FIFA: Art comes alive on the big screen

Robyn Fadden

Robyn Fadden is a Montréal-based writer and editor who searches out city secrets, new bands, life-changing art and things to do with her perpetually active kid. Robyn has covered major events for HOUR, MUTEK, ARTINFO, CKUT 90.3FM and more.

Experience the wide world of art on Montréal’s big screens this March at the International Festival of Films on Art. From artists in their studios to dancers on the stage, from architecture to orchestras and pretty much every art form in between, the biggest art film festival in the world illustrates the power of creativity from March 15 to 27, 2022.

Screening over 200 productions from 46 countries in Montréal cinemas and online across Canada this year, the 40th edition of the International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA) offers a rare chance to see Canadian, North American and world premieres of new features, shorts and documentaries – all dedicated to a diversity of artistic practices.

Cinematic discoveries

One of the goals of the International Festival of Films on Art is to make art accessible to as many people as possible, bringing together the world’s art institutions and major players with experimental and outsider artists and art forms – there’s always something new to discover!

The world premiere of Hugo Latulippe’s film Je me soulève opens the festival, telling the story of 20 theatre artists and musicians who together mixed poetry, politics and a quest for meaning to create a collective play for Québec theatre Le Trident. Québec actor and playwright Emmanuel Schwartz presents his first feature, Projet Pigeons. Aboriginal culture in Australia meets the journey of a Bangarra dance troupe in Wayne Blair’s Firestarter – The Story of Bangarra.

An improbable museum is constructed in Judith Abensour’s Ramallah in Foedora. Go on a theatrical adventure in Sierra Leone with Clive Patterson’s Sing, Freetown. Two films on the history of feminism by artist Dora García feature in the festival’s experimental section. Cinematic portraits of influential artists and other artistic change makers include: Charles Trenet, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jacques Tati, Joan Mitchell, Georgia O’Keeffe, Amos Oz, Alexandra Kollontaï, Marguerite Duras, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Angélique Kidjo, Daniel Day-Lewis, Anthony Hopkins and many more.

 

Performance meets film

Montréal is a city where dance remains a reigning art form, so it’s no surprise that the FIFA honours that with La Nuit de la danse, a seven-hour marathon at Théâtre Outremont, featuring films focused on Hofesh Shechter, Margie Gillis, Louise Lecavalier, Édouard Lock and many more choreographers and dancers.

Also moving from stage to screen, the Opéra national de Paris premieres its new production of FAUST (Gounod) directed by Tobias Kratzer. Oeke Hoogendijk’s Licht – Stockhausens Legacy follows the production of this complex opera cycle by the Dutch National Opera. And Jérémie Battaglia and Johanne Madore mix circus, dance and cinema in The Sum of Our Dreams, a collaboration with the National Circus School.

 

Pop-up entertainment

FIFA always features free programming too! This year, catch pop-up programming at Place des Arts’ Espace culturel Georges-Émile-Lapalme space, where you can see Absorptions, a program curated by Aseman Sabet in collaboration with electronic arts festival MUTEK, and go to Holt Renfrew Ogilvy’s Tudor Hall to see Nowness programmer Marley HansenCarte Blanche and music videos programmed by curator and music producer Leticia Trandafir.

 

Carte blanche creativity

Along with competition films, the FIFA presents a carte blanche section of programming by the MoMA, Caroline Monnet, NOWNESS, ImagiNATIVE, Ronald Rose-Antoinette, Francis Alÿs, Vidéographe, Kitoko Diva and guest festivals from the DART Festival in Barcelona, Silvia Lucchesi of the Lo schermo dell’arte Festival in Florence, Tokyo-based curator Yu Shimizu, and more.

This year’s films can be seen at theatres that often double as gallery and performance spaces: Monument-National, Théâtre Outremont, the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Cinéma du Musée and the McCord Museum, as well as in Quebec City at the Musée national des beaux-arts de Québec. Adding to the accessibility, most films can be watched on ARTS.FILM, FIFA’s online screening platform, throughout the festival.

 

Robyn Fadden

Robyn Fadden is a Montréal-based writer and editor who searches out city secrets, new bands, life-changing art and things to do with her perpetually active kid. Robyn has covered major events for HOUR, MUTEK, ARTINFO, CKUT 90.3FM and more.

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