Highlights from the FIFA

Posted on April 13th, 2009 by .

This year’s International Festival of Films on Art showcased the work of artists and disciplines through the lens of talented filmmakers.
I love repertory cinema. I watch movies for the same reason I step into an art gallery or discover a new album: I’m always looking for something that might eventually change my life. And I’m open to pretty much anything. Yes, indeed, I love David Lynch films, even if I end up with migraines for about a week, trying to find a meaning to them all. And I’m not the only one in Montréal to think this way, looking forward to seeing any kind of English-subtitled, Serbo-Croatian movie about a mysterious circus in Eastern Europe, in case some character might perfectly reflect my ongoing existential questions about life.
The International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA) is the perfect opportunity to discover unconventional movies that probably won’t end up as runners-up to the Oscar night, but still offer something special worth watching. They’re proof that we’re curious and eager to experiment with new forms of artistic expressions.

The FIFA isn’t only the most important festival dedicated to films on art in North America, it’s also the biggest event of its kind in the world. More than 700 films are submitted every year, and more than 290 are chosen for the annual selection. There’s an official competition, and every year, the award-winning films travel to other highly regarded cultural venues, such as Le Louvre in Paris, or the National Gallery of Art in Washington.

What’s even more interesting is the fact that most of the screenings take place in cultural institutions where you can connect to real art – Place des Arts, the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, and the Canadian Centre for Architecture, among others. Subjects range from dance to contemporary music, to visual art, poetry, photography and architecture.

For those who didn’t have the chance to catch up this year’s 27th edition, there are other places in town where you can enjoy unique cinematic experiences – all year long. A few months ago, the Goethe-Institut offered a full retrospective of Michael Haneke’s early films, (some of them being shown for the first time in North America) while the Cinémathèque québécoise currently proposes an overview of Spike Lee’s work, as well as a selection of movies from Italy’s next generation of filmmakers.

International Festival of Films on Art, 27th edition, March 19-29, 2009, artfifa.com

Goethe-Institut, 418, Sherbrooke E., 514 499-0159, goethe.de/ins/ca/mon

Cinémathèque québécoise, 335 De Maisonneuve Street E., 514-842-9763, goethe.de/ins/ca/mon

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