By Andy Lauer | Indiewire August 12, 2009 at 8:16AM
A record number of films from 78 countries will participate in the 2009 Montreal World Film Festival. The program includes 240 features (among them 130 world and international premieres, 43 North American premieres and 29 Canadian premieres), 9 medium-length films and 208 short films. This year's festival runs from August 27 to September 7.
The World Competition, will showcase 23 features and 13 shorts. Among the films screening are "Forever Waiting" by Francisco Avizanda (Spain), "Animal Heart" by Séverine Cornamusaz (Switzerland), "Andrés Doesn't Want to Take a Siesta" by Daniel Bustamante (Argentina), and "Redland" by Asiel Norton (United States).
The First Films World Competition will feature 20 films by first-time directors including "The Childhood of Icarus" by Alexandre Iordachescu (Romania-France), the late French actor French actor Guillaume Depardieu's final film. In the film, Depardieu plays a man who would like to turn back the clock and undo the accident that led to his disability and destroyed his life.
Screening out of competition in the Hors concours/World Greats section are 24 feature films, including the world premieres of two films by noted Canadian directors: Ricardo Trogi's "1981," which will open the section, and John N. Smith's "Love & Savagery." Also screening in this section are films by directors such as Theo Angelopoulos, Francisco Lombardi, Benoît Jacquot, Danielle Thompson, Shyam Benegal, Andrzej Wajda and Karen Shakhnazarov.
Also this year, the MWFF will pay tribute to actor Pierre Lebeau by awarding him its highest honor, the Grand Prize of the Americas. Winner of the Prix Jutra 2003 for best actor for his performance in "Séraphin, un homme et son péché," Pierre Lebeau is also the recipient of a Métrostar in 2004 for his Role in the Fortier television series. Lebeau's latest film, "Roger Cantin's A Cargo to Africa," will receive its world premiere in the World Competition.
Finally, the festival will close with the world premiere of the official film of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Gu Jun's "The Everlasting Flame Beijing 2008."
For more information, visit the festival's official website.