Lights, camera, action: Out with the old…

“THE BIG LEAP” is the catch phrase behind Denis Lamaree’s poster commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Montreal International Festival of New Cinema and New Media (FCMM).
Shown in that poster are four members of the film community leaping to the air, an image analogous to what this year’s festival is meant to represent.
Taking place from Oct. 11 to 21, the FCMM is celebrating its landmark birthday in grand form. The theme of leaping is an allusion to jumping for joy, soaring with enthusiasm for free and creative artistic expression.
But more than that, the leap is a symbol of progression, which organizers incorporated as one of the criterion when selecting the films, often opting for the eclectic rather than the classic.
This particular festival attempts to bring attention to contemporary filmmakers and performers who are using new, innovative techniques.
Many of the works being shown are by first time filmmakers.
Adrian Gonzalez, the event’s publicity director said, “We [festival organizers] appreciate the importance of classic cinema but we also give importance to filmmakers using new technologies of image and sound.”
Numerous films of different genres will be screened, including 77 features, 92 short films, and 13 documentaries.
In each of the categories there are monetary prizes to be won. Pre-selected juries of professionals in various artistic fields will award these prizes.
Particular to the festival this year is a selection of 17 Portuguese films, only two of which have ever before been seen in North America.
Other special events include a tribute to Steina and Woody Vasulka,
revolutionaries in the development of electronic arts in the last 40 years, as well as the launch of Les Nouveaux Cinemas, a photo exhibit which captures the greatest moments of the festival since its founding.
Organizers believe the big draws for students will be “S.P.I.T.,” Daniel Cross’s documentary on squeegee punks, and on the opposite side of the spectrum, the feature film “Kandahar” by Mohsen Makhmalbaf, which provides an amazing look at women in Afghanistan.
It is important to note that the FCMM is not only a celebration of new cinema, but as of the last five years, of new media as well. According to Gonzalez, that distinction is what makes this event different from any other.
The ingenuity of experimental musicians, disc jockeys, and storytellers, have come to be recognized as art in their own right and will be featured prominently at the festival.
In total, 200 works will be exhibited by representatives from 41 different
countries. Many Canadian artists will take center stage, including famous record spinner Ricky Hawtin, who got his start at the festival five years ago.
The venues are Ex-Centris, Cinema du Parc, the Musee d’art contemporain, and the Societe des arts technologiques. Advance tickets will be available on Oct.6 at Ex-Centris. More information can be found at www.FCMM.com.
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