06 August, 2008

Paris 36 To Open Montreal Film Festival

by Sandy Mandelberger, North American Editor

If there ever was a love affair between cities, the intimate relationship between Paris and Montreal would be a novel unto itself. Both cities are proud standard bearers for the French language and French culture, although the Montrealers have added a Quebec twist to the traditional patrimonie.

The bonds are further evidenced by the announcement of the Opening Night Film for this year's Montreal World Film Festival. The 32nd edition of the Festival will open on August 21 with the world premiere of Christophe Barratier's Paris 36. Barratier's last film, the Oscar-nominated hit Les Choristes, closed the Festival in 2004. The red carpet will be out on August 21 at the Place des Arts for stars of the film and opening night festival guests.

Paris 36 was written by Barratier from original idea by Frank Thomas, Jean-Michel Derenne and Reinhardt Wagner (who also composed the film's original score), and stars GĂ©rard Jugnot, Clovis Cornillac, Kad Merad, Nora Arnezeder, Bernard-Pierre Donadieu and Maxence Perrin. The film is set in a working class quarter in the north of Paris in 1936. The spring election of the Popular Front government has given rise to all sorts of crazy hopes and inspires a rash of extremism. That’s when three unemployed showpeople decide to forcibly occupy the local music hall, determined to stage a hit show.

Festival president Serge Losique declared that he was "very happy to have the Festival opened by a film of this artistic excellence and great cast. We are sure that Montreal filmgoers will give the film and its brilliant director the warm welcome they deserve." Paris 36 will be distributed in theaters in Quebec after the Festival by Alliance Vivafilm. For more information on the film, visit the website:

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