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The MONTREAL WORLD FILM FESTIVAL (INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL OF MONTREAL) is the only competitive film festival in North America recognized by the FIAPF.
Montreal ranks among the most prestigious festivals in the world.
The 2012 Festival edition runs August 23 - September 3
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Audience award to Claude Gagnon's Karaka
Looking to embark on a spiritual journey, Pierre Masson, a 61-year-old retired Quebec university professor, ends up making a short, unsettling trip around Okinawa with Junko, a 40-year-old runaway wife. The unprepared intellectual would rather not get involved with this unlikely and passionate lover, especially in an unfamiliar and disorienting cultural context. The confused, unwilling sexagenarian decides nevertheless to follow his destiny, unsure of where it (she?…) will take him. And, to his surprise, Pierre reaches the object of his quest at a time and in a place where he least expected it. "I wanted to portray Pierre as one of the many Westerners I have met who come to Asia with all sorts of preconceived, ridiculous ideas about how they can find a spiritual enlightenment there. Asia shouldn’t be seen as such an easy way out. The place doesn’t matter as long as you open up your eyes at one point. I had Gabriel Arcand in mind when I wrote the role. I knew very well what kind of man he is, and I was able to write the role in relation to it." -- Claude Gagnon
Born in Sainte-Hyacinthe, Quebec, in 1949, Claude Gagnon spent a decade in Japan in the 1970s. With his first feature, KEIKO (1978), he became the first and only foreigner to receive the Japanese Film Directors' Association best film award. Returning to Canada in the 1980s, Gagnon and his wife Yuri Yoshimura founded their own company, Aska Film. With THE KID BROTHER (1986), he won the MWFF's Grand Prize of the Americas as well as prizes at Berlin and other international festivals. Among his other films: LAROSE, PIERROT ET LA LUCE (1981), PALE FACE (1985, winner of the FIPRESCI prize at the MWFF), THE PIANIST (1991), POUR L'AMOUR DE THOMAS (1994), REVIVAL BLUES (2003), KAMATAKI (2005), winner of five prizes at the MWFF.
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