Oct 24, 2021
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Canadians at Cannes overwhelmed by emotion, promise of international success

TORONTO – The wild spectacle of Cannes is beyond anything Isabelle Lavigne had ever imagined.

The Montreal director, whose film “At Night, They Dance” is believed to be the first Quebec documentary in 40 years to unspool at the prestigious director’s fortnight, says her debut on the Croisette has involved an overwhelming whirlwind of press, parties, celebrities and fans.

She said she was surprised to find an electrifying street culture in which hungry celeb-hunters and fame-seekers stroll the city’s seafront.

“You have this idea of Cannes with the beach and the glamour and the red carpet but of course it’s much more interesting and complex than that – it’s very much like a carnival of dreams,” Lavigne said Wednesday, a little more than an hour after her film screened for an enthusiastic audience.

“You have all these (people) getting close to stardom and hoping to realize their dream and so they come with their script, they come with their casting pictures hoping to find somebody who will see them. Somebody stopped us in the street asking us if we … wanted to read his script. And you have all those fans that get close to the fence where the stars walk by…. It feels like a fortress, a little castle where the noblesse are coming.”

Lavigne and her co-director Stephane Thibault – who is also from Montreal – are among a handful of Canadians at the esteemed movie marathon, where A-listers including Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Woody Allen, Sean Penn and Penelope Cruz are promoting their newest projects.

Quebec director Nicolas Roy is in official competition with his 14-minute short “Ce n’est rien” (“It’s nothing”) in the running for the short film Palme d’Or. French director Michel Gondry heads the jury that will select the winner May 22.

And “Big Muddy,” from Saskatchewan’s Jefferson Moneo, is part of Cannes’ Cinefondation program, which awards a prize to three emerging student filmmakers. The Columbia University student’s film is about a teenage outlaw who meets a mysterious drifter.

Roy said he was amazed by the sheer enormity of the festival, adding he still had a hard time believing his dark family drama is among such elite competition.

“They announced (the selection) one month ago and sometimes I have to pinch myself,” said Roy, whose short stars Martin Dubreuil (“Seven Days,” “10½,” and “Everything Is Fine”) and is produced by Gabrielle Tougas-Frechette (“Incendies,” “C’est pas moi, je le jure!”).

“It’s just amazing. I never thought that they would select this film.”

“It’s Nothing” is about a father who learns his daughter has been sexually abused. Roy notes that he tends to gravitate toward difficult subject matter, and says that being embraced by Cannes validates his challenging film choices.

“It’s telling me I’m doing the right thing so that’s really good,” said Roy, who is currently writing his first full-length feature, another family drama.

Lavigne, who brought her two young children to the festival, says earning a screening at Cannes has sent her on an emotional roller-coaster.

Her film, “At Night, They Dance” centres on a clan of women who have passed down the art of belly dancing from mother to daughter for generations. The film took home the special jury award at Toronto’s Hot Docs festival last month.

“We were crying just because it’s so unusual,” she said of the day she learned she was headed to Cannes director’s fortnight, a non-competition category.

“Of course you don’t make film to go to Cannes – you do your film to make a piece of art, to open people’s hearts, to tell a beautiful story, for the pleasure of storytelling and if you make a good film it’s enough….

“And then suddenly you get this incredible news that it is taken here. And as soon as it’s taken here you know that it opens all doors and it’s possible that the film can be sold abroad and it changes your life completely.”

The Cannes Film Festival wraps up May 22.

Source: The Canadian Press

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Front Page, Industry News

Canadians at Cannes overwhelmed by emotion, promise of international success

TORONTO – The wild spectacle of Cannes is beyond anything Isabelle Lavigne had ever imagined.

The Montreal director, whose film “At Night, They Dance” is believed to be the first Quebec documentary in 40 years to unspool at the prestigious director’s fortnight, says her debut on the Croisette has involved an overwhelming whirlwind of press, parties, celebrities and fans.

She said she was surprised to find an electrifying street culture in which hungry celeb-hunters and fame-seekers stroll the city’s seafront.

“You have this idea of Cannes with the beach and the glamour and the red carpet but of course it’s much more interesting and complex than that – it’s very much like a carnival of dreams,” Lavigne said Wednesday, a little more than an hour after her film screened for an enthusiastic audience.

“You have all these (people) getting close to stardom and hoping to realize their dream and so they come with their script, they come with their casting pictures hoping to find somebody who will see them. Somebody stopped us in the street asking us if we … wanted to read his script. And you have all those fans that get close to the fence where the stars walk by…. It feels like a fortress, a little castle where the noblesse are coming.”

Lavigne and her co-director Stephane Thibault – who is also from Montreal – are among a handful of Canadians at the esteemed movie marathon, where A-listers including Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Woody Allen, Sean Penn and Penelope Cruz are promoting their newest projects.

Quebec director Nicolas Roy is in official competition with his 14-minute short “Ce n’est rien” (“It’s nothing”) in the running for the short film Palme d’Or. French director Michel Gondry heads the jury that will select the winner May 22.

And “Big Muddy,” from Saskatchewan’s Jefferson Moneo, is part of Cannes’ Cinefondation program, which awards a prize to three emerging student filmmakers. The Columbia University student’s film is about a teenage outlaw who meets a mysterious drifter.

Roy said he was amazed by the sheer enormity of the festival, adding he still had a hard time believing his dark family drama is among such elite competition.

“They announced (the selection) one month ago and sometimes I have to pinch myself,” said Roy, whose short stars Martin Dubreuil (“Seven Days,” “10½,” and “Everything Is Fine”) and is produced by Gabrielle Tougas-Frechette (“Incendies,” “C’est pas moi, je le jure!”).

“It’s just amazing. I never thought that they would select this film.”

“It’s Nothing” is about a father who learns his daughter has been sexually abused. Roy notes that he tends to gravitate toward difficult subject matter, and says that being embraced by Cannes validates his challenging film choices.

“It’s telling me I’m doing the right thing so that’s really good,” said Roy, who is currently writing his first full-length feature, another family drama.

Lavigne, who brought her two young children to the festival, says earning a screening at Cannes has sent her on an emotional roller-coaster.

Her film, “At Night, They Dance” centres on a clan of women who have passed down the art of belly dancing from mother to daughter for generations. The film took home the special jury award at Toronto’s Hot Docs festival last month.

“We were crying just because it’s so unusual,” she said of the day she learned she was headed to Cannes director’s fortnight, a non-competition category.

“Of course you don’t make film to go to Cannes – you do your film to make a piece of art, to open people’s hearts, to tell a beautiful story, for the pleasure of storytelling and if you make a good film it’s enough….

“And then suddenly you get this incredible news that it is taken here. And as soon as it’s taken here you know that it opens all doors and it’s possible that the film can be sold abroad and it changes your life completely.”

The Cannes Film Festival wraps up May 22.

Source: The Canadian Press

Leave a Reply

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

Front Page, Industry News

Canadians at Cannes overwhelmed by emotion, promise of international success

TORONTO – The wild spectacle of Cannes is beyond anything Isabelle Lavigne had ever imagined.

The Montreal director, whose film “At Night, They Dance” is believed to be the first Quebec documentary in 40 years to unspool at the prestigious director’s fortnight, says her debut on the Croisette has involved an overwhelming whirlwind of press, parties, celebrities and fans.

She said she was surprised to find an electrifying street culture in which hungry celeb-hunters and fame-seekers stroll the city’s seafront.

“You have this idea of Cannes with the beach and the glamour and the red carpet but of course it’s much more interesting and complex than that – it’s very much like a carnival of dreams,” Lavigne said Wednesday, a little more than an hour after her film screened for an enthusiastic audience.

“You have all these (people) getting close to stardom and hoping to realize their dream and so they come with their script, they come with their casting pictures hoping to find somebody who will see them. Somebody stopped us in the street asking us if we … wanted to read his script. And you have all those fans that get close to the fence where the stars walk by…. It feels like a fortress, a little castle where the noblesse are coming.”

Lavigne and her co-director Stephane Thibault – who is also from Montreal – are among a handful of Canadians at the esteemed movie marathon, where A-listers including Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Woody Allen, Sean Penn and Penelope Cruz are promoting their newest projects.

Quebec director Nicolas Roy is in official competition with his 14-minute short “Ce n’est rien” (“It’s nothing”) in the running for the short film Palme d’Or. French director Michel Gondry heads the jury that will select the winner May 22.

And “Big Muddy,” from Saskatchewan’s Jefferson Moneo, is part of Cannes’ Cinefondation program, which awards a prize to three emerging student filmmakers. The Columbia University student’s film is about a teenage outlaw who meets a mysterious drifter.

Roy said he was amazed by the sheer enormity of the festival, adding he still had a hard time believing his dark family drama is among such elite competition.

“They announced (the selection) one month ago and sometimes I have to pinch myself,” said Roy, whose short stars Martin Dubreuil (“Seven Days,” “10½,” and “Everything Is Fine”) and is produced by Gabrielle Tougas-Frechette (“Incendies,” “C’est pas moi, je le jure!”).

“It’s just amazing. I never thought that they would select this film.”

“It’s Nothing” is about a father who learns his daughter has been sexually abused. Roy notes that he tends to gravitate toward difficult subject matter, and says that being embraced by Cannes validates his challenging film choices.

“It’s telling me I’m doing the right thing so that’s really good,” said Roy, who is currently writing his first full-length feature, another family drama.

Lavigne, who brought her two young children to the festival, says earning a screening at Cannes has sent her on an emotional roller-coaster.

Her film, “At Night, They Dance” centres on a clan of women who have passed down the art of belly dancing from mother to daughter for generations. The film took home the special jury award at Toronto’s Hot Docs festival last month.

“We were crying just because it’s so unusual,” she said of the day she learned she was headed to Cannes director’s fortnight, a non-competition category.

“Of course you don’t make film to go to Cannes – you do your film to make a piece of art, to open people’s hearts, to tell a beautiful story, for the pleasure of storytelling and if you make a good film it’s enough….

“And then suddenly you get this incredible news that it is taken here. And as soon as it’s taken here you know that it opens all doors and it’s possible that the film can be sold abroad and it changes your life completely.”

The Cannes Film Festival wraps up May 22.

Source: The Canadian Press

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

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