Saguenay international
short film festival

It has already been 28 years since the very first edition of REGARD – 28 editions of an ever-evolving festival. This year’s edition is my 15th as a REGARD programmer. Embracing all the different cinemas, bringing together every kind of cinephile: this is my privilege each year, and I feel it most keenly when the long-awaited time comes to unveil our team’s many months of tireless, creative, dedicated work!

That is why it’s such a great pleasure for me to now present the 35 programs that will light up our screens this year. And it is quite a bounty: 205 films from 55 countries. Some 85 of the films are from Canada and believe me, there’s plenty to celebrate in the diverse group of filmmakers adding new gems to our national cinema. 

With nearly 60 exclusives and a selection of the year’s very best, the ten programs in the Official Competition are a treasure trove of genres and emotions, including some of the year’s very best Canadian and international films. Among the new films to discover, we can mention the highly surprising Extra(s) by Marc-Antoine Lemire, the disturbing Someone’s trying to get in by Colin Nixon, the cacophonic À toi les oreilles by Alexandre Isabelle, the fascinating Les animaux vont mieux by Nathan Ghali, the bittersweet Des rêves en bateau papier by Samuel Suffren and the adorable Audio y el caiman by Andres I. Estrada.

The Focus Competition has five sections: Shoot No Matter What promotes new talent and self-production, 100% Regions celebrates filmmakers from the boonies, Short & Queer delves into sexual and gender diversity, while Americana showcases Latin American films. New this year, Indigenous filmmakers take centre stage with the Indigenous Perspectives competition. Some films to watch for among these five sections include the superb Marée Noire by Chantal Caron, Outside center by Eli Jean Tahchi, Unclean by Simon Chouinard and Les mains sale by Jani Bellefleur-Kaltush and Julien G Marcotte.

With its nine programs, the Youth Competition adds another colour to its palette with Ici et maintenant, a program selected by teens, for teens. Among the not-to-be-missed Quebec-made entries in this competition are Le temps des orages by Gabrielle Gingras, Hello Stranger by Amélie Hardy and the very beautiful Gaby les collines by Zoé Pelchat.

Eleven fabulous thematic programs will also be part of this 28th edition. Africa is the centrepiece in a Carte blanche selection programmed by the Durban International Film Festival. Queer artist and filmmaker Joseph Wilson will travel all the way from London, England, to share his electrifying and inspiring filmography. And the illustrious Abenaki filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin will honour us by joining us for a screening of some of the most significant short films of her long career. 

In addition to welcoming our high-profile quests, the Cinémathèque invites us to (re)discover the restored works of six key filmmakers in the history of the short film in Quebec with a session called Les films retrouvés. Another exercise in time travel, Les Dernières Mondiales returns with another crop of stinkers. With the infamous Films de genre selection preceding it, you’ll have to have a strong stomach to make it through the evening!

The housing crisis and related issues are explored from all angles in a program called Dwelling. Femininities sparkle and shine with Girls Power, and the heat is turned up a notch with a lovely (B)romance, in which we explore the limits of male intimacy and friendship. Lastly, our love of dance, art and experimental film come together in a double bill that has all the ingredients for a successful Sunday afternoon. 

To mark its 20th anniversary, the Marché du court invites the most knowledgeable among you to take part in a festive and highly competitive trivia night. Étienne Galloy and Myriam Verreault will discuss their passion for cinema and the films that started it all. Kathleen McInnis reveals the secrets of her brilliant career. Manon Dumais meets Anne-Marie Cadieux. We take a look at colour grading, and discuss literary adaptation with Catherine Léger and Chloé Varin. 

With plenty more surprises to discover at the festival, don’t be done in by FOMO – plan on spending March 20 to 24 in Saguenay, where we’ll show you our finest shorts and put on an intense party worthy of the REGARD experience!

Enjoy the festival!