What is the responsibility of the artist? Has the year 2020 increased awareness? À conversation with filmmakers who see Cinema as a means of expressing their social commitment.

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Part of the Journées de la Culture 2020


Tuesday October 13, 2020


With the presence of

Simon Lavoie

Hailing from the Charlevoix region in Quebec, Simon Lavoie studied cinema at UQAM. From 2003 to 2007, he directed several short films, including A White Chapel for which he won the Jutra for the Best Short Film in 2006. In 2008, he wrote and directed his first feature, the period drama The Deserter followed by Laurentia (co-directed with M. Denis), premiered at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in 2011. In 2012, he presented his third feature, The Torrent, a critically acclaimed adaptation of a short story by Anne Hébert. In 2015, Simon Lavoie reteamed with M. Denis for the uncompromising Those Who Make Revolution Halfway Only Dig Their Own Graves (Best Canadian Film at TIFF 2016, Special Mention of the Generation Jury at the Berlinale). The following year, the critics unanimously praised The Little Girl Who Was Too Found of Matches (inspired by Gaétan Soucy's eponymous novel), his 5th feature, launched at TIFF, Honorable Mention as Best Canadian Film. In 2020, he releases the poetic drama No Trace.

Justice Rutikara

Originally from Rwanda, Justice grew up in Quebec City, where he developed a passion for acting and film. With a degree in International Studies from the Université de Montréal, he chose to devote himself to writing and directing films with the desire to represent the beauty and absurdity of the human experience through his concept of "harmonic chaos". Currently, Justice is developing and directing his first medium-length documentary La Cité des Autres, a fiction podcast and animated documentary.

Elza Kephart

Elza Kephart holds a BFA from Emerson College. Her first feature, Graveyard Alive played in over 20 international film festivals. Her second feature, Go in the Wilderness, premiered at the Festival du Nouveau Cinema, played in various film festivals, and is on iTunes. SLAXX, her third feature, premiered at the 2020 Fantasia Film Festival and will play the Sitges International Film Festival. She has attended the Canadian Film Center and the TIFF Talent Lab. She is also a climate activist.

Joana Hadjithomas

Artist and filmaker, Joana Hadjithomas, together with Khalil Joreige, directed several films, documentary or fiction as ISMYRNA (2016), The Lebanese Rocket Society (2013), Je Veux Voir (2008) and A Perfect Day (2005), which have been shown and awarded in the largest international film festivals. Their artworks have been exhibited in numerous museums and biennale around the world. In 2017, they were awarded the prestigious Marcel Duchamp Prize, for the project Unconformities. Joana and Khalil are co-founder of the production company Abbout Productions with Georges Schoucair, and members of Metropolis Art Cinema and the new Cinemathèque of Beirut. They are currently in post production of their new feature, Memory Box produced by Miscroscope, Haut et Court and Abbout Productions.

Jess Legault


Jess Legault is the Network and Programming Coordinator for the Cinema Politica network. She is completing a Masters in Film Studies at Concordia, with a focus on grassroots and social movements in non-fiction cinema. Jess has worked as a nurse, a community organizer, and outreach worker. She firmly believes in the power of film to spark meaningful discussion and change and to disrupt the capitalist, racist, and heterosexist status quo. She lives in Montreal with her three children.

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