The Montreal World Film Festivalhas upped the ante in the local festival wars by adding another noted filmprofessional to its jury and seemingly securing the continued support of the NationalFilm Board of Canada.
Cinematographer Jorgen Persson,who has shot films for Ingmar Bergman, Bo Widerberg and Bille August, will join2005 jury president Theo Angelopoulos as well as Chen Kaige and Pavel Lounguine,as announced last week by its wily festival chief Serge Losique.
The return sponsorship of the NFP willprovide the festival with access to its NFB Cinema complex in Montreal and the$1000 Norman McLaren Prize for best Canadian student film.
The NFB's participation could notbe confirmed at time of going to press. But if true, the NFB's decision putsCanada's two federal film agencies essentially at loggerheads.
Telefilm Canada yanked its fundingof the MWFF last year and engineered - much to Losique's annoyance - thecreation of a new event, the Festival International de Films de Montreal(FIFM).
"I am delighted by this collaboration with the greatestcultural institution devoted to quality cinema in our country," commentedLosique. "The National Film Board of Canada and the Montreal Film Festival aretwo institutions devoted to quality cinema."
Losique has of late taken to referring to his event as the"Montreal Film Festival", a not-so-subtle dig at the fledgling FIFM that hasstruggled to stake out an English-language moniker. FIFM representatives haveresorted to verbal and written inflection: calling it the NewMontreal Film Festival or FilmFest. MWFF is suing FIFM over the nameissue, claiming trademark infringement.