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Festival du Nouveau Cinéma!

Like a kid in a candy store! is how most cinephiles will feel about Claude Chamberland’s Festival du Nouveau Cinéma (Oct 13-23) – this gathering of off-beat, scooped-up oddities found from all over the international circuit and from premiere film festivals such as Cannes and Venice is an innovative festival where auteur-driven visionary films are served up as a full-course movie menu. The wolf has been unleashed!

Programming director Chamberland unveiling the 34th edition.
(pic from official site)

It is simply amazing! 38 countries, 197 films, 95 features and 102 shorts constitute the 2005 line up. With 197 works from all over the world (38 countries) to be shown over ten days, the Festival remains true to its mission of promoting quality cinema by today’s finest talents. The program includes 13 world premieres and 54 international and North American premieres and 19 Canadian premieres.

The program includes:
Capote (Bennett Miller), Hidden (Michael Haneke), The Child (Dardenne brothers), Good Night and Good Luck (George Clooney), Manderlay (Lars Von Trier), Mary (Abel Ferrera), Breakfast on Pluto (Neil Jordan), 3 Needles (Thom Fitzgerald), Romance and Cigarettes (John Turturro), Takeshis’ (Takeshi Kitano), Time to Leave (François Ozon), Three Times (Hou Hsio-Hsien), Tideland (Terry Gilliam), Heading South (Laurent Cantet) and Water (Deepa Mehta).

Could that get any better ?

Apart from these brand names of the festival circuit, programmers have brought together a selection of the world’s very best. In addition to movies by established filmmakers, the section also includes entries from a number of superb new talents. Also, now in its second year, the Time Ø section is the Festival’s vehicle for its wildest offerings. Shorts and features are both on the delicious menu assembled by Philippe Gajan, Julien Fonfrède and Daniel Canty. Here is cinema beyond genres: eye-opening films that are blazing new trails for tomorrow’s mainstream, blurring the lines between commercial, cult and indie filmmaking.

Main Hoon Na: “A must see”, says Pierre-Alexandre

Time Ø include Main Hoon Na (which I saw about a year ago and it immediately became a personal favorite of mine). Other films in that section include a truly unique serial-killer flick (Late Bloomer); two cryptic, riveting pieces (Nuit Noire and 4); a gem for those who love a movie that makes their skin crawl (Haze, the new cult hit from Shynia Tsukamoto); a hilariously provocative and trashy Filipino film (The Family That Eats Soil); a bizarre sex comedy from Hong Kong (A.V.); a glimpse at the netherworld of Mexican modern-baroque cinema (Stories of Disenchantment); and a rock ‘n’ roll epic that could only have come from Japan (Yaji & Kita).

This year the festival has a special section for the 15-20y/o: “Code 1520”. This section will be providing total immersion in contemporary youth culture. Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Testuya Nomura, Takeshi Nozue (Japan) will have its North American Premiere; Zim & Co, Pierre Jolivet (France); Pure, Jim Donovan (Quebec/Canada); Greg & Gentillon, Matthiew Klinck (Quebec/Canada); Next, a Primer on Urban Painting, Pablo Aravena (Quebec/Canada).

The festival will feature 4 films made in Nollywood. The industry is huge and for the price of a low-budget american film, they can make over 1000 films over there! Nigerian star Geneviève Nnaji and film studies professor Onookome Okome will be on hand to present four films from Nigeria, a country whose film industry is among the world’s most prolific and has been dubbed Nollywood. The four films are Dogs Meeting, Chika Onu; Emotional Crack and Private Sin, Lancelot Oduwa Imusen; and Highway to the Grave, Teco Benson.

Other festivals call it “midnight madness”, the FNC calls it “cinéWild”. Four crazy and unique late-night flicks will be presented at Cinéma du Parc. Bangkok Loco, Phanchai Hongratnaphra (Thailand); George Michael: A different Story, Southan Morris (United Kingdom); Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey, Sam Dunn, Scott McFadyen, Jessica Joy Wise (Canada); Modify, Jason Gary, Greg Jacobson (United States).

Finally, the festival will feature a Alexander Sokurov retrospective. In partnership with the Cinémathèque québécoise, the Festival will present the entire body of work, some 40 features and shorts, by Russia’s most adventurous filmmaker. This is the first comprehensive Sokurov retrospective in North America, and it will include his latest film, The Sun.

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