FIFA film festival online

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Montreal art film festival FIFA is online now!

After announcing its cancellation last week, the festival decided to stream over 120 films from its 2020 programming instead.

If you’re looking for a range of enriching and inspiring viewing in this time of social distancing due to COVID-19, the Festival International du film sur l’art (FIFA) is making nearly all of its 2020 programming available online.

The 38th annual edition of FIFA was meant to begin today and run through March 29. Last Thursday, March 12, it was officially cancelled due to Coronavirus concerns. Within 48 hours, however, the announcement was made that the festival would go ahead, via streaming.

A flat rate of $30 will be charged to access over 120 movies via the FIFA Vimeo account as of 7 p.m. tonight, Tuesday, March 17. The vast program of the 38th annual festival includes documentaries about a wide range of women artists, including Marina Abramovic and Isabelle Huppert, features and shorts about dance, films about engaged art, investigations into famous forgeries and much more.

New to the festival this year is a selection of music videos, a part of the programming overseen by FIFA’s Jerôme Rocipon.

“I was pretty disappointed,” says Rocipon. “We wanted to make a real impact with a special opening night for this new program.”

With the recent successsion of cancellations of festivals of all sorts, it’s a relief to see a save like this. Of coure it’s a save that’s limited to film festivals, and we’re unlikely to see a streaming edition of Cannes.

“I can’t see Cannes doing this at all, but it can work for niche festivals like ours,” says Rocipon. “This initiative is ideal for people who are already fans of the festival, but I hope it will also give people the opportunity to discover FIFA. And the programming is really eclectic, so with access to all the films, if you’re watching something that you don’t like, you can just stop it and check out the next one.”

Nearly all the filmmakers contacted by FIFA last Friday gave permission to include their work in the festival stream. But while home viewers will see a nearly complete picture of FIFA’s film programming, an important piece of the festival experience is missing.

“The films are the core of the festival of course, but FIFA works really hard on events, from conferences to parties with partners like MUTEK. As part of the music video program, we were going to do a Q&A with a director and musician; we were going to host a live concert with Antoine Corriveau. So this will give people a real feel for FIFA’s style of programming, and then next year they can come back to the festival and do it for real.” ■

See the complete FIFA film festival online programming and access the stream here.

For more coverage of films, TV and the Montreal film scene, see our film section.

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