Art in all its forms fills the big screen this month at Montreal’s International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA), with 250 new films from 30 countries, all uniquely covering creative endeavours from painting to architecture, dance to design…
Six different film-screening sections make up the 34th edition of FIFA – Competition, Horizons, Tribute, Media Arts, Focus on the 7th Art, and Time Recaptured – alongside a variety of special events, including an International Market conference, a Children’s Screening, activities at cultural hubs such as the Montreal Fine Arts Museum, the Canadian Centre for Architecture, and the PHI Centre, and, fittingly, art exhibitions such as Diane Obomsawin’s animated Zon’Arts, Gerald Fox’s multimedia work, Ed Pien’s video installations, a tribute to Jan Peacock, and more. The festival’s opening night brings questions of artistic censorship into the spotlight with Jill Nicholls’ documentary The Fatwa – Salman’s Story, which looks at the complex cultural and political background to the death sentence and exile of author Salman Rushdie, while music is the stuff of closing night’s Road Movie, A Portrait of John Adams, an in-depth portrait of the well-known and played American composer.
Between these different bookends are films that are often as artistic as the subject matter they cover, whether examining the life of famed visual artists (Joan Miro: The Ladder of Escape, Edward Hopper and the Blank Canvas, Art 21, featuring Marina Abramovic) and art movements, choreographers (Merce Cunningham, la danse en héritage), writers (The Dreams of William Golding, Frankenstein: A Modern Myth), or musicians (Amy Winehouse – The Day She Came to Dingle, John Cage – Journeys in Sound).
This year’s tribute section is dedicated to filmmaker Gerald Fox, with screenings of 12 of his prize-winning films, while the work of many lesser-known and up-and-coming filmmakers can be found in every section of the program, especially in the more experimental films of Media Art and in Focus on the 7th Art, where films about films and filmmaking shed light on how film fits into artistic canons. Throughout the festival’s run, see films that look at art, music, design and literature’s place in history and films that delve into completely modern-day issues, some even speculating on the future – regardless of subject, the films’ present-day resonance is why they’re found at this festival.
Montreal International Festival of Films on Art, March 14-24, 2013