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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Dance Films at Montreal Festival International des Films sur l'art

March 23 - April 2, various venues in Montreal:


Norway | 2015 | 25 min
Russian | Subtitles in English
Cinematography: Ben Berhard
Distribution: Sant & Usant
Editing: Vlad Grishin
Director: Anita Rehoff Larsen
Production: Sant & Usant


Nastia, aged 13, and her 7-year-old sister Polina, share a dream of becoming star ballerinas. Admitted to a prestigious Russian ballet academy, they are both completely devoted to their rigorous and demanding training. Victor Kossakovsky’s documentary presents their close relationship and their love of dance, as Nastia encourages her sister to “dance with an open soul.” It tells their story with an economy of words and mirrors the art of ballet: at once sublime and solemn, stylish and understated.


Victor Kossakovsky

Russian filmmaker Victor Kossakovsky was born in 1961. He began his career at the Leningrad documentary studio as assistant cameraman, assistant director and editor in 1978. For many of his films, he acts as editor, cinematographer, writer and director. He graduated from the High Courses of Scriptwriters and Directors in Moscow in 1988. In 1993, his first feature, Belovy (1992), won the VPRO Joris Ivens Award and the Audience Award at IDFA. He has since won more than 100 awards. His latest films are Vivan Las Antipodas! (2011) and Demonstration (2015).
Filmography | Demonstration (2015), Vivan Las Antipodas! (2011), Belovy (1992).


Canada | 2016 | 68 min
Cinematography: Lynne Spencer
Distribution: Lynne Spencer Productions
Editing: Lynne Spencer
Music: Michael Bushnell, Owen Underhill, Tobin Stokes
Director: Lynne Spencer
Sound: Lynne Spencer
Production: Lynne Spencer Productions


In the world of classical ballet, artists are willing to make any sacrifices to maintain their hard-earned status, and to endure the most excruciating pain to continue their path towards perfection. What happens to dancers whose injuries threaten their ability to pursue their life’s passion? This film recounts the story of Simone Orlando, a principal dancer with Vancouver’s Ballet BC for twelve years. While working on a new ballet, she suffered a severe hip injury. From that moment on, she experienced both the hope of healing and the fear of having to leave the dance studio forever. She did everything humanly possible to continue to dance. Lynne Spencer’s first documentary relates this touching and inspiring story, interweaving interviews and unreleased clips from rehearsals and performances by Ballet BC.


Lynne Spencer

Lynne Spencer is an independent film director who began her career in the mainstream industry in 1993, working on features such as Double Jeopardy and Elf. She began directing in 2005, creating short films, videos for dance and commercial work for Ballet BC and Lululemon. Her work has been presented at the Joyce SoHo New York, Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Whistler Film Festival and Scotiabank Dance Centre. The documentary Broken (2016) is her debut feature film.
Filmography | First film.

Screenings playing this movie

Sat 25 Mar | 18:00
Screening # 28
UQAM - Salle Jean-Claude Lauzon

Dans les pas de Trisha Brown

France | 2016 | 79 min
English, French | Subtitles in French
Cinematography: Louvart Hélène
Editing: Ruiz Jocelyn
Director: Charvet Olivier, Germain Sophie
Sound: Waledisch François


Trisha Brown is among the leading figures in contemporary dance. By defying the laws of gravity, she has given dance an extraordinary fluidity and abstract beauty—turning it upside down in the process. Her choreography Glacial Decoy is now part of the repertoire of the Paris Opera Ballet. The film by Marie-Hélène Rebois follows Lisa Kraus, a remarkable dancer and long-time collaborator of the choreographer, as she teaches the work to the Opera Ballet dancers. Her organic approach is fascinating, allowing us to comprehend all the elements of the production, from the texture of the costumes to the set design by visual artist Robert Rauschenberg, which captures the spirit of this work created in 1979.


Marie-Hélène Rebois

Passionate about dance and movement, director Marie-Hélène Rebois films dancers at work, on stage and in rehearsal. She has made documentaries on renowned choreographers, and in particular on the memory of the body and the legacy of contemporary dance.
Filmography | Merce Cunningham, la danse en héritage (2012) ; Maguy Marin, la danse cachée (2009) ; Le Geste créateur (2008) ; Noces d'or, la mort du chorégraphe (2007) ; Ribatz, Ribatz ou le grain du temps (2003) ; Histoire d'une transmission, Dominique Bagouet à l'Opéra (1999).

Screenings playing this movie

Sun 26 Mar | 13:15
Screening # 44

Strike A Pose

United Kingdom | 2016 | 88 min
Cinematography: Reinout Steenhuizen
Distribution: BOND/360
Editing: Dorith Vinken
Music: Bart Westerlaken
Director: Kyle Greenberg
Sound: Carla Van Der Meijs
Production: BOND/360


In 1990, seven young dancers joined Madonna on her celebrated—and controversial—Blond Ambition tour, which took them to Europe, North America and Asia. Audiences everywhere cheered their demands for self-expression and calls for solidarity in the gay community, which was being ravaged by AIDS. Twenty-five years later, they talk about the legendary tour and the subsequent film Truth or Dare (1991), which revealed an intimate portrait of Madonna and her relationship with her dancers. Filmmakers Ester Gould and Reijer Zwaan present these men today, as they talk about their experience in a touching story about the complexity of asserting one’s identity.


Ester Gould

Ester Gould, born in Peterculter, Scotland, in 1975, is a documentary filmmaker who lives and works in Amsterdam. After studies in film and journalism, she began her career working with director Heddy Honigmann. Since 2005, she has been directing her own documentaries for Dutch public broadcasters. Her first feature-length documentary, Shout (2009), shot in Syria and the Golan Heights, was named best film at the London International Documentary Film Festival in 2010. Strike a Pose (2016) is her third feature film.
Filmography | A Strange Love Affair with Ego ( 2015), Shout (2009).

Reijer Zwaan

Reijer Zwaan, born in 1981, is a journalist and filmmaker for Dutch Public Television. He studied acting at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute and then studied Political Science in Amsterdam and New York (New School University). He works as deputy editor-in-chief for Nieuwsuur, the main current affairs program in the Netherlands. After seeing the film Truth or Dare when he was 11 he couldn’t stop asking himself what might have happened to the young dancers who had made such an impact. Strike a Pose is his first feature length film.
Filmography | First film.

Screenings playing this movie

Fri 24 Mar | 20:45
Screening # 12
Grande Bibliothèque de BAnQ - Auditorium 
Sat 01 Apr | 18:15
Screening # 101
Grande Bibliothèque de BAnQ - Auditorium 

Danser l'espoir : portrait de Germaine Acogny

Canada | 2016 | 43 min
Cinematography: Geneviève Perron
Distribution: Esperamos Films
Editing: Martin Morissette
Music: Alain Auger
Director: Hugo Latulippe, Vali Fugulin
Sound: Sylvain Vary
Production: Esperamos Films


The birth of contemporary dance in Africa is due in no small part to Germaine Acogny. In this documentary by Canadian directors Vali Fugulin and Martin Morissette, she looks back, at the age of 70, at the milestones in her career, her work with Maurice Béjart and in particular with the École des Sables in Senegal. A training and creation centre nestled in the wilderness, the site has become a mecca for young dancers from all over Africa. Acogny is thus pursuing her dream of bringing together an entire generation of young dancers, all devoted to developing contemporary dance. With backgrounds in street dancing or hip-hop, traditional or contemporary dance, they develop their skills under the watchful eye of Germaine Acogny. In addition to the rigorous techniques, she instructs them how to never lose hope.


Vali Fugulin

Vali Fugulin has worked as a filmmaker in Montreal for the last fifteen years, directing numerous documentary series and web documentaries. In collaboration with the National Film Board, she created the innovative video game J’aime les patates (2015) and co-directed the web documentary Toi, moi et la Charte (2014), both of which earned NUMIX awards.
Filmography | Justice (2016) ; Interrupt This Program (villes résilientes) (2015-2016) ; Toi, moi et la charte (2014) ; Le théâtre des opérations (2013) ; Code barre (2012) ; Naufragés des villes (2011) ; Zed in Tokyo (2009) ; Tupperware : recettes pour le succès (2006) ; S'envoyer en l'air (2004) ; Les laboratoires Crête (2003).

Martin Morissette

Martin Morissette has worked as an editor-director in Montreal for some twenty years, primarily in documentaries, TV news magazines and independent video.
Filmography | First film.

Screenings playing this movie

Mon 27 Mar | 18:00
Screening # 55
Cinémathèque québécoise - Salle principale

Keep the Flame, Don't Pray to the Ashes – The Choreographer Martin Schläpfer

Germany | 2016 | 53 min
German | Subtitles in English
Cinematography: Monika Eise, Carsten Jost, Gordon Kalbfleisch, Gabriel Pielke, Dieter Stürmer, Philipp Metz
Distribution: Real Fiction Filmverleih
Editing: Ansgar Pohle
Director: Ansgar Pohle
Sound: Filipp Forberg, Fabian Moh, Lennart Speer
Production: 7T1 Media GmbH


Can an artist constantly renew his commitment to freedom, beauty and aesthetic nuance? Choreographer Martin Schläpfer, who has directed the Ballet am Rhein Düsseldorf since 2009, is a preeminent figure in the European dance world. His creations have been acclaimed for their sheer power and boldness, launching ballet once and for all into the 21st century. As he works on two major choreographies—Alltag, a ballet conceived for him by collaborator Hans van Manen, and Deep Field, a work set to the music of contemporary composer Adriana Hölszky—director Annette Von Wangenheim captures the essence of the artist in his tireless investigations of movement and beauty—as much in his daily life as his creative process.


Annette Von Wangenheim

Annette von Wangenheim is an author and director of documentary films. She studied musicology, theatre and film studies at the University of Cologne. Her documentaries, which have been broadcast on TV and screened at international festivals, include Bellboys in the Dream Factory – Black Extras in German Feature Films (2001), Joséphine Baker. Black Diva in a White Man's World (2006) and Nijinsky & Neumeier. Soulmates in Dance (2010).
Filmography | Nijinsky & Neumeier. Soulmates in Dance (2010) ; Elegance of the View. The Photographer Willy Maywald (2008) ; Joséphine Baker. Black Diva in a White Man’s World (2006) ; Mysterious Kyoto. Shrines, Temples, and the Art of Archery (2005) ; Open Wound Palestine (2004) ; Three Ballets by Kurt Jooss (2004) ; Pages in the Factory of Dreams. Black Extras in German Feature Films (2002) ; Explosion of Silence. The World of Women in Yemen (2001) ; Kurt Jooss. A Commitment to Dance (2001).

Screenings playing this movie

Mon 27 Mar | 18:00
Screening # 55
Cinémathèque québécoise - Salle principale 

Rebels on Pointe

Canada | 2017 | 90 min
English, Spanish, Catalan, Italian | Subtitles in English
Cinematography: Renald Bellemare, Bobbi Jo Hart, Jenni Morello, Stephanie Weber-Biron
Distribution: SND Films
Editing: Catherine Legault
Music: Jann Arden, Corey Hart
Director: Bobbi Jo Hart, Robbie Hart
Production: Adobe Productions International


Exploring universal themes of identity, dreams, family and love, Rebels on Points is the first-ever documentary celebrating the world-famous Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo. The all-male, comic ballet company was founded over forty years ago on the heels of New York’s Stonewall riots, and now enjoys a huge cult following around the world. The film combines behind-the-scenes sequences with rich archival material to recount the personal histories of the dancers. With numerous clips from gender-bending dance performances in North America, Europe and Japan, Rebels on Points shows that a ballerina can be much more than a woman who dances, becoming an act of revolution in a tutu.


Bobbi Jo Hart

Bobbi Jo Hart has directed and produced documentaries since 1997. She has made films in all corners of the globe, in such countries as Pakistan, Russia, Great Britain, Guatemala, Zimbabwe, Romania and United States. Her subjects are extremely varied, exploring different, often misunderstood, lifestyles in a spirit of shared humanity.
Filmography | Rise (2015) ; I am not a rock star (2012) ; She got game: Behind-the-Scenes of the Women's Pro Tennis Tour (2003) ; Shrinkage (2001) ; A calling to care (1997).

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