Montreal’s image+nation film festival unveils 2018 slate

Fest director Charlie Boudreau says the slate aims to expand the breadth and notions about queer cinema, including titles such as Keith Behrman's Giant Little Ones.

DirectorsChairBy Kelly Townsend

Montreal’s image+nation film festival has released the lineup for its 2018 edition, with a focus on expanding the breadth and notions of queer cinema and its talent.

Canadian films that will be showcased at this year’s festival, which runs Nov. 22 to Dec. 2, include broadcaster Sook-Yin Lee’s supernatural drama Octavio is Dead, which premiered at Toronto’s Inside Out Festival and was produced by Toronto’s The Film Farm, Laurie Marie Wayne’s Love, Scott, a documentary about musician Scott Jones, who was paralyzed after a brutal homophobic attack, and Keith Behrman’s coming-of-age drama Giant Little Ones, which recently secured a U.S. sale.

Of this year’s lineup, Charlie Boudreau, the festival’s longtime director, says image+nation is focusing on stories and the storytellers that bring a unique perspective to queer cinema. “We’re trying to bring films that people would not necessarily be seen elsewhere, and to really represent the myriad of what being queer is,” she told Playback Daily.

The festival is also featuring a sidebar highlighting creative approaches to queer storytelling. Films in the series include Caroline Berler’s documentary Dykes, Camera, Action! and Ondi Timoner’s biopic Mapplethorpe. This series coincides with a brand new sponsorship with the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, who will be promoting the festival and distributing materials to their patrons.

“To me that’s a really interesting audience to reach and a broadening of an audience who has a different sort of mindset,” said Boudreau.

The festival will also continue to highlight the work of Montreal talent in its regular short program Queerment Quebec, presented in partnership with Phi Centre. Last year the program was sold out and was presented in full at the Kiev Molodist International Film Festival in May 2018. This year they’re already seeing tremendous growth. “We had to refuse three quarters of what we [received], whereas before we were playing most of the films [submitted],” said Boudreau. “That’s an indication that something’s working here.”

After the festival, they work to promote their short program to other festivals and programmers to help the films reach audiences across and outside of Canada. “They have multiplied their presence at festivals and a lot of them have been picked up,” said Boudreau.

Looking ahead to the future, Boudreau says the next step is to build more relationships with international producers. “I want to start an international forum on what is queer storytelling in your country,” she said. “I don’t speak of England or France, I speak of Kenya or Chile or Belarus. And, with that, combining a more concerted effort to try to create a place where these stories can be heard.”

Correction: This article’s headline and body copy originally incorrectly stated “2019 slate” when it should have read “2018 slate”. Playback regrets the error and notes that it occurred in production, not as submitted.