Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Marrakech Film Festival to Honour Canada

The International Film Festival of Marrakech (MIFF) runs from December 4 to 12, 2015, and this year rolls out  the Red Carpet for Canada. For its 15th edition, the event will pay tribute to the land of James Cameron and Jim Carey with a delegation of Canadian actors and filmmakers

Canadian cinema was born in 1897, after the Parisian projection of Lumière brothers. Although neighbouring Hollywood was a fierce competitor Canadian filmmaking, deeply rooted in North American culture was able to impose its own identity through the integration of the linguistic and ethnic diversity of the Canadian nation. The country has a fine reputation, particularly for its documentary work.

Canadian directors have been able to attract an international audience. Atom Egoyan brilliantly explores the themes of loneliness of individuals struggling with an alienating society with his films  "Exotica," "The Sweet Hereafter" and "Felicia's Journey". .

David Cronenberg ("The Fly", "Crash", "Edistenz") stands out as a master of the genre film. James Cameron ("Titanic," "Avatar", the two biggest hits in the history of cinema) is symbolic of the ability of Canadian producers to reach the world public.

Paul Haggis ("Crash"), Guy Maddin ("Careful") and Sarah Polley ("Take This Waltz") work in a more intimate vein, while becoming showcases of Canadian cinema internationally.

Far from standing in the shadow of its anglophone neighbour, Quebec cinema has been able to assert itself culturally. Denis Arcand has become a demanding intellectual observer of Quebec  with "The Decline of the American Empire" and its sequel, "The Barbarian Invasions" 2003 which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.


Crazy, from director Jean-Marc Vallée, is probably the best film from Quebec that most people have never seen. It was critically acclaimed, winning the best Canadian feature at TIFF and cleaning up at the Genie Awards, but as a Canadian film and featuring lower profile actors, especially outside of Quebec it slipped under the radar. It did quite well in Quebec, but even with the solid reviews it only got minimal play in select theatres in English Canada. Unless you follow Canadian film, you probably missed it.

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