Directors hope Toronto screening raises curiosity about Quebecois cinema

TORONTO — Three critically acclaimed Quebecois films are screening in Toronto this weekend with the aim of shining a light on cinema from the province.

Toronto-based film distribution company Game Theory Films is putting on the Quebec on Screen event at the Royal Cinema, which will also feature Q-and-A’s with the directors.

The films screening Friday through Sunday include the coming-of-age drama “A Colony” (“Une Colonie”), written and directed by Genevieve Dulude-De Celles.

That film won three Canadian Screen Awards earlier this year, including best picture and best first feature.

The other films are the allegorical drama “The Great Darkened Days” (“La Grande Noirceur”), directed and co-written by Maxime Giroux, which won five Canadian Screen Awards.

Then there’s the look at adolescence in “Genesis” (“Genese”), written and directed by Philippe Lesage, which was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award and made TIFF’s list of top 10 Canadian features of 2018.

“It’s funny because our films travel all around the world in different festivals, and mine will play in Sweden in like 20 theatres, and how come the film won’t be seen in English Canada, in my own country?” Dulude-De Celles, who lives in Montreal, said Friday in an interview.

“So I think it’s important to raise curiosity or to introduce Quebec cinema to the audience here.”

Quebec cinema was a major focal point at the Canadian Screen Awards earlier this year, with all of the best-picture nominees being French-language films.

The leading film contenders at the awards were also from Quebec, with “The Great Darkened Days” and Daniel Roby’s disaster thriller “Just a Breath Away” getting eight nominations apiece.

Montreal-based Lesage said it’s also a struggle to get the Quebec public to see their films “but that curiosity is even worse here, even for English-Canadian cinema.”

“Our films travel around the world, and so do some of the other Quebec films as well, and they’re absolutely not seen here or there’s no focus on them, we don’t talk about them here,” Lesage said.

“So of course I hope it’s going to bring curiosity.”

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