Festival du Nouveau Cinéma breaks new ground

We speak to organizer Julien Fonfrède about this year’s Festival du Nouveau Cinéma.


The Strange Colour of Your Body’s Tears

This year, the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma takes place Oct. 9–20 and, as always, offers forward-thinking films and showcases all genres of innovative cinema.

We spoke to organizer Julien Fonfrède about what we can expect from this year’s fest.

Kayla Marie Hillier: How long have you been involved with FNC?
Julien Fonfrède: I’ve been here since 2004. I used to be Fantasia’s director of programming for the Asian films. I was approached by the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma in order to shake their image a little. Since it was a great challenge, since I loved the FNC, and also since, at the time, Fantasia was becoming a machine that was working on its own, I accepted the offer. I knew the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma would be a great playground to be a part of, to experiment with greater freedom.

GFP Bunny
GFP Bunny

KMH: What sets FNC apart from the rest of the film festivals offered in Montreal?
JF: It is a big and extremely well-structured international film festival. It has performances, concerts [and screenings] happening every night. It has FNC Pro, which is a place where professionals meet for three days to discuss the future of cinema. There is the LAB that covers more experimental works, there are the outdoor installations and much, much, more.

The festival is also very well known for its cutting-edge selection and its friendly environment where audiences can always be close to our guests. The challenge every year is to be at the front line and showcase all of the new trends shaping the world of cinema.

KMH: Which films or programs would you recommend?
JF: Plenty. Lets start with the opening film of the TEMPS 0 section, R100, a completely insane and unpredictable S&M comedy by Hitoshi Matsumoto — who I think is just one of the best directors at the moment. There is The Strange Colour of Your Body’s Tears, the brand new film by Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani, who did Amer, the TEMPS 0 audience award winner in 2010. Definitely A Field in England, the most radical and intense cinema experience of the year. There are also three amazing independent Japanese films [GFP Bunny, Flashback Memories 3D and Miss Zombie]. Omar Rodríguez-López’s — yes, from the bands Mars Volta and At the Drive-in — Los Chidos and James Franco’s Interior. Leather Bar. And this is just the beginning.


KMH: Are there any films or events that you’re particularly excited about this year?
JF: The films in Project Django were particularly hard to find, in 35 mm and/or restored versions. All of them I wanted to play, especially The Big Gundown — I am really proud of that. Knowing that director Yutaka Tsuchiya (GFP Bunny) and music legend GOMA (Flashback Memories 3D) will be coming to the festival, that makes me really excited. Knowing that local director Elza Kephart will do the world premiere of her new film Go in the Wilderness in the TEMPS 0 section is also a really cool event that I look forward to. She is definitely one of the great upcoming Quebec directors to keep an eye on in the near future.

But what gets me excited the most is to see and talk to the audience after they’ve discovered something they really weren’t expecting. There is real pleasure in watching films that are different from the rest.

KMH: For anyone who hasn’t attended before, what can they expect and why should they attend FNC?
JF: The best films of the year. An orgy of discoveries. Lots of emotions and food for thought. Not being fed from the top what’s to be seen or not. All in all, a place to be free to choose by yourself. And hopefully, not to be disappointed — but I’m pretty sure they won’t be. ■

The Festival du Nouveau Cinéma runs Oct. 9–20. For more information, visit their website.

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