Oct 24, 2021
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Director of opening film of Montreal film fest denies tiff with Toronto

MONTREAL – The director of the movie opening Montreal’s World Film Festival was conciliatory, not combative, when asked Thursday about the event’s supposed rivalry with the star-powered Toronto International Film Festival.

“All those wars about festivals, personally, they depress me,” said Louis Belanger, the director-screenwriter of “Route 132,” as he took the high road.

That didn’t stop some good-natured partisanship from one of the stars of “Route 132.”

“We think Montreal is better,” quipped Francois Papineau jovially to a smattering of applause and laughter.

Belanger attributed his weariness of the debate to not only the recent sniping over the Toronto fest but also to brickbats tossed between Montreal’s Festival du nouveau cinema and the World Film Festival.

“Each festival is an opportunity to screen films, which is, as a director, a fantastic thing to do,” Belanger said at a news conference before the festival kicked off Thursday evening for its 10-day run.

“It’s a place where you can meet other filmmakers, talk about film, see films you usually wouldn’t see. It’s very important.”

Tongues wagged this year when the Toronto festival unveiled its lineup of Canadian films the same day Montreal festival boss Serge Losique announced his event’s films.

One newspaper columnist accused Toronto of taking “a deliberate shot across the bow at the World Film Festival, an attempt to underline that Toronto does more for Quebecois cinema than Montreal does.”

Losique dismissed Toronto in a newspaper interview as a Hollywood-driven junket while Montreal showcases world-class cinema.

Toronto, which is considered to be the kickoff for Oscar season, has overshadowed Montreal for years with its star power.

While Montreal has attracted a number of international stars and directors with its lineup of mainly art house fare, Toronto gets the household names.

Clint Eastwood, Robert De Niro, Bill Murray, Helen Mirren and Bruce Springsteen are among the big names rolling into Hogtown for TIFF’s run this year between Sept. 9 and 19.

Toronto also boasts more top Quebec features than Montreal, including the latest efforts by hot directors Denis Villeneuve (“Incendies”), Xavier Dolan (“Les amours imaginaires”) and Denis Cote (“Curling”).

Even “Route 132” will have its English-Canadian premiere in Toronto. The film is being released simultaneously with English subtitles.

The film is about a man who sets out to rob credit unions in rural Quebec with a buddy as he copes with the loss of his son. He ends up on a journey of rediscovery and redemption.

Belanger described Montreal as “a very good launching pad” for his films, which include “Gaz Bar Blues,” which opened the festival in 2003, and “Le Genie du crime.”

“This festival has been very good for me for the last three films.”

As far as he’s concerned, the more festivals the better.

“When I go to Hong Kong, when I go to Rotterdam, when I go to the Chicago film fest, it’s important for me to take the pulse of the other countries and what’s going on in their filmic imagination.

“Personally — and I’m going to be very selfish — the more festivals there could be, the better for me.”

Source: Winnipeg Free Press

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Front Page, Industry News

Director of opening film of Montreal film fest denies tiff with Toronto

MONTREAL – The director of the movie opening Montreal’s World Film Festival was conciliatory, not combative, when asked Thursday about the event’s supposed rivalry with the star-powered Toronto International Film Festival.

“All those wars about festivals, personally, they depress me,” said Louis Belanger, the director-screenwriter of “Route 132,” as he took the high road.

That didn’t stop some good-natured partisanship from one of the stars of “Route 132.”

“We think Montreal is better,” quipped Francois Papineau jovially to a smattering of applause and laughter.

Belanger attributed his weariness of the debate to not only the recent sniping over the Toronto fest but also to brickbats tossed between Montreal’s Festival du nouveau cinema and the World Film Festival.

“Each festival is an opportunity to screen films, which is, as a director, a fantastic thing to do,” Belanger said at a news conference before the festival kicked off Thursday evening for its 10-day run.

“It’s a place where you can meet other filmmakers, talk about film, see films you usually wouldn’t see. It’s very important.”

Tongues wagged this year when the Toronto festival unveiled its lineup of Canadian films the same day Montreal festival boss Serge Losique announced his event’s films.

One newspaper columnist accused Toronto of taking “a deliberate shot across the bow at the World Film Festival, an attempt to underline that Toronto does more for Quebecois cinema than Montreal does.”

Losique dismissed Toronto in a newspaper interview as a Hollywood-driven junket while Montreal showcases world-class cinema.

Toronto, which is considered to be the kickoff for Oscar season, has overshadowed Montreal for years with its star power.

While Montreal has attracted a number of international stars and directors with its lineup of mainly art house fare, Toronto gets the household names.

Clint Eastwood, Robert De Niro, Bill Murray, Helen Mirren and Bruce Springsteen are among the big names rolling into Hogtown for TIFF’s run this year between Sept. 9 and 19.

Toronto also boasts more top Quebec features than Montreal, including the latest efforts by hot directors Denis Villeneuve (“Incendies”), Xavier Dolan (“Les amours imaginaires”) and Denis Cote (“Curling”).

Even “Route 132” will have its English-Canadian premiere in Toronto. The film is being released simultaneously with English subtitles.

The film is about a man who sets out to rob credit unions in rural Quebec with a buddy as he copes with the loss of his son. He ends up on a journey of rediscovery and redemption.

Belanger described Montreal as “a very good launching pad” for his films, which include “Gaz Bar Blues,” which opened the festival in 2003, and “Le Genie du crime.”

“This festival has been very good for me for the last three films.”

As far as he’s concerned, the more festivals the better.

“When I go to Hong Kong, when I go to Rotterdam, when I go to the Chicago film fest, it’s important for me to take the pulse of the other countries and what’s going on in their filmic imagination.

“Personally — and I’m going to be very selfish — the more festivals there could be, the better for me.”

Source: Winnipeg Free Press

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Front Page, Industry News

Director of opening film of Montreal film fest denies tiff with Toronto

MONTREAL – The director of the movie opening Montreal’s World Film Festival was conciliatory, not combative, when asked Thursday about the event’s supposed rivalry with the star-powered Toronto International Film Festival.

“All those wars about festivals, personally, they depress me,” said Louis Belanger, the director-screenwriter of “Route 132,” as he took the high road.

That didn’t stop some good-natured partisanship from one of the stars of “Route 132.”

“We think Montreal is better,” quipped Francois Papineau jovially to a smattering of applause and laughter.

Belanger attributed his weariness of the debate to not only the recent sniping over the Toronto fest but also to brickbats tossed between Montreal’s Festival du nouveau cinema and the World Film Festival.

“Each festival is an opportunity to screen films, which is, as a director, a fantastic thing to do,” Belanger said at a news conference before the festival kicked off Thursday evening for its 10-day run.

“It’s a place where you can meet other filmmakers, talk about film, see films you usually wouldn’t see. It’s very important.”

Tongues wagged this year when the Toronto festival unveiled its lineup of Canadian films the same day Montreal festival boss Serge Losique announced his event’s films.

One newspaper columnist accused Toronto of taking “a deliberate shot across the bow at the World Film Festival, an attempt to underline that Toronto does more for Quebecois cinema than Montreal does.”

Losique dismissed Toronto in a newspaper interview as a Hollywood-driven junket while Montreal showcases world-class cinema.

Toronto, which is considered to be the kickoff for Oscar season, has overshadowed Montreal for years with its star power.

While Montreal has attracted a number of international stars and directors with its lineup of mainly art house fare, Toronto gets the household names.

Clint Eastwood, Robert De Niro, Bill Murray, Helen Mirren and Bruce Springsteen are among the big names rolling into Hogtown for TIFF’s run this year between Sept. 9 and 19.

Toronto also boasts more top Quebec features than Montreal, including the latest efforts by hot directors Denis Villeneuve (“Incendies”), Xavier Dolan (“Les amours imaginaires”) and Denis Cote (“Curling”).

Even “Route 132” will have its English-Canadian premiere in Toronto. The film is being released simultaneously with English subtitles.

The film is about a man who sets out to rob credit unions in rural Quebec with a buddy as he copes with the loss of his son. He ends up on a journey of rediscovery and redemption.

Belanger described Montreal as “a very good launching pad” for his films, which include “Gaz Bar Blues,” which opened the festival in 2003, and “Le Genie du crime.”

“This festival has been very good for me for the last three films.”

As far as he’s concerned, the more festivals the better.

“When I go to Hong Kong, when I go to Rotterdam, when I go to the Chicago film fest, it’s important for me to take the pulse of the other countries and what’s going on in their filmic imagination.

“Personally — and I’m going to be very selfish — the more festivals there could be, the better for me.”

Source: Winnipeg Free Press

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