Those cold winter days are an ideal time of year to watch lots of movies, and this winter the Rendez-vous de l’ONF en Acadie is bringing a slate of new films to the screens of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Featuring French versions of films released mostly in 2012, the 2013 RDV de l’ONF winter season starts the week of January 20 and ends the week of April 7. Admission is free.
The film Alphée des étoiles (Alphée of the Stars) (2012, 83 min), directed by Hugo Latulippe, will kick off the season on Sunday, January 20, in Baie Sainte-Marie; Monday, January 21, in Moncton and Caraquet; Tuesday, January 22, in Fredericton; and Thursday, January 24, in Edmundston. Alphée will be preceded by the animated short Merci mon chien (It’s a Dog’s Life) by Nicolas Bianco-Levrin and Julie Rembauville (2012, 8 min). Screenings start at 7 p.m., or 7:30 p.m. in Caraquet.
Immerse yourself in movies
The National Film Board of Canada and its partners invite the public to enjoy great cinematic experiences in French, offering weekly screenings of films that deal with today’s social issues, as well as animated and short films brimming with creativity.
Film buffs can catch works that tackle a number of contemporary social problems—docs such as the award-winning Payback (2011) by Jennifer Baichwal, based on Margaret Atwood’s best-selling book Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth. Le peuple de la rivière Kattawapiskak (The People of the Kattawapiskak River) (2012), Alanis Obomsawin’s portrait of a sad reality, reports on the terrible housing crisis and increasing poverty in a Cree community in Northern Ontario, capturing shocking images of shoddy homes in the bitter cold. Le prix des mots (Silence Is Gold) (2012) by Julien Fréchette is a troubling documentary thriller that follows the twists and turns of judicial proceedings pitting Canadian mining companies Barrick Gold and Banro against Canadian writer Alain Deneault, his co-writers and Éditions Écosociété after the publication of the book Noir Canada in 2008.
The season also features Acadian productions, including Paul Émile d’Entremont’s Une dernière chance (Last Chance) and the short film Une affaire de famille (Family Business) by Justin Guitard (Tremplin 2011). Both these films won awards at the Festival international du cinéma francophone en Acadie 2012 last November. The menu will also include Chez nous (Our Home) (2012) by Acadian director Richard LeBlanc (Tremplin 2011).
Film also provides an opportunity to explore the arts. Bettina Ehrhardt’s Montréal Symphonie (Montreal Symphony) (2010) draws us deep into the world of conductor Kent Nagano, while Le chant des ondes (Wavemakers) (2012, Caroline Martel) reveals the fascinating story of the most evocative of electronic instruments, the ondes Martenot.
Launching the season: Alphée of the Stars
Although Alphée suffers from a rare genetic disease that affects her development, she nevertheless defies all medical predictions. When her parents instinctively refuse to have her placed in a special school, the family of four leaves for Europe to spend a year in the Swiss Alps. Her father uses this time to stimulate her learning development. A touching love letter from a father to a daughter, the film is also the story of a gamble and of an attempt to reverse the course of events, so that on her return Alphée can attend a regular school.
At once a private diary and a coming-of-age tale, Alphée of the Stars is an intimate work with a personal, tender approach that forms a sharp contrast to Latulippe’s more political films. The film challenges our assumptions, shedding new light on issues that have not yet been adequately explored.
About the director
After studying art and film, Hugo Latulippe took part in Radio-Canada’s Course destination monde. As an artist-in-residence at the NFB, he started off as a filmmaker under the direction of André Gladu. His many films, which have won awards at home and abroad, often tackle political subjects. They include Bacon, the Film, What Remains of Us and République: Un abécédaire populaire. Alphée des étoiles is his most recent film. The Esperamos collective, which he co-founded in 2005, now includes some of Quebec’s best-known documentary filmmakers.
Screenings of the RDV de l’ONF en Acadie this winter (Programme and venues here):
• Week of January 20: Alphée of the Stars (2012, 83 min); Merci mon chien (2012, 8 min)
• Week of January 27: Exil, enquête sur un mythe (Exile – A Myth Unearthed) (2012, 97 min)
• Week of February 3: Payback (2011, 86 min)
• Week of February 10: Séances (Sessions) (2012, 84 min); Kaspar (French version) (2012, 6 min)
• Week of February 17: Le peuple de la rivière Kattawapiskak (2012, 50 min)
• Week of February 24: Montréal Symphonie (2010, 98 min)
• Week of March 3: Les poings de la fierté (Fists of Pride) (2012, 63 min); Le banquet de la concubine (The Banquet of the Concubine) (2012, 13 min)
• Week of March 10: La promesse du Klondike (Klondike Promises) (2011, 52 min); MacPherson (2012, 11 min)
• Week of March 17: Le chant des ondes (2012, 97 min)
• Week of March 24: Une dernière chance (2012, 85 min); Edmond était un âne (2012, 15 min)
• Week of March 31: Le prix des mots (2012, 78 min); Bydlo (2012, 9 min)
• Week of April 7: Sur la banquise (2012, 30 min), Une affaire de famille (2012, 26 min), Chez nous (2012, 22 min)
For the complete programme, visit onf.ca/rendez-vous (available in French only).
Movie nights with free admission in the following locations:
• Pointe-de-l’Église – Salle Marc Lescarbot, Université Sainte-Anne (1695 Route 1)
• Fredericton – Bibliothèque Dr. Marguerite Michaud (Centre communautaire Sainte-Anne, 715 Priestman Street)
• Caraquet – Cinéma du Centre (220 Blvd. Saint-Pierre Ouest)
• Edmundston – Bibliothèque publique Mgr. W. J. Conway (33 Rue Irène)
• Moncton – Amphithéâtre du pavillon Jacqueline Bouchard de l’Université de Moncton.
About the NFB
The National Film Board of Canada creates groundbreaking interactive works, social-issue documentaries and auteur animation. The NFB’s award-winning content can be seen at NFB.ca and on apps for smartphones, tablets and connected TV. Canada’s public producer and distributor since 1939, the NFB has created over 13,000 productions and won over 5,000 awards, including 6 Webbys, 12 Oscars and more than 90 Genies.
For further information
Madeleine Blanchard, for the NFB