The Festival International du Film Ethnographique du Québec (FIFEQ) was founded in 2003 by a group of students in visual anthropology at Université de Montréal. A free and unique festival, it is one of the rare platforms to screen and promote ethnographic cinema in Canada. Thanks to the generous implication of hundreds of students from Concordia University, McGill University, Université de Montréal, non-student professionals and numerous partners, the Festival has brought together, over the past 18 years, thousands of viewers driven by a passion for cinema, visual anthropology, or simply by the curiosity of discovering hidden gems of the ethnographic repertoire. Since 2003, the Festival has been driven by a mission: to democratize visual anthropology and the cinema of the real by proposing programs of eclectic and accessible films and by creating bridges between different fields: academic, cultural, and associative.
We have the great pleasure of inviting you to the two-week closure of our 17th edition, which will have taken place over two years, in 2020 and 2021, due to the context of the pandemic. We are honored to present you with a program that is online and entirely free. Faithful to our history, we offer an original and daring program of about twenty ethnographic films from all over the world. Quebec and Indigenous productions are also featured! Our objective is to, once again, push the limits of ethnographic cinema and refuse the shackles of so-called “classical” anthropology. We have favoured works that deal with the everyday and the near, and that propose fresh outlooks on current realities.
In short, in 2020-21, no miserablism, no sensationalism, no voyeurisme, but films that bring people together, that are positive, and sometimes even funny! We offer a bit of levity to viewers in the midst of a very chaotic contemporaneity. At FIFEQ-MTL, we take a clear-eyed look at the world around us, while hoping to give hope!
The FIFEQ-Montréal team
Touching filmic narratives about the loss or search for a home.
Two unique films portraying the daily struggles of different individuals as they leave, search for, or lose their own home. Two touching and painful, yet beautiful, tales.
Cinema as a place for sharing the intimate, a common space for reflection, to think about what is revealed to us and how we look at it.
These four approaches make us think about our ways of seeing, showing and living our intimacies. The uniqueness of each of these works allows us to understand, through complex and diverse fragments of lives, the protagonists’ issues and the links between them.
between Amélie Ward and Gaëlle Lachevallier around the thematic blocks "Imagining Relationality" and "Rhythms and sensorialities II - Breaths and Whispers".
Through these films, filming the invisible appears to us as a possibility of the cinema of the real and, above all, as a space for reflection.
The camera makes it possible to filter the invisible to make it visible. This possibility offered by cinema would not be complete without a consideration of the impact of sounds in the creation of almost palpable spaces. It is thus in the form of a breath, a whisper, that these films evolve in order to reach their objective: entering the world of sensations to create a space for reflection.
Two works with a tangible cinematographic fabric, materializing memory through their mediatic quality.
Perceiving memories as never-ending processes rather than static products allows one to reflect upon and wander through processes of memorialization, a feat that is magnificently accomplished by these two sensorially poetic films.
Three incredibly powerful films, addressing with finesse the theme of identity and the reappropriation of the narrative by the filmic tool: subjects dear to visual anthropology!
If identity is a fundamentally anthropological subject that has been seen over and over again, the filmic medium, like a magnifying glass, allows us to magnify and even blur its contours, to offer us other perspectives. From a 6-minute sensory incursion into a recycling factory to a multi-collage collaborative narrative within a Romanian community in the region of Paris and to epistolary exchanges between a brother and his sister about « becoming » Black, these three works offer us a fresh look at the reappropriation of narrativity and thus of identity.
FIFEQ - Week 1
An invitation to discover the genre of the ethnographic film, which is particularly characterized by its intimate outlook on others’ daily lives.
A long-term immersion in a social context and the development of affective and human relations with the subjects of study, the primary characteristics of ethnographic works, are approached with finesse and reflexivity in these two films. Both reveal, each in their own way, the resolutely and unbearably intimate character of visual ethnographies. These two works are presented as an invitation to plunge into the universe of the ethnographic film.
If we had to describe this program in 4 words, it would undoubtedly be the following: Filming on and with - participatory films that lead us to question our view of "marginality" and precariousness.
Two sensitive and original cinematographic works that offer a glimpse of other spatio-temporal frameworks allowed by the filmic medium. If filming marginality is a constant in the history of documentary films, these two directors offer viewers an ambivalent cinematographic experience of the near and the far, where the act of filming - with and close up - stems from a particular and intimate encounter between protagonist and director.
A journey through sound: three works for three sensory and experimental approaches immersing us in unique environments.
The characteristic sound of a city, its poetic energy, or the musical journey of a group of indigenous artists; so many ways of writing and describing daily life. A proposition of three eclectic works linked by their strong, personal, and immersive character.
Outlooks on the human fact in the contemporary era, when humans compete with the powers of nature before those of politics.
Three films that offer different outlooks on the human fact on Earth in the contemporary era, which some have dubbed the Anthropocene, this era where humans compete with the powers of nature before those of politics. These three cinematographic incursions, all very striking on the formal level, present realities emerging from such a struggle and invite reflexive thought.
Two films that allow us to contemplate the dissonant poetry that emerges from the collapse of a certain temporal regime.
As the different regimes of contemporaneity that make up our world are revealed, temporalities collide and exclaim that they have always been heterogeneous: the world, thus, is presented as a theater of a multitude of coexisting temporal scales. The two films proposed under this theme allow us to contemplate the dissonant poetry of this collapse of a certain conception of temporality.