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It is the battle of the Canadian film festivals

Montreal World Film Festival
Montreal World Film Festival

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 BélangerMontreal 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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  • Profile picture of brad
    brad 4 years ago

    Toronto has the better and more glamorous festival in the whole wide world. Too bad for you Montreal.

  • Jean Louis 4 years ago

    Calling Toronto culturally bankrupt is in your face as well. Acting like typical Montreal bullies to Toronto is fine as long as Toronto does not bully you. Then you just whine and complain like the spoiled children you are. What a bunch of spoiled ingrates you Montrealers are. Big babies all around.

    Toronto Film Festival crushes you whiny little babies. And deservedly so. You deserve so much more humiliation and taunts from Toronto as payback for all your verbal abuse over the years

  • Profile picture of Kara Hughes
    Kara Hughes 4 years ago

    Clarification by author:
    The comments that were made in the article about Toronto VS Montreal were meant to be tongue in cheek. I apologize if this was not clear, my intentions were not to offend any Torontonians! I was trying to point out stereotypes like ... Montrealers hate Toronto because they are culturally bankrupt and Toronto is constantly trying to catch up by being more American. This is an extreme pt of view, a stereotypes. The article was not meant to be anti-Toronto, which I thought I made clear by siding with TIFF. Both cities have a cultural way about them and I think we should celebrate all Cdn cultural events across the board! While there is an underlying competition btw the two festivals I don't believe it is necessarily in a negative way. Hey - if friendly competition means better movies come to Cdn screens in both cities then compete away! If anything I was saying to my fellow Montrealers to give TIFF the credit it deserves and stop being so caught up in trying to be the "culture kings!"

  • Jean Louis 4 years ago

    I am from Montreal and the hate on and jealousy of Toronto is annyoing and embarrassing and makes Montreal look really dumb and insecure.
    Please stop lying. The only "competition" there is is really one-sided. Montreal is constantly badmouthing Toronto because yes we are jealous of Toronto: the financial and cultural capitol of Canada. Deal with it.
    Toronto just ignores us all because they know we're a bunch of spoiled ingrates anyways. Why bother arguing with us anyways. This pathetic excuse of "I was just joking" is annoying and false. Montreals ego would be up in arms if Toronto ever "joked" about it to the extent Montreal lays the hate on.
    Admit the truth. Jealousy looks really ugly on Montreal. Keep hating maybe that's all you got.

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