The animation festival starts today

The Sommets du cinéma d’animation features premieres of animated and new-media films as well as retrospectives of the classics.


The World of Tomorrow

The 14th edition of the Sommets du cinéma d’animation begins today. This festival / symposium is the only one of its kind in Quebec, celebrating the art of animation throughout cinema but also new media and retrospectives of classic works. This year’s Sommets promises 135 shorts, three features and a series of talks and retrospectives. We caught up with Marco de Blois, programming director, to go over this year’s edition of the Sommets.

Alex Rose: How is this year’s edition of the Sommets different from previous years?

Marco de Blois: The Sommets still has its exciting international, Canadian and student competitions. But we also focussed further on professional events: for instance, the visual effects studio Framestore will give a lecture on the special effects designed for the feature Paddington and they sponsor a panel on How to work in animation and visual effects. Also, we gave more space to features. We have three premieres: The Magic Mountain, our opening film; Avril et le monde truqué (co-produced by Montreal-based studio Kaibou) and Adama, our closing film.

La montagne magique
La montagne magique

AR: There are quite a few local films on the program this year. How do you feel about the current animation “scene” in Quebec?

MDB: The local scene is strong and exciting. We have auteurs making short films, we now have the capacity to support the making of feature films and we have many talents working in visual effects and video games. Montreal is an animation hub and we want the Sommets to reflect that.

AR: What can you tell me about the retrospectives on the program this year?

MDB: We will host a retrospective of contemporary Italian animation; they are “avant-garde” films, very innovative (do you remember Blu’s Muto?), mixing traditional techniques and new tools. We will also have a retrospective/carte blanche for Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis, as well as a Patrick Bouchard retrospective. Wendy and Amanda will also give a masterclass, Patrick as well.

AR: What’s your personal favourite on the program this year?

MDB: I especially love the features The Magic Mountain and Adama. Don Hertzfeldt’s World of Tomorrow is a masterpiece, Riho Unt’s The Master (from Estonia) is a brutal tragedy, and I have to say that Vergine Keaton’s Marzevan and its unusual use of computer animation mesmerizes and moves me. David Coquard-Dassault’s Peripheria is a gloomy and haunting representation of empty cities.

The 14th Sommets du cinéma d’animation runs from Nov. 25-29. All screenings are at the Cinémathèque québécoise (335 de Maisonneuve E). Individual tickets cost $10, festival passports cost $40 and all screenings are free for Cinémathèque members. Check out the website for more information.