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2024 REGARD – Saguenay Intl. Short Film Festival: 205 Shorts & 35 Programs

2024 REGARD – Saguenay Intl. Short Film Festival: 205 Shorts & 35 Programs

Just a little bit of time following the prestigious Clermont-Ferrand, the next major film festival dedicated to the short form is the REGARD – Saguenay Intl. Short Film Festival. Today they unveiled a stacked edition – a 35 program schedule totalling 205 short film offerings from 56 countries. Shepherded by Mélissa Bouchard, this is obviously a major launching pad for several Canadian shorts, but they’ve got a large swath of international items with a breakdown that feature around 100 world, North American and Canadian premieres. This is set for March 20th to the 24th — will be in attendance. Here is the press release:

Official Competition

With nearly 60 exclusives and a selection of the year’s best films, the ten programs of the Official Competition are both highly topical and brimming with creativity. A panoply of genres and emotions can be found in this selection of the year’s best Canadian and international films. The many new films to discover include the highly surprising Extra(s) by Marc-Antoine Lemire, the disturbing Someone’s trying to get in by Colin Nixon, the cacophonic À toi les oreilles by Alexandre Isabelle, the fascinating Les animaux vont mieux by Nathan Ghali, the bittersweet Des rêves en bateau papier by Samuel Suffren and the thoroughly charming Audio y el caiman by Andres I. Estrada.

The Official Competition will begin with the opening screening of this 28th edition, on Wednesday, March 20, at Théâtre C in Chicoutimi. The evening, presented by Télé-Québec, will start at 5 p.m. with a reception open to the public, after which everyone will move to the theatre to discover the program. Please note that this year, the cocktail parties (5@7) held in Chicoutimi will once again be held indoors.

Launch of Indigenous Perspectives

The Focus Competition highlights emerging creators, independent films and voices that are often underrepresented in different parts of the cinematic world. This year, joining the well-established Shoot No Matter What, 100% Regions, Americana and Short & Queer competitions is Indigenous Perspectives, a new competition showcasing some of the year’s very best work by Indigenous filmmakers.

The new competition, presented by the Canada Media Fund, is an invitation to discovery and discussion, presenting films that celebrate the unparalleled richness of Indigenous cultures. In the spirit of a retrospective, the films look toward the past, present and future. Programmed by Jess Murwin and Vincent Careau, this inaugural edition is the result of a long process but also the starting point for an evolving section of the festival. One of the next steps that the team wishes to take is to screen the program in several Indigenous communities, in collaboration with La Boîte Rouge VIF.

A number of films in the Focus Competition are particularly noteworthy, including the splendid Marée Noire by Chantal Caron, Outside center by Eli Jean Tahchi, Unclean by Simon Chouinard and Les mains sales by Jani Bellefleur-Kaltush and Julien G. Marcotte.

The 100% Regions program, presented by Hydro-Québec and Culture Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, presents works by filmmakers from Chaudière-Appalaches (Marée Noire), Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean (Salut chasseur), Mashteuiatsh (Ilnikueu), Estrie (Ils étaient), Gaspésie (Immortelles) and Bas-Saint-Laurent (Sylvie en liberté).

Thematic programs

Eleven thematic programs will shape this 28th edition. Africa is front and centre in a Carte blanche selection programmed by the Durban International Film Festival, presented by Le Quotidien. Queer artist and filmmaker Joseph Wilson will travel from London, England, to share his filmography with festivalgoers. And the distinguished Abenaki filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin will join us to revisit some of her most significant short films, thanks to the support of Warner Bros. Discovery and the National Film Board of Canada.

In addition to meeting the festival’s high-profile quests, cinephiles are invited by the Cinémathèque québécoise to (re)discover six restored landmark Quebec-made short films with a session called Lost and found The housing crisis and related issues are explored from multiple angles in the Occupy program, presented by ICI Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean. Femininities glitter and shine in Girls Power, presented by Mode Choc, and the heat rises a notch or two with (B)romance with benefits, which explores the limits of friendship and intimacy among men. Lastly, the REGARD team’s love of dance, art and experimental film is expressed in a perfect double bill: Experimental and Dance Shorts, to be shown on the afternoon of Sunday, March 24.

And festivalgoers should be sure not to miss Genre Movies and Last Call, our most festive and hilarious pair of programs, presented by Énergie 94.5 and Riverbend.

Screenings for teens: doing a 180

This year, the program for teens is getting a makeover. In order to build a selection that truly reflects their tastes and concerns, the festival gave carte blanche to a committee of four teens. Guided by a mediator from the organization Les Adolescents et la Vie de Quartier de Chicoutimi and the festival’s youth programming team, the committee members took part in four full days of workshops on cinema, activities on self-esteem and communication, and film screenings. The resulting program, called Ici et maintenant (Here and Now), will be screened for the public on Thursday, March 21, at 6 p.m. at the CEM’s Studio Desjardins. A presentation of Cégep de Chicoutimi.

They chose to take the audience on an emotional rollercoaster ride, and they’re very eager to see the audience’s reaction to their selections. They are also excited to meet the filmmakers, who are all touched that their works were selected for this very special program. I think it’s going to be a truly magical evening,” said Noémie Bouchard, director of the Youth section.

In addition to the Right here Right now program, four other cinematic events for the region’s families will once again be presented this year, on March 23 and 24, as part of the Youth program. The two Family Shorties programs (ages 3 and up) in Chicoutimi and Jonquière and Big Kids Shorts (ages 8 and up) in Chicoutimi are not to be missed. Families are welcome to arrive a half hour before the screenings, presented by Hydro-Québec, for some fun activities in the theatre lobbies. Among the Quebec-made gems in the Youth Competition are Le temps des orages by Gabrielle Gingras, Hello Stranger by Amélie Hardy and the exceptionally beautiful Gaby les collines by Zoé Pelchat. Lastly, a literary activity for children ages 8-12 and their parents, with author Chloé Varin, will be held on Saturday, March 23 at 1:30 p.m. at local bookstore Les Bouquinistes. Young audiences will be asked to identify the differences between several clips from Jules au pays d’Asha, by Sophie Farkas Bolla, and scenes in Chloé Varin’s novel or film script.

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at (founded in 2000). Eric is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson's This Teacher (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022 he served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).

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