Our festival scene, too fractured?

The Globe & Mail’s Everett-Green dissects the Montreal festival scene, calling it too fractured but admitting that it hasn’t worked well to force festivals to merge.

Everett-Green doesn’t mention it directly, but one reason Serge Losique’s festival is in such bad financial shape dates from the incident he does describe in 2004, when Quebec withdrew funding from the World Film Fest and ordained a brand new festival to be directed by some European guy that was parachuted in. The idea was their new festival would merge with Claude Chamberlan’s Festival du nouveau cinéma and everything would be great. Except the new festival was a bomb and Chamberlan’s crowd wisely kept their distance.

But basically, Quebec has denied Losique the funding it would have given any other festival of its age and track record in an attempt to kill it off, so it’s no surprise Losique has ended up in the red. Other people might have given up long ago.

Everett-Green notices that festivals are often run by one driven personality, not a factor that can be replaced by money and bureaucracy no matter how much they throw at it. My bet is that the World Film Fest will live so long as Serge Losique does.