The Congress

You need to see the animation fest

We spoke to Marco de Blois from the Cinémathèque québécoise about this year’s Sommet du cinéma d’animation.

The Congress


Sommets du cinéma d’animation starts today, I talk to Marco de Blois, the animation programmer/curator at Cinémathèque québécoise, about this year’s fest.

Kayla Marie Hillier: What can we expect this year?
Marco de Blois: The Sommets du cinéma d’animation is the most important animation festival in Quebec, taking place successively in Quebec City (Nov. 21–24) and Montreal (Nov. 27–Dec. 1). We made the festival bi-municipal because we realized that there are sufficient animation fans, artists and professionals in both cities to have a festival. We wish to present the diversity of animation — film projections of course, but also master classes, performances, installations, exhibitions, etc. Seventy-seven short films are in competition. Our 2013 edition has a Grand Prix, a Special Jury Prize, a prize for the best Canadian animation, the best student film and a Public Prize will be given.

Tito on Ice
Tito on Ice

Our opening film, Ari Folman’s The Congress, is a must-see. Robin Wright plays herself, selling her body to a big studio to have it scanned forever. It’s about the omnipresence of animation in today’s images and the future of the film industry. Theodore Ushev’s installation, 3rd page after the sun, on the agony of the printed book, will be a highlight. Tito on Ice, an animated documentary by Max Andersson about emerging cultures in the former Yugoslavia, is also not to be missed — Andersson will attend. The official competitions (International, Canadian and student) will offer the best of animation from around the world. Finally, the closing performance, Juicy, by Jaroslaw Kapuscinski, will be exciting as Jaroslaw, a classically trained pianist and composer, will play the piano and generate animation at the same time.

KMH: How do you select the films? What do you look for?
MdB: We look for diversity of styles, techniques, approaches — experimental or narrative. Is the film relevant? Exciting? Does it work? Does it bring something new to the concept animation? Is it interesting to watch? This is what we are looking for.

KMH: Are there any films in particular that you would recommend?
MdB: I can recommend these special programs: “Les nouveaux visages de l’animation française,” on emerging animators in France; “Alexandre Dubosc’s Short Cakes” — his films made with pastries and candies have a strong viral success on the Internet; and finally “Treasures from the Academy Film Archive” will feature 35mm restored prints of independent shorts that were nominated for the Animated Short Film category at the Academy Awards. ■


Sommets du Cinéma d’Animation is held at the Cinémathèque québécoise (335 de Maisonneuve) on Wednesday, November 27 to Sunday, December 1. For more information, head here.

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