Canadian cinema will shine brightly at the 70th Venice International Film Festival thanks to the latest works by acclaimed filmmakers Xavier Dolan, Bruce LaBruce and Ritchie Mehta. This year’s festival runs from August 28 to September 7, 2013. Xavier Dolan’s feature Tom à la ferme (Tom at the Farm) will be in official competition—the first Quebec film to have this honour in 29 years, after Sonatine (directed by Micheline Lanctôt and starring a then 14-year-old Pascale Bussières in her first screen appearance), which won the Silver Lion award for best first film in 1984. Other Canadian films to have been in competition at the Mostra areBarney’s Version, by Richard J. Lewis, in 2010, and A Dangerous Method, by David Cronenberg, in 2011.
This year, furthermore, two Canadian films will be presented in the parallel Venice Days event: Siddharth, by Ritchie Mehta, and Gerontophilia, by Bruce LaBruce. Gerontophilia will have the honour of being screened on the opening day of this prestigious section, which invites only 12 films to be part of the official selection.
Tom à la ferme (Tom at the Farm), by Xavier Dolan, France-Canada coproduction
Production: Mifilifilms and MK2
International sales: MK2
The director of J’ai tué ma mère (I Killed My Mother; three prizes at the Directors’ Fortnight at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, including the International Confederation of Art Cinemas Award), Les Amours imaginaires (Heartbeats; presented in the Un certain regard section at Cannes in 2010) and Laurence Anyways (presented in the Un certain regard section at Cannes in 2012 and winner of the Best Canadian Feature Award at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival), draws on a play by Michel Marc Bouchard for his new feature. A young ad executive travels to the country for the funeral of his gay lover, who died accidently. He finds out that his lover’s mother knew nothing about her son’s sexual orientation. The young man is forced to get involved in lies and deception…
Giornate degli Autori – Venice Days
Venice Days is a separate event to the Venice Film Festival and is dedicated to innovative and independent cinema.
Siddharth, by Ritchie Mehta, India-Canada co-venture
Production: Poor Man’s Productions and A71 Productions (Canada) / Wonderland (India)
The director of the acclaimed feature Amal, winner of some 30 international awards, offers a heart-rending new film that tells the story of Siddharth, a 12-year-old boy sent by his father to work in Mumbai. When Siddharth fails to return home, his father discovers that his son may been taken by child traffickers. With few resources and no connections, he goes in search of the boy.
Gerontophilia, by Bruce LaBruce
Production: Les Films 1976 and New Real Films
International sales: MK2
Filmmaker, writer, actor and photographer Bruce LaBruce has directed seven daring and provocative features, several of which have achieved cult status. Otto; or Up with Dead People started its international career at the Sundance and Berlin festivals and eventually screened at some 150 festivals. Gerontophilia tells the story of Lake, a young man obsessed with old men. He gets a job at an assisted-living facility, where he befriends an old man for whom Lake conjures memories of a love affair from his youth. The film will be one of two features to open Venice Days on August 28.