It's a chilly yet sunny October afternoon and you are sitting in one of Montréal’s go-to places with Emilie and Dan (), the short film team of Festival du nouveau cinéma, who invited you to their favourite place to get one of Québec’s most sought-after products: poutine. It would take too long in this short text to describe it in an appropriate manner, let’s just say it’s very rich, it’s most likely very unhealthy and it’s just too good. If you happen to have had one too many drinks at the party the night before, then poutine might be your go-to-meal. Of course, FNC is not just about poutine. It’s also about the best bagels in town and maple syrup, the* Québecoise export hit that you find in many variations everywhere you go. But let's not get carried away by food here. After all, it’s all about the shorts here at Talking Shorts.
Founded in 1971 by two film enthusiasts, the festival quickly developed into a hotspot for up and coming talent both in features and shorts including the likes of Cassavetes, Akerman or Jarmusch and over the years has become one of Canada’s leading film festivals. Today, FNC’s shorts programme is a carefully selected collection of artistic short films from all over the world — you’ll easily discover some new and amazing films there. The screenings of the national programmes are packed and it’s great to see how supportive the filmmakers are of each other. It feels like a very close-knit family. The accompanying programmes are just as interesting and diverse, such as a retrospective of the works of directing duo Caroline Poggi and Jonathan Vinel or a programme dedicated to indigenous filmmaker Darryl Nepinak. Outside the cinema, the team will make sure that everybody feels as welcome as possible, be it at the traditional karaoke event or at the daily – or shall we say nightly – get-togethers at the festival centre where you can drink, dance and talk.
If you have the time, make sure to visit the offices of the National Film Board of Canada. They moved to a new place in 2019, which is close to the festival centre and if you are lucky enough, you might get a peek into the studios of some of Québec’s animation greats. If not, there’s still the best bagels in town to be had (they know where to get them!).
(*) In 2020 Émilie Poirier took over from Dan Karolewicz as head of the short film department.