LUXEMBOURG : AN EXCEPTIONAL TRIBUTE
20 films, 3 exhibitions, public installations, virtual reality, 3 exhibitions, performances and a concertCINEMANIA Festival invites audiences to discover Luxembourg through a particularly rich and substantial selection: never before has the Festival paid such an ambitious tribute to a national body of film work.
What are the qualities of Luxembourg cinema – a cinema which, though not always well-known on this side of the Atlantic, is nonetheless thriving? The Festival hopes to provide answers to that question through this unique presentation, gathering 20 films accompanied by nearly 50 guest artists. Known for its strategic location at the heart of Europe, to which it provides political leadership, the Grand Duchy plays a key role in French-language co-production, including some films co-produced with Quebec.
This unique survey of a country’s cinema, its ambitious creators and technicians, will open with presentations of highly anticipated feature films like Marie Kreutzer’s Corsage and Plus que jamais by Emily Atef, both of which were shown at the most recent Cannes Festival. They were co-produced by Samsa Film, the Grand Duchy’s biggest independent production company and a major European player, to which CINEMANIA is also paying tribute. The “Clin d’oeil à Samsa Film” will offer Montreal audiences an overview that mixes recent productions with older ones, including Edward J. Steichen (Claude Waringo, 1995), Une liaison pornographique (Frédéric Fonteyne, 1999) and the short film Mécanomagie (Bady Minck, 1996).
Plus que jamais by Emily Atef
Paris and Luxembourg-based photographer Fabrizio Maltese will be among the invitees in the delegation. Specializing in celebrity portraits and set photography, Maltese has had his work on the cover of The Hollywood Reporter, Rolling Stone, GQ and Sight & Sound. Fascinated by themes of emptiness, absence, isolation and the quest for identity, this multi-disciplinary artist will present three documentaries:
L'Invitation (Red Lion - 2022), based on an idea by Mauritanian filmmaker Abderrahmane Sissako and the late Pol Cruchten; I Fiori persi (Joli Rideau Media - 2021), the personal story of an experience in Italy during the pandemic; and California Dreaming (Samsa Film - 2019), about a remote Mojave Desert community. In addition, Maltese’s work will be presented in three photographic exhibitions at the the PHI Centre, the Cinémathèque québécoise and the Hotel Sofitel Montreal Golden Mile. Maltese has created a different experience for each of these locations, permitting visitors to discover his craft as a photographer, which is inseparable from his work as a filmmaker. The exhibitions, Glamour, en toute intimitée et Clichés préparatoires can be visited from November 1 to 13 (Cinematheque and Sofitel), and De plus près from November 2 to 30 (PHI Centre)
Mr Hublot by Laurent Witz
In animated film – an area in which the Grand Duchy excels, particularly since Laurent Witz and Alexandre Espigares won an Oscar in 2014 for their animated short Mr Hublot (which will be presented) – CINEMANIA has programmed a wide selection of productions. Following its world premiere last May at the Cannes Festival, Le Petit Nicolas - Qu'est-ce qu'on attend pour être heureux? (Benjamin Massoubre & Amandine Fredon, Bidibul Productions - 2022) will have its Canadian premiere at CINEMANIA, in the presence of actor Laurent Lafitte, who lent his voice to this playful, poetic work based on the iconic French comic book character. Also presented as a Quebec premiere will be Saules aveugles, femme endormie (Pierre Földes, Doghouse Films, in co-production with Canada’s micro_scope - 2022), a singular animated film adapted from a group of short stories by Japanese writer Haruki Murakami. Other presentations worth discovering are: Icare (Iris Productions - 2021) by Carlo Vogele (who will be making the trip to Montreal), inspired by ancient myths and adapted for young audiences; and Le Peuple loup (Tomm Moore & Ross Stewart, Mélusine Productions - 2020), a wondrous animated film that mixes visual styles in an ecological tale that can be enjoyed by audiences of all ages. Rounding out the selection will be the animated shorts L'Ogre (Aurélien Pira, Zeilt Productions - 2022) and The Night Light Monster (Nicola Coppack, La Fabrique d’Images - 2013).
Ailleurs si j'y suis de François Pirot
The presentation of the Luxembourg-France-Belgium co-production Jumbo (Zoé Wittock, Les Films du Fauve - 2019), a romantic drama that blends fantasy, poetry and magic realism, will highlight the Grand-Duchy’s skills in genre cinema. The short subjects La valise rouge (Cyrus Neshvad, 2022) and Caroline sur le toit (Alejandro Bordier, Calach Films - 2022) will be entered in the international competition for the AQCC-Nespresso Critics’ Award for short films. Another discovery, Ailleurs si j’y suis, the latest feature from François Pirot (Mobile Home), produced by Tarantula Luxembourg, is a social satire about the contemporary fixation on performance and accumulation. With its striking, continually inventive tone, this feature film stars Suzanne Clément and Jérémie Renier.
Pour accompagner cette plongée exhaustive dans la création luxembourgeoise, la Cinémathèque québécoise abritera une conférence-débat intitulée « Le Cinéma luxembourgeois – un duel critique », animée par deux critiques chevronnés représentant leurs pays respectifs : pour le Luxembourg, Boyd van Hoeij (The Film Verdict) et pour le Québec, Marc-André Lussier (La Presse).
Capping off the deep dive into Luxembourg’s productions, the Cinémathèque québécoise will host a conference-debate entitled “Le Cinéma luxembourgeois – un duel critique”, with Boyd Van Hoeij (The Film Verdict) and Marc-André Lussier (La Presse).
Les Témoins Vivants de Karolina Markiewicz et Pascal Piron
Les cinéastes luxembourgeois Karolina Markiewicz et Pascal Piron accompagneront Les témoins vivants (Paul Thiltges Distributions - 2020), un documentaire à forte teneur pédagogique qui pose un regard touchant sur la perception de la Shoah chez les jeunes. Le film comptera parmi la Compétition Documentaires de la 28e édition, où figurera également L’Invitation de Fabrizio Maltese. Le couple Markiewicz / Piron comptera d’ailleurs parmi les artistes présentant des œuvres de réalité virtuelle au Centre PHI (entrée gratuite), du 2 au 6 novembre. Les expériences 7 Lives (a_BAHN), Missing Pictures – The Monkey Wrench Gang (épisode 3) (Wild Fang Films), Metamorphosis (Markiewicz / Piron) et Ayahuasca (a_BAHN) feront partie du voyage.
Filmmakers Pascal Piron and Karolina Markiewicz will be present for the screening of Les témoins vivants (Samsa Film), a documentary with a strong pedagogical component which takes a moving look at the perception of the Holocaust among young people. The film will be in official competition in the documentary category at this 28th edition of CINEMANIA, along with Fabrizio Maltese’s L’Invitation. The Piron-Markiewicz team will be among the artists presenting virtual reality works at the PHI Centre. The experiences 7 Lives, Missing Pictures – The Monkey Wrench Gang (episode 3), Metamorphosis and Ayahuasca will all be part of the journey.
It is also at the PHI Centre, simultaneous with the program offered by CINEMANIA in its tribute to the Grand Duchy, that Kultur | lx will be inviting spectators to discover other aspects of the arts in Luxembourg, with a schedule that includes several performances and a concert. Finally, at the PHI Centre, SODEC and Film Fund Luxembourg will host a day-long sequence of professional encounters, with presentations of case studies (a feature film, an extended reality project, and an animated film), networking opportunities and round tables with financing partners, including the Canada Media Fund and Telefilm Canada.
Completing the rich panoply of experience in Luxembourg, Featured Country of the 28th Edition, CINEMANIA will present, starting November 3, a unique and immersive outdoor exhibition at the Place des Festivals, in the heart of Montreal’s Quartier des Spectacles. Every evening at dusk, the walls of the Wilder Building will be lit up and animated with images of Luxembourg, thanks to an innovative mapping projection created by the Montreal company Lucion. Montreal’s architecture will be adorned by a luminous creation that introduces the public to Luxembourg’s cultural specificity, its identity, its diversity, and the ways in which it resembles us and can bring us together. A life-size installation, with “Luxembourg” in giant letters, will occupy part of the pedestrian space on Saint-Catherine Street, along with large screens offering passersby a playful introduction to the attractions of the Grand Duchy. At the same time, spectators will be able to participate, starting today, in a contest, with the winner receiving a one-week trip for two to Luxembourg (participate here).
Please note that Alexis Juncosa, artistic director of the Lux Film Fest, the country’s principal film festival, will be a jury member for the Quebec Films Competition of the 28th edition of CINEMANIA.
The precise composition of the delegation and the list of producers attending will be announced shortly. Luxembourg-related screenings and events will take place from November 2 to 6.
This exceptional initiative is made possible by the support of Film Fund Luxembourg (principal partner), in association with: The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Embassy of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in Canada, Luxembourg For Tourism, Cargolux, Bernard-Massard, Laurent et Rita Kox Vins & Crémants, Kultur | lx, The PHI Centre, Luxembourg City Film Festival, Lucion, The Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, Ville de Montréal, SODEC, The General Delegation of Quebec in Brussels, Air Canada, Sofitel Montreal Golden Mile.