Fifth an­niver­sary edi­tion of Au Con­traire Film Fes­ti­val

Montreal Times - - News -

It’s amaz­ing about the power of mo­tion pic­tures, and how they can raise aware­ness and break down stereo­types and stig­mas that are as­so­ci­ated with cer­tain sen­si­tive is­sues.

Case in point is the wide-reach­ing is­sue of men­tal ill­ness, and the im­por­tance of ex­plor­ing be­ing made aware of dif­fer­ent men­tal health is­sues from around the world from dif­fer­ent view­points. This where the Au Con­traire Film Fes­ti­val comes in. It 5th an­niver­sary edi­tion is set to take place at the Mon­treal Mu­seum of Fine Arts from Oc­to­ber 24 to 27.

With its mis­sion to raise aware­ness of mul­ti­ple men­tal health is­sues through screen­ings of thought-pro­vok­ing, edgy films, as well as panel dis­cus­sions with pro­duc­ers, writ­ers, ac­tors and men­tal health pro­fes­sion­als, the Au Con­traire Film Fes­ti­val be­gins on Oc­to­ber 24 with the Cana­dian pre­miere of the film “El­iz­a­beth Blue” by Vin­cent Sa­bella, which tells the story of how some­thing like true love can­not be bro­ken by men­tal ill­ness. Be­fore the screen­ing, award-win­ning mu­si­cian and author Florence K, this year’s fes­ti­val spokesper­son, will talk about how she dealt with her strug­gle with se­vere de­pres­sion.

Oc­to­ber 25 is the fes­ti­val’s “Soiree Lu­miere” ben­e­fit evening, which will fea­ture a film and live per­for­mance by la Troupe des Au­da­cieux, fol­lowed by the screen­ing of two medium-length films: Ap­nee, which deals with the sub­ject of de­pres­sion as seen from the point-ofview of a 19-year-old mu­sic stu­dents; and “Hum”, which tells the story of Kevin Nolan, who dealt with his schizoaf­fec­tive dis­or­der mu­sic.

Oc­to­ber 26 is ded­i­cated to doc­u­men­taries, and will fea­ture the screen­ing of such films as “Fomo Sapi­ens” from Swe­den, and “32 Pills: My Sis­ter’s Sui­cide”, which re­counts the life of New York artist and pho­tog­ra­pher Ruth Litoff and her tragic strug­gles with men­tal ill­ness, and how her sis­ter Hope – who also di­rected the film – coped with her tragic death.

The fes­ti­val con­cludes on Oc­to­ber 27 with three dif­fer­ent pro­grams. They in­clude screen­ings of sev­eral films that deal with how large and small-scale com­pa­nies deal with the men­tal health is­sues of their em­ploy­ees; a short film se­ries that in­volves mem­bers of the marginal­ized men­tal health com­mu­nity in Mon­treal; and a se­ries of an­i­mated short films, which in­cludes “Blue Light” from the UK, “Shad­ow­lands” from Swe­den and “What­ever the Weather” from Switzer­land.

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For more in­for­ma­tion about the 5th edi­tion of the Au Con­traire Film Fes­ti­val, go to: www.acff.ca

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