The Festival du nouveau cinéma is pleased to announce that Surviving Progress by Mathieu Roy and Harold Crooks will open its Focus section on October 13 at the Cinéma Impérial (Centre Sandra et Leo Kolber, Salle Lucie et André Chagnon).
Inspired by Ronald Wright’s non-fiction bestseller A Short History of Progress, this documentary provides a subversive diagnosis of mankind’s advancements and the fatal traps they engender. Offering illuminating insights from some of today’s foremost thinkers, including David Suzuki, Jane Goodall, Margaret Atwood and Stephen Hawking, directors Mathieu Roy and Harold Crooks probe the fundamental and unsettling patterns of human progress. Surviving Progress is produced by Daniel Louis and Denise Robert; executive producers: Martin Scorsese, Mark Achbar, Betsy Carson, co-produced by the National Film Board of Canada (executive producer Silva Basmajian, producer Gerry Flahive). Associate producer François Girard, music by Michael Ramsey and Patrick Watson. Distributed by Alliance Vivafilm, the film will be released this fall.
Surviving Progress will also be in competition for the Grand Prix Focus – Cinémathèque québécoise, an annual award worth $5,000 that goes to the best feature in the Focus section, which celebrates Quebec and Canadian cinema. The other films in competition are Amy George by Yonah Lewis and Calvin Thomas, the tale of a thirteen-year-old boy who wants to become an artist; Tony Asimakopoulos’ autobiographical documentary Fortunate Son, a probing look at the director’s troubled past and also a love letter to his aging Greek immigrant parents; Darrell Wasyk’s The Girl in the White Coat, loosely based on Nikolai Gogol’s The Overcoat and starring Pascale Montpetit; Ingrid Veninger’s i am a good person/i am a bad person, about a struggling independent filmmaker’s crisis of confidence; Marginal Road by Yassaman Ameri, a film that explores the concept of exile through stories and images based on personal experience; Laurentie by Simon Lavoie and Mathieu Denis, in which a young Montrealer caught up in an identity crisis develops feelings of hatred toward anglophones, specifically his neighbour; and Romeo Eleven, the debut feature from local boy Ivan Grbovic, which draws a close-up portrait of a shy young man who’s looking for love in all the wrong places. The Focus section will also include an impressive lineup of out-of-competition features.
31 shorts will screen in competition as well. Among them are Ce n’est rien by Nicolas Roy, which screened at Cannes; La Ronde by Sophie Goyette, presented at Locarno; Hope by Pedro Pires, who brought us the superlative Danse macabre in 2009; and Trotteur, the latest work by Francis Leclerc and Arnaud Brisebois. For its 40th edition, the FNC is pulling out all the stops to fulfil its mandate — namely, to seek out original, largely unseen films by talented filmmakers and bring some of the country’s best works to the big screen!