is the short film a dead end, a launching pad or simply a work of its own kind? Answers to these questions will be attempted by short film directors and cinema professionals as they discuss their experiences in this field. The round table on shorts will take place Thursday, September 22 at 10 a.m. Among the participants are Christian Guinot of the Clermont-Ferrand Festival, Stefan Miljevic and Richard Jutras, two Quebec directors, and a fourth guest to be confirmed shortly. Bernard Boulad, program director of the Rencontres internationales du documentaire, will chair the meeting.

On Friday September 23 at 10 a.m., Michel Ciment, the Festival’s international representative (for French cinema), will discuss the history and current state of film criticism in France. A noted author, professor, journalist and film critic as well as producer at France Culture and contributor to France Inter, Michel Ciment teaches American culture at the University of Paris VII and has published some fifteen works on cinema. The meeting will be emceed by André Roy, writer and film critic for 24 Images magazine.

The series of meetings will conclude with a round table on screenwriting, Saturday September 24 at 10 a.m. Among participants discussing the importance of the script in the making of a film will be screenwriter and actor Ken Scott, screenwriter, actor and director Émile Gaudreault, and director, author and producer Micheline Lanctôt. A fourth participant will be announced shortly. Journalist, writer and researcher Ariane Emond will emcee the discussion.

Attendance at these meetings is reserved to film professionals and accredited journalists. They will take place in the Salle Vidéotron on the lower level of the Festival’s headquarters at the Bibliothèque St‑Sulpice (the former Bibliothèque nationale), 1700 Saint‑Denis Street.

Film professionals are also invited to attend the first Digimart – global digital distribution summit, being held concurrently at the Ex-Centris September 21 to 24, within the framework of the Festival. Further information and registration details are available at www.digimart.org. The inaugural edition of the New Montreal FilmFest will take place in Montreal’s Latin Quarter, along Saint-Denis, September 18 to 25, 2005. Event venues include the Théâtre St-Denis, the Cinéma Quartier Latin, the National Film Board of Canada, the Cinémathèque québécoise and Ex-Centris.

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