For its 39th edition, the FIFA offers art lovers an overview of the best artistic films and the most recent films on art from around the world. The 2021 edition will take place entirely online with exclusive access to many films.
With more than 200 productions from nearly 40 countries, the FIFA programming is both impressive and diverse. This year, the FIFA presents a prestigious and varied carte blanche component: The MoMA, Caroline Monnet, NOWNESS, ImagiNATIVE, Ronald Rose-Antoinette, Francis Alÿs, Vidéographe, Kitoko Diva and guest festivals from Beirut, Mexico and Tel Aviv.
Here, by discipline, a few films you won’t want to miss:
Ila Bêka, Louise Lemoine (France; 2020; 1h29)
Set off on an urban road trip with this feature film, an official selection, through Tokyo’s busy streets. Shot in black and white from the seat of an Alpha Romeo, it’s a mesmerizing blend of architectural practice and imagination.
Canadian premiere (English)
Symposium / In the distance
Luigi Capasso (Canada; 2020; 11 min)
Those unforgettable moments, like gathering around the table to celebrate a friend’s birthday – may feel like a distant memory. But in this official competition short film, we can enjoy them again onscreen through cameras placed at different viewpoints, capturing moments we can’t wait to re-experience.
World premiere (Italian with English sub-titles)
J'ai retrouvé Christian B.
Alain Fleischer (France; 2020, 1h27)
This feature length film, in official competition, was started nearly 50 years ago by the director. It offers a touching portrait of the iconoclastic artist and videographer Christian Boltanski, from his daily life to his recent retrospective show at the Pompidou Centre.
North American premiere (French)
Socially engaged art
Janz in the moment
Joanna Kiernan (United States; 2020; 1h11)
The film follows American Robert Janz, who has been making cinematic and ephemeral art for more than five decades, as he turns to graffiti art in New York at the age of 80.
Canadian premiere (English)
Stop filming us
Joris Postema (Netherlands, 2002, 1h35)
This official competition documentary gives young people from Goma, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the opportunity to define their own narrative. Artists and citizens alike cast a critical eye on colonialism and the sensationalism that often accompanies African content in film, as they challenge stereotypes with their unflinching commentary.
Canadian premiere (French, English, Dutch, Swahili, with French sub-titles).
Carte blanche à imagineNATIVE
Sky Hopinka (United States; 2020; 43 min)
Framing image, intention, composition and transference, Sky Hopinka presents Indigenous Experimental Cinema — Talk, which explores diverse notions in Indigenous experimental cinema through personal artist-talk.
Montréal premiere (English).
Marlene Millar (Canada; 2020; 13 min)
Ten outstanding dancers/singers explore unknown terrain in the spectacular Burren region on Ireland’s west coast. A hypnotic and expressive percussive dance by Sandy Silva steeped in emotion and energy.
North American premiere (without dialogue)
Boulogne-Billancourt le temps des studios
Bernard Louargant (France; 2020; 56 min)
From 1922 onwards, in Boulogne-Billancourt, the great iconic French film studios started to flourish, sparking the rise of Gabin, Belmondo, Signoret, De Funès and other stars. After many years of quasi-neglect, what remains of these mythic spaces?
North American premiere (French with English sub-titles)
Fellini fine mai
Eugenio Cappuccio (Italy; 2019; 1h21)
An intimate and exclusive portrait of Federico Fellini on the 100th anniversary of his birth. Featuring many never-before-seen interviews with collaborators and Fellini himself, this film paints a picture of both the man and the filmmaker.
Québec premiere (Italian with English sub-titles)
Jazz Club Owner
Guylaine Dionne (Canada; 2020; 1h20)
Set to soothing jazz notes, this sweet documentary follows the daily life of Joel Giberovitch, owner and artistic director of the legendary Upstairs jazz club, located in a downtown Montréal basement.
Canadian premiere (French, English with sub-titles).
Comme une vague (Big Giant Wave)
Marie-Julie Dallaire (Canada; 2020; 1h27)
The music and its fascinating effects on the brain, captured in a cinematic wave that transports us from Montréal to Cremona and Mexico to Sweden.
World premiere (French, English, Dari, Spanish with French sub-titles).
Rarely heard voices
Nitsan Tal (Uganda, Israel; 2019; 1h)
8000 Paperclips follows the Israeli artist/sculptor Raffael Lomas, who invites refugee students from southern Sudan to create a collective work of art from paperclips. Part of the carte blanche to Israel’s EPOS Festival.
Canadian premiere (English, Hebrew, with English sub-titles)
Someday I Will Become a Rock
Elysa Wendi, Cheung Cheuk (Singapore, Hong Kong; 2019; 19 min)
From traditional Korean to contemporary dance, this official selection short film puts Wendi in the spotlight, meticulously showcasing the array of emotions conveyed by this unique dancer/artist.
North American premiere (English, Korean, Javanese, with English sub-titles).
With packages designed to let you watch to your heart’s content, the Festival International du Film sur l’Art is perfect for culture vultures. Get comfy on your sofa with a bowl of popcorn and start exploring the world through film!