Thursday, September 10, 2015

Au Contraire Film Festival announces its 2015 program


Paradis Urbain is proud to present the 3rd annual Au Contraire Film Festival (ACFF) program. The festival will showcase edgy and thought-provoking feature and short films and documentaries from around the world, to be followed by panel discussions on key topics on mental illness.

This year’s ACFF program was chosen from over 400 submissions, more than double the amount received for the 2014 edition, from all around the world” said Philip Silverberg, festival founder. Our roster will screen, in English and French, 3 feature and 8 short length jury selected films including 5 Canadian Premières. All of these films Challenge the Myths and Change the Perspectives surrounding mental illness.”

On Tuesday October 27, ACFF 2015 opens with the Canadian premiere of Touched with Fire, a crowd-pleaser at SXSW 2015 starring Katie Holmes and Luke Kirby as manic depressives who meet in a psychiatric hospital and begin a romance that brings out all of the beauty and horror of their condition. Executive Produced by Spike Lee, the film deals with many of the issues writer/director Paul Dalio tackled while trying to find a balance with his own bipolar disorder. He will be at the post-screening discussion panel to discuss this film and more.

Renowned for tackling the most difficult subjects, on Thursday October 29th ACFF 2015 presents four films that explore suicide from multiple perspectives. The Phone Call (Ireland) and Curfew (USA) are both Academy Award winning films based around a call for help. A Complicated Way To Live (UK) is a hard-hitting documentary about a man’s struggles with the system. And the evening is completed by Letting You Go (The Netherlands). A powerful documentary about a psychiatric patient’s right to self termination, the longing for peace and the biggest sacrifice a father can make out of love for his child. In light of Quebec’s Bill 52 and the current Canadian Commission on Physician-Assisted Death, having the film director and the father in the film present, our post screening panel discussion is sure to be intense and emotional.

Anxiety in our youth is the theme of this year’s ACFF Youth Awareness Program (YAP) where over 600 Montréal high school students will have the opportunity to watch the North American premiere of All We Ever Wanted (Netherlands). The post screening panel will feature Emiel, one of the subjects of the film, who will add an insightful perspective to the possibilities of recovery.

Closing ACFF 2015 is The Living Museum (USA), a fascinating documentary by Academy Award winning director Jessica Yu about the first successful model of an art asylum in the US. Patients thrive as artists in a self-run creative environment, their symptoms being a prime source of creative inspiration. Janos Marton, PhD, the co-founder of The Living Museum will attend the post-screening panel discussion.

For the full screening schedule and to buy tickets click here.

The ACFF Partners:

Paradis Urbain
The mission of Paradis Urbain, a Canadian registered charity, is to assist individuals, who, due to their mental illness, are having difficulty moving forward and recovering their lives. Recognizing the power of creative expression as a catalyst that inspires Montreal citizens to take action, Paradis Urbain is committed to supporting rehabilitation programs for the mentally ill and to dispelling stereotypes by promoting issues of social justice, diversity and human rights that adds a voice to a marginalized community.

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Through their Sharing the Museum initiative, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is glad to be a "proud partner" of the Au Contraire Film Festival. The ACFF will add to the fifteen year museum tradition of offering a cultural experience to Montrealer’s with special needs. Erasing the stigma of mental illness and developing new programs that can integrate art within a recovery model is an integral part of our Museum mission

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