Montreal’s Sommets du cinéma d’animation kicked off yesterday with a master class by former Disney producer Don Hahn and an opening night screening of the French animated feature The Big Bad Fox & Other Tales.
The festival will go on till Sunday with dozens of screenings as well as networking sessions, gallery exhibits, talks, master classes, and special events.
“We think that our International Competition is quite exciting with many new films,” the festival’s artistic director Marco de Blois said.
But beyond screenings, the festival has a quirky side too. Talking on the same, de Blois said, “Our festival also likes to take animation out of the cinemas and put them in stage events. This is why we will have a performance mixing circus numbers and animation with the circus company Cirquantique on Friday and a rock show with indie animator Joël Vaudreuil and the rock band Cheval fou on Saturday evening.”
Another highlight is a five-hour master class with Matthew Rankin, director of the mixed-media short The Tesla World Light which premiered earlier this year at the International Critics’ Week section of the Cannes Film Festival.
Sommets also tries to keep up with the changing face of Montreal’s animation scene. The event, which started at the Cinémathèque québécoise a decade-and-a-half ago as just two screenings of short films, has evolved to include feature films and industry-related talks, including a VFX presentation by Framestore.
Montreal, which has possibly the fastest-growing animation scene in North America, needs meeting points like Sommets more than ever. The event takes place at the Cinémathèque québécoise and the nearby Phi Center.