Jury 2023

President of the jury

Guy Fournier

Beginning his career in the 1950s as a newspaper journalist, Guy Fournier quickly became managing editor of the daily paper Le Nouvelliste in Trois Rivières, and in 1960 was an award winner of l’Union canadienne des Journalistes de langue française. He moved from newspapers to television and filmaking in the 1960s and wrote scripts, directed and produced a variety of programs. He has written the narrative for approximately 50 films, several screenplays and more than 250 hours of drama and comedy for television. For more than 20 years he wrote a humour column for the magazine Perspectives and is currently writing a bi-weekly column on the media for Le Journal de Montréal and Le Journal de Québec. He has published many books, a collection of poetry and wrote and developed several multi-media spectacles, more particularly for the Canadian Pavillion at Vancouver Expo in 1986. He is a member of the Order of Canada and has been given numerous professional awards as well as the Grand Prix of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television. He is currently on the Board of the Canada Media Fund and Le Théâtre du Rideau Vert.

Members of the jury

Ariel Ifergan

In his 20-year career, Ariel Ifergan has performed in more than 20 productions, some of which have been the subject of major tours. In recent seasons, we have included L’Orangeraie (Larry Tremblay, Claude Poissant, TDP and Trident), Richard III (Brigitte Haentjens, TNM and Sibyllines), Oslo (JT Rodgers, Edith Patenaude at Duceppe), Fanny and Alexandre (Sophie Cadieux and Félix Antoine Boutin). In 2017, he collaborated for the first time with Denise Filiatrault who directed What We Did to the Good God? After the premiere at Rideau Vert, this show will be a great success on tour throughout Quebec.

As artistic director of the company Pas de Panique, Ariel produces, writes and directs several shows including You Have No Chance, Georges Perec’s The Increase, Le Petit Arturo. From 2007 to 2017, he played all the characters in Z as Zadig, an adaptation of Voltaire’s tale directed by Anne Millaire.

After a 3-year creative residency at the Segal Centre, he produced J. Garfinkel’s La Maison aux 67 languages at the Theatre La Unicorne, a show in which he performed under the direction of Philippe Lambert.

On television, Ariel Ifergan made his name in Watatow and Virginie. Recently, we saw him in Amber Alert, Cerebrum, Breakup, Another Story. In addition, he plays the mathematics teacher in The Secondary Effect. In the cinema field, he collaborated with Micheline Lanctôt in A Way of Living where he played the philosopher Baruch Spinoza.

Nicolas Krief

Né d’un père juif tunisien et d’une mère québécoise, Nicolas Krief est le résultat d’un mélange culturel et génétique inattendu. Scénariste et cinéphile passionné, il écrit plusieurs projets parus en 2020, dont la série Les Fleuristes, ainsi que Jusqu’au déclin, premier long métrage québécois produit pour Netflix. En 2022 est sorti son deuxième long métrage en tant que coscénariste : Très Belle Journée, premier film québécois tourné entièrement avec un téléphone portable. Les thèmes du métissage identitaire, de l’héritage culturel et de la filiation sont chers à l’auteur, qui travaille actuellement sur plusieurs projets de films d’horreur (Visite Libre, La Clinique), de séries télé, et sur une adaptation longue de son court métrage Opération Carcajou, sorti en 2021.

Léa Pool

With over 20 feature films acclaimed in Quebec and honoured at festivals around the world, Léa Pool has enraptured audiences with her original and unique cinematic approach.

Léa Pool first came to public attention in 1979 with her first medium-length film, Strass Café, and earned further esteem with her second work, A Woman in Transit (La Femme de l’hôtel, 1984), which she wrote and directed. It bears her signature: an inimitable style, a way of being, a way of recounting not so much a story as a state of mind. “Always this feminine blues, this careful attention paid to the language of the camera, these silences filled with anguish, in which art and love attempt to fill the deep voids that remain.” (Odile Tremblay, Le Devoir)

Here and elsewhere, La Femme de l’hôtel earned prizes and distinctions: the International Press Award at the Montreal World Film Festival, the Critics’ Choice Award from the Association québécoise des critiques de cinéma, Best Canadian Film at the Toronto International Film Festival, Best Female Actress (Louise Marleau) at the Chicago International Film Festival… At age 34, Léa Pool was on her way.

Nine years earlier, the new sensation of Quebec cinema left her native Switzerland for Montreal, where she lives to this day. The city is very much in evidence in A Woman in Transit, as it is in her second feature film, Anne Trister (1986), presented in official competition at the Berlin Film Festival. In 1999, Léa Pool returned to the German capital, once again in competition, with Set Me Free (Emporte-moi) starring Karine Vanasse. The director returned home with a Special Prize of the Ecumenical Jury and rave reviews: “The torment of adolescence in an unhappy family is depicted deftly and sensitively by filmmaker Léa Pool” (New York Times). “None of Léa Pool’s films has given me as much pleasure as Set Me Free. A wonderfully fresh tale…” (The Times, London).

Around this same time, Léa Pool began to explore new ground, shooting two feature films in English in quick succession. Lost And Delirious, based on the Canadian novel The Wives of Bath, was screened at the Sundance Film Festival to great acclaim. According to the influential critic Roger Ebert, the film was “one of the best crafted, most professional films of the Festival.” Léa Pool then flew to Costa Rica with Pascale Bussières and Oscar-winning actor William Hurt in pursuit of the rare blue morpho butterfly. The script for The Blue Butterfly, a Quebec-British co-production, was inspired by an episode in the life of Georges Brossard, the founder of the Montreal Insectarium.

In between the two feature films, Léa Pool directed two documentaries: an extraordinary portrait of Quebec author Gabrielle Roy, and an international investigation into cause-related marketing with Pink Ribbons Inc.

With her films sold and seen all over the world, some of them in over 40 countries, and a strong presence at film festivals from Venice to Shanghai, Gothenburg to New York, Léa Pool is a proud ambassador of her adopted land and her fellow Quebec film artists. But the old adage that “no one is a prophet in their own land” does not apply to the director of the popular period piece The Passion of Augustine (La passion d’Augustine), one of Quebec’s box office hits in 2015. It comes as no surprise that Léa Pool’s artistic contributions over the years have been recognised by national institutions. In 2006, she received the Prix Albert-Tessier, the highest distinction awarded by the Quebec government to individuals for their outstanding contributions to Quebec cinema. And in 2013, Léa Pool was named a member of the Order of Canada.

Marie-José Raymond

Marie-José graduated from University of Montreal with a degree in History and initially pursued an acting career before moving behind the camera and becoming a producer. She has also often worked on the screenplays of the works she has produced.

Marie-José has been involved in many co-productions. She has worked in Italy with Carlo Ponti and Ettore Scola, and in France with SFP, France 3 and many other producers. In all, she has produced some 20 feature films, many of which have won awards at international festivals. Marie-José Raymond was chosen by the Canadian government to negotiate the cultural component of the first free-trade agreement with the U.S. and subsequently of the GATT. She is the originator of the expression “cultural exception.”

In 2007, Marie-José Raymond has founded and headed until 2019 with Claude Fournier: Éléphant, the memory of Quebec cinema.

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