L E   F I F A
L E   F I F A


Le FIFA unveil the programming of its 41st edition

Le FIFA unveil the programming of its 41st edition



Montreal, February 28, 2023 — The world’s largest festival dedicated to films about art and art films invites you to Montreal and Quebec City from March 14 to 26 and online from March 24 to April 2. Come and discover the best of art and art films with a prestigious program that will take you on a journey to the frontiers of the marvelous and participate in a series of unique events that will make you enjoy art in a different way (exhibitions, performances, discussions…).

During 13 days, no less than 220 films from 49 countries, including 67 world premieres and 41 Canadian premieres, will be presented in Montreal at the Théâtre Outremont, the Cinéma du Musée, Concordia University, the Canadian Centre for Architecture, the McCord Stewart Museum and in Quebec City at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (MNBAQ).

A program also available online on the art film platform ARTS.FILM from March 24 to April 2 (geo-blocked in Quebec).

In addition to this exceptional program, the 41st edition of Le FIFA will see the return of the FIFA Connexions professional days, which invite the arts and culture community to come and discuss their distribution and creation issues through workshops, interviews and talks open to the general public. Two days (March 15 and 16) will see, among other things, the International Symposium of Art Film Festivals on March 15 (in the presence of more than a dozen festivals), the presentation of the FIFA Tribute Award to the Beirut Art Film Festival as well as a day dedicated to women entrepreneurship in the arts and culture.

Le FIFA 41 is also free cultural activities for all, highlighting art films and presented in new venues such as Place Ville Marie (in partnership with Art Souterrain) or at L’Édifice Wilder — Espace danse in a co-production with the Partenariat du Quartier des Spectacles.

Finally, there will be unforgettable parties at the Festival’s headquarters in the Agora du Coeur des Sciences de l’UQAM, including a 15-hour rave co-presented by the Exposé Noir collective and a closing party co-presented by MUTEK.

The 41st in short : 220 titles / 49 countries / 11 theatres or venues / 18 films in Feature-Length Films Competition / 16 films in Short Films Competition / 7 awards / 67 world premieres / 10 international premieres / 29 North American premieres / 41 Canadian premieres / 106 Canadian titles / $49 + fees for the entire program / $14 + fees for single tickets.


Every year, we are both thrilled and overwhelmed to receive around a thousand film submissions and to proceed as a team, methodically and carefully, to make a selection. We have to be attentive to the pulse of the films submitted and understand their issues and concerns. We have to be humble, as each year we discover artists, filmmakers, and artistic expressions that carry us into the heart of creativity. 

This year, the filmmakers and artists in the program lean into the state of the world. It is a multifaceted world, full of pressing issues; a marvellous world — marvellous in the sense of extraordinary, out of this world. It is both heritage and potential. It challenges our desire, our power, our actions. Even if what is marvellous isn’t always filled with light, we discover it through the lenses of artists who bare their deep subjectivity, their sensitivity, their humanity. It reminds us that we have the capacity to change things, to make new choices, and invites us to embark on a journey into the extraordinary.

- Philippe U. del Drago, General and Artistic Director


The Competition is the Festival’s signature category, highlighting the artistic richness of today’s world through the work of inventive and daring filmmakers.

Still from Carmen by Benjamin Millepied
Still from Carmen by Benjamin Millepied

Among the feature-length films in competition, don’t miss the inspiring journey of Afghanistan’s first women’s orchestra with Sarah El Younsi and Mandakini Gahlots Keeping the Music Alive, Mathieu Amalrics Zorn III (20182022) about Canadian soprano and conductor Barbara Hannigan, or Annie Bermans documented and witty foray into the world of fans of Pope John Paul II, Elvis Presley, and Lady Diana with The Faithful: The King, the Pope, the Princess. The feature-length film competition also includes captivating works such as the documentary on the work of renowned photographer Steve McCurry, Benjamin Millepieds first film, and Gelatin and Liam Gillicks acerbic and provocative critique of the contemporary art world (Stinking Dawn).


Still from La Goddam Voie Lactée by Jérémie Battaglia and Mélanie Demers
Still from La Goddam Voie Lactée by Jérémie Battaglia and Mélanie Demers

In the short films competition category, discover the project of director Jérémie Battaglia and dancer Mélanie Demers: La goddam voie lactée, a short film made by an artificial intelligence (Propriété privée by Thomas Pison) or the musical world of Canadian pianist Eve Egoyan.


The Juries

The members of the prestigious juries for the 41st edition are recognized by critics and the general public for their creativity, their careers, and their influence in Canada and abroad.

The jury for the international feature-length films competition is composed of Marie-Thérèse Fortin, actress, Montreal ; Fatima Zahra-Lakrissa, independent curator and researcher, Rabat ; Olivier Godin, artistic director of Salle Bourgie and the Arte Musica Foundation at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal ; Mercedes Sader, director of ARCA International Festival of Films on Artsdee, Montevideo; and Roxanne Gaucherand, director and screenwriter, Paris.

The jury of the International Short Films Competition is composed of Amandine Gay, director, Montreal; Sophie Cadieux, actress, Montreal; and Christiao O. Pacheco Camara, Director and founder of Fotogenia Film Festival, México.

The Prizes

Six prizes will be awarded by the juries: Grand Prize, Jury Prize, Prize for Best Essay, Prize for Best Portrait, Prize for Best Canadian Feature-Length F

The International Festival of Films on Art is the festival of all arts, all cultures and all views. A meeting of images and movement that, while highlighting our heritage, will take you on a journey through today’s creations, meeting their protagonists.

Still from Life is a circus by Cirque du Soleil

Throughout the journey are must-see stops: : a Carte blanche to the Cirque du Soleil, which will present, exceptionally, a sublime recording of Ô and a series of world-première short films; a program by the Institut du monde arabe de Paris featuring documentaries about and films by queer artists; an evening built around Jean Paul Riopelle; Oana Suteu Khintirians film Au-delà du papier, which explores relations between digital and material memory. 


In this out-of-competition, invitation-only section, curated by Nicole Gingras, curator of visual and media arts, discover (in theatres only) four programs that focus on innovative approaches to film and video in three main areas: creative processes, modes of collaboration between artists in the creation of a work, and the materiality of sounds and images.

Also in the FIFA Experimental section, see a focus on multidisciplinary artist Michael Snow, who passed away on January 5th and who leaves us a masterful work; in the presence of Peggy Gale, the artist’s companion and curator.


Next stop, the second edition of La Nuit de la danse will bring together 28 films, including 19 made in Quebec, for a marathon screening lasting more than seven hours of short dance films reflecting the incredible vitality of a field that melds beautifully with the medium of film and in which Quebec stands out internationally. 

The marvelous also means discovery: it’s to have our mind stimulated by new knowledge and stories that change the way we see things. Here, we offer the following discoveries: in Hunan province in China, a writing system used exclusively by women; the story of Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, who survived Auschwitz because she was a cellist; George A. Walker, who engraves on wood and publishes; the birth of Sapiens art 45,000 years ago; Jason Logan, one of the great Canadian makers of inks, used notably for tattoos; Matohu, a brand that revisits the traditional kimono in Japan; the rediscovery of traditional Polish funeral chants in contemporary arrangements, underlining the importance of not trying to eliminate death and mourning but to accept them as a natural part of the human experience.

Still from Big Ears Listen With Feet by Bêka & Lemoine
Still from Big Ears Listen With Feet by Bêka & Lemoine

In architecture, we bring you one of the great Thai architects, Boonserm Premthada, through the lens of eminent filmmaking duo Bêka & Lemoine; an exploration of the work of American architect Charles Benninger by Etienne Desrosiers; the struggle of Kyiv-based architect Florian Yuriev; the Grantham Foundation for Art and the Environment as seen by Alain Baril and Ginette Petit; the construction of the Alhambra in Grenada; the group of radical Florentine architects, 9999 and the revolutionary and participatory potential of housing kits.

The image and the camera will also be featured in films (with portraits of Jane Campion, Jean-Paul Belmondo, and Romy Schneider) and photography (Steve McCurry, Sabine Weiss, Thomas Hoepker, Eadweard Muybridge, and Gian Paolo Barbieri).

Still from Annie Lennox : de Eurythmics à l'engagement, itinéraire d'une icône pop by Lucie Cariès
Still from Annie Lennox : de Eurythmics à l’engagement, itinéraire d’une icône pop by Lucie Cariès

In music, you’ll be in on the making of Heiner Goebbelss work A House of Call, at the Berlin Philharmonie; in Chercheurs d’orgues, the quest for the most extraordinary organs in Europe; the Quatuor Arod, one of the most brilliant quartets of its generation with a repertoire stretching from Mozart to Bartok, from Debussy to Kurtág. You’ll follow the Brazilian conductor Simone Menezes in her search for spirituality in music; and the colossal composer, architecture, and engineer Xenakis, who was a precursor of computerized music, sound and light shows, and spatialized concerts. 

There will also be a documentary on the Canadian group ASD Band, composed of four autistic musicians; a splendid portrait of Annie Lennox and the story of Samuel and Isaac, two young South Sudanese refugees living in Uganda and following their musical dream.

In the world of the visual arts and museums, you’ll get a backstage peek at the creation of the Vermeer exhibition currently at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam; you’ll discover the life of Charlotte Salomon through her collection of 1,300 paintings; you’ll explore the little-known history of Jewish culture in the Arab world in the film Jews of the Orient, on the occasion of the eponymous exhibition at the Institut du monde arabe de Paris; in his final documentary, the famous screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière travels through Spain, sharing his admiration for the painter Francisco de Goya; and Titian. The Empire of Colour lifts the veil on the official painter of the 16th-century Most Serene Republic.

Still from Dancing Pina by Florian Heinzen-Ziob
Still from Dancing Pina by Florian Heinzen-Ziob

In dance, you’ll discover the heritage of Pina Bausch; the world of Zab Maboungou, director of the Montreal-based company Nyata Nyata; and the collaboration of South African choreographer Robyn Orlin, singer Camille, and Zulu choir Phuphuma Love Minus. Philippe Meuniers Dans mes yeux offers an intimate look at atypical and neurotypical artists through five choreographic stories; Broken Mirrors follows the work of choreographer Bouziane Bouteldja, who starts from performers’ personal stories to explore themes of identity and the gaze of the other in the self-image; you’ll also follow the process of Frédéric Liver as he tries to master Maurice Béjarts Boléro. As he has never danced in his life, this new quest fills his daily life until he accomplishes the performance.

Le FIFA’s Cartes blanches shift the focus, offering artists and curators a space for expression and sharing that opens the doors to discovery and dialogue: Andreina Aveledo (film on Miúcha, the voice of the Bossa Nova), Naël Jammal (sensitive selection of films on the circus), Fatima Zahra-Lakrissa (films by Moroccan artists), Sanghoon Lee (panorama of South Korean short films), Badewa Ajibade (films on sub-Saharan African artists), and Stéphane Nepton & Andrea Gonzalez (selection of short films on identity issues).