What’s on at the festival of Quebec film

Some of this province’s best new movies — and top films of 2014 — are screening this month at the Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois.

Jake Gyllenhaal in Denis Villeneuve’s Enemy
The Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois has just dropped the schedule for its 33rd edition, which runs from Feb. 19–28 in various venues across the city (Cinéma Quartier Latin, Cinémathèque québécoise, Grande Bibliothèque, UQAM’s Judith-Jasmin Annex and the Imperial). The festival showcases films from Quebec in both French and English, though it’s worth noting that most films are not presented with English subtitles. There are 350 films (both shorts and features) presented as part of RVCQ, including 130 Quebec premieres. This year’s opening film is Les loups, directed by Sophie Deraspe (Les signes vitaux) and Ginette Lavigne, starring Évelyne Brochu as a young city-dweller who finds herself up north in time for the annual seal hunt.

Amongst other films opening are Micheline Lanctôt’s Autrui, about a young woman (Brigitte Pogonat) who welcomes a homeless man (Robin Aubert) into her home during a blizzard; Chorus by François Delisle, which has already garnered rave reviews at Sundance and Berlin and closes the fest on Feb. 28; the teenage-farmer documentary Le plancher des vaches from Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette (Inch’Allah) and Émile Proulx-Cloutier (Les petits géants, co-directed with Barbeau-Lavalette) and the Printemps Érable-themed catfishing documentary Le profil Amina (also directed by Sophie Deraspe). There is, of course, a plethora of short films also opening at the festival, both as part of shorts programs (including the 12th edition of the Prends ça court! program) and in front of features.

RVCQ is also a great time to catch up on some of the local films you may have missed during the year. Screenings of Miraculum, La petite reine, Enemy, Rhymes for Young Ghouls, 1987, Dys-, Mommy, Le règne de la beauté, God Save Justin Trudeau, Meetings with a Young Poet, Henri Henri, Tu dors Nicole, De prisons en prisons, 3 histoires d’indiens, Le vrai du faux and tons more make up the brunt of the festival’s programming.

Finally, RVCQ offers a ton of other cinematically inclined events including a live performance by Organ Mood, the electronic music duo behind the soundtrack for Tu dors Nicole; an outdoor performance/screening (your guess is as good as mine) of perennial Québécois classic Elvis Gratton, featuring musical performances by Misteur Valaire and Qualité Motel; masterclasses, conferences and commented screenings by the likes of Stéphane Lafleur, Jean-Marc Vallée, Marc Labrèche and Xavier Dolan; live performances by PyPy and Avec le soleil sortant de sa bouche; a roundtable discussion on homelessness in cinema with David La Haye, Micheline Lanctôt, Matthew Pearce of the Mission Old Brewery and Mélanie Charbonneau of the Accueil Bonneau, and many more. ■
For more information, check out the RVCQ website.