Montreal World Film Festival
Montreal World Film Festival.jpg
LocationMontreal, Quebec, Canada
Film titles400+
Hosted byMontreal World Film Festival Group

The Montreal World Film Festival (WFF; French: le Festival des Films du Monde) was one of Canada's oldest international film festivals and the only competitive film festival in North America accredited by the FIAPF (although the Toronto International Film Festival is North America's only accredited non-competitive festival). The public festival, which was founded in 1977 as a replacement for the defunct Montreal International Film Festival (1960–68), is held annually in late August in the city of Montreal in Quebec.[1] Unlike the Toronto International Film Festival, which has a greater focus on Canadian and other North American films, the Montreal World Film Festival has a larger diversity of films from all over the world.[2] The festival was cancelled in 2019.

In 2022, former festival president Serge Losique announced plans to revive the festival as the Global Montreal Film Festival, with a 2022 edition featuring free screenings of a selection of films that had previously screened at FFM, leading to a full revival of the festival in 2023.[3]



The World Film Festival is organised in various sections:


Prior to the beginning of each event, the Festival's board of directors appoints the juries who hold sole responsibility for choosing which films will receive the blessing of a WFF award. Jurors are chosen from a wide range of international artists, based on their body of work and respect from their peers.



In addition the festival-going public votes for the films they liked best in different categories:

Grand Prix des Amériques winners

Year Film Original Title Director Country
1978 Ligabue Salvatore Nocita  France /  Italy
1979 1+1=3 [de] Heidi Genée  West Germany
1980 The Stunt Man Richard Rush  United States
Fontamara Carlo Lizzani  Italy
1981 The Chosen Jeremy Kagan  United States
1982 Time for Revenge Tiempo de revancha Adolfo Aristarain  Argentina
Brimstone and Treacle Richard Loncraine  United Kingdom
1983 The Go Masters Mikan no taikyoku Ji-shun Duan & Jun'ya Satô & Shu'an Liu  Japan /  China
1984 The North El Norte Gregory Nava  United States /  United Kingdom
1985 Our Father Padre nuestro Francisco Regueiro  Spain
1986 Betty Blue 37°2 le matin Jean-Jacques Beineix  France
1987 The Kid Brother Kenny Claude Gagnon  Japan /  United States /  Canada
1988 The Reader La lectrice Michel Deville  France
1989 Freedom Is Paradise S.E.R. - Svoboda eto rai Sergey Bodrov  Soviet Union
1990 Fallen from Heaven Caídos del cielo Francisco J. Lombardi  Peru /  Spain
1991 Salmonberries Percy Adlon  Germany
1992 The Dark Side of the Heart El lado oscuro del corazón Eliseo Subiela  Argentina /  Canada
1993 Betrayal Trahir Radu Mihaileanu  France /  Switzerland /  Spain /  Romania
1994 Once Were Warriors Lee Tamahori  New Zealand
1995 Georgia Ulu Grosbard  United States /  France
1996 Different for Girls Richard Spence  United Kingdom /  France
1997 Children of Heaven Bacheha-Ye aseman Majid Majidi  Iran
1998 The Quarry Marion Hänsel  Belgium /  France /  Netherlands /  Spain
Full Moon Vollmond Fredi M. Murer  Switzerland /  Germany /  France
1999 Color of Paradise Rang-e khoda Majid Majidi  Iran
2000 The Taste of Others Le goût des autres Agnès Jaoui  France
Innocence Paul Cox  Australia /  Belgium
2001 Rain Baran Majid Majidi  Iran
Abandoned Torzók Árpád Sopsits  Hungary
2002 The Best Day of My Life Il più bel giorno della mia vita Cristina Comencini  Italy /  United Kingdom
2003 The Cordon Kordon Goran Markovic  Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
2004 The Syrian Bride Ha-Kala Ha-Surit Eran Riklis  France /  Germany /  Israel
2005 Off Screen Kleisterlee Pieter Kuijpers  Netherlands /  Belgium
2006 A Long Walk Nagai sanpo Eiji Okuda  Japan
The Greatest Love of All O Maior Amor do Mundo Carlos Diegues  Brazil
2007 Ben X Nic Balthazar  Belgium /  Netherlands
A Secret Un secret Claude Miller  France
2008 Departures Okuribito Yōjirō Takita  Japan
2009 Freedom Korkoro Tony Gatlif  France
2010 Oxygen Adem Hans van Nuffel  Belgium /  Netherlands
2011 Come as You Are Hasta la Vista Geoffrey Enthoven  Belgium
2012 Where the Fire Burns Ateşin Düştüğü Yer İsmail Güneş  Turkey
2013 Life Feels Good Chce sie zyc Maciej Pieprzyca  Poland
2014 Perfect Obedience Obediencia perfecta Luis Urquiza  Mexico
2015 Mad Love Fou d'amour Philippe Ramos  France
2016 The Constitution Ustav Republike Hrvatske Rajko Grlić  Croatia
2017 And Suddenly the Dawn Y de pronto el amancer Silvio Caiozzi  Chile
2018 Curtiz Tamás Yvan Topolánszky  Hungary

Golden Zenith winners for The Best Feature Film in competition First Films World Competition

Year Film Original Title Director Country
1989 Queen of Hearts Queen of Hearts Jon Amiel  Great Britain
1990 Lost Springtime Printemps perdu Alain Mazars  France
Time of the Servants Cas sluhu Irena Pavlaskova  Czechoslovakia
1991 Benjamin's Woman La Mujer de Benjamin Carlos Carrera  Mexico
North Nord Xavier Beauvois  France
1992 Little Sharks Kleine Haie Sonke Wortmann  Germany
1993 Betrayal Trahir Radu Mihaileanu  Romania /  France
1994 Everynight ... Everynight Everynight... Everynight Alkinos Tsilimidos  Australia
1995 Cross My Heart and Hope to Die Ti kniver i hjertet Marius Holst  Norway
Manneken Pis Manneken Pis Frank Van Passel  Belgium
1996 Welcome Home Okaeri Makoto Shinozaki  Japan
1997 Gypsy Lore Romani kris - Cigánytörvény Bence Gyöngyössy  Germany /  Hungary
1998 2 Seconds 2 secondes Manon Briand  Canada
1999 Juan, I Forgot, I Don’t Remember Del Olvido al no me acuerdo Juan Carlos Rulfo  Mexico
2000 Daughters of the Sun Dakhtaran-e khorshid Mariam Shahriar  Iran
2002 Various Positions Various Positions Ori Kowarsky  Canada
2003 I Always Wanted to Be a Saint J'ai toujours voulu être une sainte Geneviève Mersch  Luxembourg /  Belgium
2004 The Magician El mago Jaime Aparicio  Mexico
2005 The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros Ang pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros Auraeus Solito  Philippines
2006 More Than Anything in the World Más que a nada en el mundo Andrés León Becker, Javier Solar  Mexico
2007 The Wooden Box La caja Juan Carlos Falcón  Spain /  Portugal
2008 For a Moment, Freedom Ein augenblick, freiheit Arash T. Riahi  Austria /  France
2009 You Will Be Mine Je te mangerai Sophie Laloy  France
2010 Liquid Love Amore liquido Mario Luca Cattaneo  Italy
2011 In Our Name In Our Name Brian Welsh  United Kingdom
2012 Casadentro Casadentro Joanna Lombardi  Peru
2013 The Long Way Home Eve Dönüs: Sarikamis 1915 Alphan Eseli  Turkey
2014 González González: falsos profetas] Christian Díaz Pardo  Mexico
2015 The Funeral Chuyi Qi Wang  China
2016 A Father's Will Atanyn kereezi Bakyt Mukul, Dastan Zhapar Uulu  Kyrgyzstan
2017 The Return Dolaonda Chul Heo  South Korea
2018 The Gazelle's Dance El Baile de la Gacela Iván Porras Méndelez  Costa Rica /  Mexico


The stated goal of the Montreal World Film Festival (Montreal International Film Festival) is to:

encourage cultural diversity and understanding between nations, to foster the cinema of all continents by stimulating the development of quality cinema, to promote filmmakers and innovative works, to discover and encourage new talents, and to promote meetings between cinema professionals from around the world.[6]

The president of the Montreal World Film Festival (WFF) is Serge Losique; its vice-president is Danièle Cauchard.[7] Losique's management has been controversial. The WFF lost the sponsorship of its previous government cultural funders, SODEC and Telefilm Canada as a result of disagreements with Losique in 2004. Subsequently, these two funding agencies announced that they would support a new international film festival, called the New Montreal FilmFest (FIFM), to be managed by Spectra Entertainment and headed by Daniel Langlois (of SoftImage and Ex-Centris and the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma). After the inaugural edition of that new festival was unsuccessful, it was abandoned early in 2006. As of July 2007, Losique's lawsuits against the funding agencies were dropped, paving the way for a restoration of government funding.[8]


According to a survey by Léger Marketing:[9]


In 2005, Losique first announced and later withdrew the film Karla from the WFF after the principal sponsor of the festival, Air Canada, threatened to withdraw its sponsorship of the festival if that film were included. The film — about Karla Homolka, a young woman who was convicted of manslaughter and who served twelve years in prison for her part in the kidnapping, sex-enslavement, rapes and murders of teenage girls, including her own sister, in a case said to involve ephebophilia — was controversial in Canada, with many calling for its boycott throughout the country.[10]

In 2015 a group of employees claimed they were not paid. [11]

In 2016 many of the employees resigned citing poor leadership and financial uncertainty amongst other issues.[12] In an interview with CTV News, Gazette entertainment columnist Bill Brownstein referred to Losique as having a "Napoleonic complex" and not "playing well with the other children" resulting in government and sponsors withdrawing their funding support. [13]

In 2019, the WFF announced that it is cancelling the 43rd edition of the event, leaving behind speculations about its later continuation.[14]

See also


  1. ^ Matthew Hays and Martin Siberok, "Cinema has been 'abused horrifically'". Archived 2017-01-13 at the Wayback Machine The Globe and Mail, September 04, 2000.
  2. ^ "TIFF-MWFF Filmfest fisticuffs, Montreal against Toronto". Archived from the original on 18 August 2010. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
  3. ^ T'Cha Dunlevy, "Montreal's beleaguered Festival des films du monde is back, kind of". Montreal Gazette, August 24, 2022.
  4. ^ Xu, Fan (20 April 2017). "Montreal festival makes more space for Chinese cinema". China Daily.
  5. ^ AWARDS OF THE WORLD FILM FESTIVAL – Montréal 2012 Archived January 20, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Information from the home page. Cf. the "Manifesto" Archived October 16, 2006, at the Wayback Machine of the organization for its perspective and goals in the context of its account of its history.
  7. ^ See "contact" links at the official website.
  8. ^ "Losique makes peace with Telefilm, SODEC".
  9. ^ "Attendance and economic benefits of the mwff". Festival du Film de Montreal. March 2008.[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ See "Canadian Distributors to Release Homolka Film." Archived 2006-01-13 at the Wayback Machine CBC News 10 Jan. 2006, accessed 31 Aug. 2006.
  11. ^ "Employees at Serge Losique's World Film Festival complain of non-payment - CBC News". Archived from the original on 27 August 2016.
  12. ^ "Montreal film festival employees resign en masse - CBC News". Archived from the original on 28 August 2016.
  13. ^ "End of the World Film Fest?". Montreal. Archived from the original on 30 August 2016.
  14. ^ "Montreal World Film Festival abruptly cancelled weeks before opening". 22 July 2019.