FFM 2018: Wrap-up


It has been a good festival this year.

There was no scuffle to get the credentials, no problem with the schedule or screenings and an excellent selection of titles. 

Of course, it could be better. Apparently they brought back the Movie Market (and the press room?). I heard it was on the third floor of the Imperial, but couldn’t find how to get to it… In the past, they were always the practical places to access press information and to be able to screen video on our own schedule. However, what I really miss is the press conferences where we could have direct access to the film crew and cast of the movies in competition. Beside that, for me, the festival is already all I needs it to be.

As long as there’s good movies to watch, people should be happy. At least, as long as there’s Japanese movies, I’ll be happy. Although, come to think of it, the festival deserves a bigger audience. In the past, I used to see lots of people from the local Japanese community, but I saw very few of them this year. Most of the movie I’ve screened this year had barely an audience of a dozen people! Of course, there was absolutely no advertising this year and very little media coverage, so it certainly didn’t helped. And the last couple of years have had a fair share of scheduling and screening problems which might also have discouraged people from attending this year. If there is a festival next year (the same question come back every year lately), this really must be improved.

Another needed improvement, beside more advertising, would be more screens. The festival could use at least a couple more rooms of the Quartier Latin (if not the entire floor like in the good old years). However, for that to happen, the festival would need more budget. Not to put on lavish parties, but to make sure that all the movies can be screened at least a couple of times. Why not giving the festival a chance and give it again at least some subsidies?

The festival certainly has its share of detractors. People who don’t think it can improve or who want to see something else in its stead. Strangely, most of the criticism seems to come from the anglophone community (for example, the articles in The Gazette appears to be quite hostile). However, I don’t think that the majority of people in or around the local movie industry want the festival to continue in its downward spiral of death. But we don’t want a glamorous festival like Cannes or Toronto either (yeah, it’s nice to see Brad Pitt or the latest blockbuster with its load of stars, but what’s the use if that movie is gonna by in all theatres two weeks later?). Personally, I want a festival where I can see movies I couldn’t see anywhere else. Movies from all around the world. A festival that gives their chances to young or unknown directors, to small productions. A festival that doesn’t exclude stars, but that is not built around them. That’s what the festival was in the past and I think this formula can still works. There is no other festival like this one. And we can still mend its wounds. We must. Of course, every parties will need to water down its position a little. The government (local, provincial or federal) must look past previous disagreements and accept to provide a little help. And Losique needs to let go of his creation and prepare some sort of succession. Pass on the mantle while still remaining in the background to provide his knowledge and wisdom. If he doesn’t do that, the festival will surely die with him… We’ve seen a little improvement this year, so let’s hope it can continue in that direction…

All in all, this year, I’ve succeeded to watch five of the eight Japanese movies. I am pretty happy with this score. The selection included a great variety: a samurai movie, a docudrama-style movie, a comedy, a yakuza movie and a biopic — I wish I could have added to my score card the documentary, the action movie and the scary co-production!  And almost all the titles I’ve seen were good movies — save one which was a disappointment. Beside this last entry, I was able to write seven articles (including five movie comments) about the festival (which represents more articles than La Presse, Le Devoir or The Gazette each wrote about the FFM !).

Please read our other articles on the festival:

Your can also check the review of the Japanese movies at the FFM by Claude R. Blouin (in French: “FFM 2018: Cinq témoins japonais de la condition humaine” on Shomingeki.org)

[ Traduire ]

The festival’s awards:

Feature Films:

  • Grand Prize of the Americas (Best Film): Curtiz by Tamas Yvan Topolánszky (Hungary)
  • Special Grand Prix of the Jury (Ex-aequo): Samurai’s Promise / Chiri Tsubaki by Daisaku Kimura (Japan) & The Etruscan Smile Mihal Brezis, Oded  Binnun (Switzerland / Germany / USA / UK)
  • Best Director: Attila Szász for Eternal Winter / Örök Tél by Attila Szász (Hungary)
  • Best Actress: Maya Szopa in Stranger of Patience / Stranniki Terpeniya by Vladimir Alenikov (Russia)
  • Best Actor: Hiroshi Tachi in Life in overtime / Owatta hito by Hideo Nakata (Japan)
  • Best Screenplay (Ex-aequo): Jianv Han, Wei Zhong and Muye Wen for Dying to survive by Muye Wen (China) & Mirko Locatelli and Giuditta Tarantelli for Isabelle by Mirko Locatelli (Italy / France)
  • Best Artistic Contribution: The Lord Eagle / Toyon Kyyl by Eduard Novikov (Russia)
  • Innovation Award: Mocking of Christ / Ruganje so Hristos by Jani Bojadzi (Republic of Macedonia)

Short Films:

  • 1st Prize: Vagabonds by Amartei Armar (Ghana)
  • Jury Award: All My Guardian Angels / Todos mis padres by Bernabé Rico (Spain)

First Fiction Film Competition:

  • Golden Zenith: The Gazelle’s Dance / El Baile de la Gacela by Iván Porras Meléndez (Costa Rica / Mexico)
  • Silver Zenith: Kill Me Today, Tomorrow I’m Sick by Joachim Schroeder and Tobias Streck (Germany)
  • Bronze Zenith: Have Your Name Carved by Lei Xu (China)
  • Special Mention (for quality): Jim Shoe by Peter Sutton (United States)

Chinese Film Festival:

  • 1st Prize: Destinies by Zhang Pu (China)
  • 2nd Prize: Father to Son / Van Pao Te by Ya-Chuan Hsiao (Taiwan)
  • 3rd Prize: Snow Fall / Xue Zang by Gao Chenggang (China)

Documentaries of the World: 

  • 1st Prize: Dying to Tell / Morir Para Contar by Hernán Zin (Spain)
  • 2nd Prize: Icelander by Nils Oliveto (Canada)
  • 3rd Prize: Fahavalo, Madagascar 1947 / Fahavalo by Marie Clémence Andriamonta Paes (France / Madagascar / Belgium / Cape Verde / Qatar)


And the 49th Student Film Festival awards goes to:

National Competition (Canada)

  • Norman McLaren Award for Best Film: “My Thesis Film” by Erik Anderson (York University, Toronto, Ontario)
  • Best animation: “Salmiak” by Aurélia Morin-Clarke (Cégep de vieux-Montréal, Montreal, Quebec)
  • Best Fiction (ex-aequo): “The Canadian Carver” by MacKenzie Brown & “Insert Your Title” Ji Won Jeong (Dawson College, Montreal, Quebec)

Chinese Student Film Festival

  • Best Film: Spring Flower by Tong Hua, China (California Film Academy, USA)
  • Best Animation: Harry by Zhou Haoran (Tongji University, Shanghai, China)
  • Best Documentary: The Water Bird and Man by Gao Yang & Zhou Pu (Jiangsu Normal University, Xuzhou City, Jiangsu Province, China)
  • Best Experimental Film: Brain by Ma Chunxin (Zhejiang University of Media and Communications, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, Chine)
  • Best Fiction: Oasis by Lin Qinqin ((Beijing Normal University International College of Hong Kong Baptist University, China)

International Competition

  • Best Film: Meet Me in the Woods by Isa Micklitza (University for Television and Film Munich, Germany)
  • Best Animation: Achoo by Lucas Boutrot, Elise Carret, Maoris Creantor, Pierre Hubert, Camille Lacroix, Charlotte Perroux (ESMA, Montpellier, France)
  • Best Documentary: Nomadic Doctor by Mart Bira (University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, Royaume-Uni)
  • Best Experimental Film: The Rita G, Affair / Sprawa Rity G by Daria Kopiec (The Aleksander Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw, Poland)
  • Best Fiction: The Word / Slovo by Yhor Vysnevskyi ( Kyiv National I. K. Karpenko-Kary Theatre, Cinema and Televisin University, Kiev, Ukraine)


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