Serge Losique announced the upcoming line-up for the 2010 Montreal World Film Festival yesterday. The 12-day festival, which kicks off on Aug 26th, will showcase 430 films from 80 different countries. The festival will open with the Canadian crime-drama, Route 132 directed by Beauport native Louis Bélanger. Montreal actor, Marc-André Grondin will appear in three films showing at the festival, Bus Palladium, Insoupçonnable et Caméléon. There are also rumors that American actor David Arquette may make an appearance in Montreal to promote his film, The Land of the Astronauts, which is one of two American films taking part in the festival.
The Toronto International Film Festival also held a press conference yesterday to announce its Canadian programming. This included an impressive number of films out of Quebec. Amongst the titles was Montreal director Jacob Tierney's film, Neigbours. As we reported earlier in this year the film was shot in the Montreal borough of NDG and stars Montreal native Jay Baruchel. Festival-circuit darling Xavier Dolan will be at the festival for the English-Canadian premier of Les amours imaginaires as well as Denis Villeneuve with his new film, Incendies. There seems to be a bit of (un)friendly competition going on here. Are the TIFF organizers trying to prove to the Quebec cultural elite that maybe Toronto is not as culturally bankrupt as we would all like to believe? Holding a press conference on the same day as Liosque seems very "in your face".
In any case, Montreal film festival boss, Liosque was having none of it. He firmly insisted that his festival seeks out quality films while the organizers of TIFF seek out celebrities. He asserted that the Montreal fest is an internationally recognized competitive festival, a point that TIFF cannot contest. He noted that Montreal's ability to present films from all over the world is unique and eluded that the TIFF organizers must be biased towards films made in English. While Liosque makes a very compelling argument in defense of his festival, no one can argue that TIFF receives much more international media coverage and has become known for launching the year's Oscar race. The Montreal festival is definitely more nuanced but TIFF is quite a bit more well-known. While it is always fun to remind the rest of Canada how much more culturally evolved we are here in Quebec, there is no denying that TIFF wins the battle of the Canadian film festivals. What do you think? Does Liosque need to ramp it up a little bit? For a complete overview of Liosque's comments regarding TIFF please click here. For a complete listing of all the movies being shown at the Montreal World Film Festival, including ticket prices, click here.
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