The Montreal World Film Festival (WFF) (French: le Festival des Films du Monde; alternative official name Montreal International Film Festival, not commonly used), founded in 1977, is one of Canada's oldest international film festivals and the only competitive film festival in North America accredited by the FIAPF (although the Toronto International Film Festival is North America's only accredited non-competitive festival). The public festival is held annually in late August in the city of Montreal in Quebec. Unlike the Toronto International Film Festival, which has a greater focus on Canadian and other North American films, the Montreal World Film Festival has a larger diversity of films from all over the world.
The World Film Festival is organised in various sections:
- World Competition (features and shorts)
- First Films World Competition (features)
- Out of Competition (features)
- Focus on World Cinema (features and Shorts)
- Documentaries of the World (features, medium-length films, shorts)
- Cinema Under the Stars
- Student Film Festival (Canadian and international shorts)
Prior to the beginning of each event, the Festivalâs board of directors appoints the juries who hold sole responsibility for choosing which films will receive the blessing of a WFF award. Jurors are chosen from a wide range of international artists, based on their body of work and respect from their peers.
- Grand Prix des AmÃ©riques
- Special Grand Prix of the jury
- Best Director
- Best Actress
- Best Actor
- Best Screenplay
- Best Artistic Contribution
- Innovation Award
- Zenith Award for The Best First Fiction Feature Film, (Golden, Silver and Bronze)
- Short Films (1st Prize and Jury Prize)
In addition the festival-going public votes for the films they liked best in different categories:
- People's Choice Award
- Award for the Most Popular Canadian Film
- Glauber Rocha Award for the Best Film from Latin America
- Best Documentary Film Award
- Best Canadian Short Film Award.
Grand Prix des AmÃ©riques winners
The stated goal of the Montreal World Film Festival (Montreal International Film Festival) is to:
encourage cultural diversity and understanding between nations, to foster the cinema of all continents by stimulating the development of quality cinema, to promote filmmakers and innovative works, to discover and encourage new talents, and to promote meetings between cinema professionals from around the world.
The president of the Montreal World Film Festival (WFF) is Serge Losique; its vice-president is DaniÃ¨le Cauchard. Losique's management has been controversial. The WFF lost the sponsorship of its previous government cultural funders, SODEC and Telefilm Canada as a result of disagreements with Losique in 2004. Subsequently, these two funding agencies announced that they would support a new international film festival, called the New Montreal FilmFest (FIFM), to be managed by Spectra Entertainment and headed by Daniel Langlois (of SoftImage and Ex-Centris and the Festival du Nouveau CinÃ©ma). After the inaugural edition of that new festival was unsuccessful, it was abandoned early in 2006. As of July 2007, Losique's lawsuits against the funding agencies were dropped, paving the way for a restoration of government funding.
According to a survey by LÃ©ger Marketing:
- Approximately 385,000 attended the 2008 World Film Festival. Of these, 323,352 (84%) were local filmgoers and 61,591 (16%) were out-of-town visitors.
- Among visitors, 27% were less than 35 years old, 34% were 35 to 54 years old and 39% were more than 54 years old.
- During their stay in the greater Montreal area, visitors attracted here by the Festival spent an average of $921.60. Visitors from outside the province spent on average twice as much as visitors from Quebec, and this money was spent specifically within the framework of their attendance at the Festival.
- Tourist spending generated by visitors to the Montreal World Film Festival is estimated at $21 million.
In 2005, Losique first announced and later withdrew the film Karla from the WFF after the principal sponsor of the festival, Air Canada, threatened to withdraw its sponsorship of the festival if that film were included. The filmÂ â" about Karla Homolka, a young woman who was convicted of manslaughter and who served twelve years in prison for her part in the kidnapping, sex-enslavement, rapes and murders of teenage girls, including her own sister, in a case said to involve ephebophiliaÂ â" was controversial in Canada, with many calling for its boycott throughout the country.
- Montreal International Jazz Festival
- Telefilm Canada
- Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)
- Alioff, Maurie. "Montreal World Film Festival." Take One. Dec. 2004. FindArticles.com. Accessed 1 Sept. 2006.
- Kelly, Brendan. World Film Festival staggers into 30th year. Montreal Gazette. 9 Aug. 2006. Accessed 1 Sept. 2006.
- Montreal Film Fest Might Fade to Black." CBC 30 July 2004, Arts & Entertainment. Accessed 1 Sept. 2006.
- "Montreal Film Fest Sues Telefilm to Stop Proposed New Festival." CBC 15 Dec. 2004, Arts & Entertainment. Accessed 1 Sept. 2006.
- "Montreal Jazz Fest Organizers Chosen to Create New Film Fest." CBC 17 Dec. 2004, Arts & Entertainment. Accessed 1 Sept. 2006.
- "Quebec Gov't Questions SODEC over Failed FilmFest." CBC 24 Feb. 2006, Arts & Entertainment. Accessed 1 Sept. 2006.
- Official Website Festival des Films du Monde de MontrÃ©al (Montreal World Film Festival [Montreal International Film Festival])