Director: Louise Archambault
Featuring: Andrée Lachapelle, Gilbert Sicotte, Rémy Girard
Language: French subtitled in English
Runtime: 127 minutes
A favourite at KCFF thanks to features like the Festival’s 2014 opener GABRIELLE, director Louise Archambault returns with another film that’s rich with insight, humour and warmth. Deep in the Quebec countryside, three hermits who dropped out of society decades before are compelled to contend with the world once again. Full of scenery that’s as rich and vivid as the performances by such legendary Canadian actors as Andrée Lachapelle, Rémy Girard and Kenneth Welsh, Archambault’s latest is an unforgettable meditation on the potential for new directions and new discoveries in our lives even when, like the musician played so wonderfully by Girard, we’re nearing the end of the songs we sing.
Award-winning filmmaker Louise Archambault began her career in the Quebec film industry holding a variety of posts, including still photographer, line producer and assistant director.
She started work on her own creations in the late 1990s while completing a graduate degree at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. Her artistic vision materialized through a steady output of short documentary and fiction films.
One of these, Atomic Saké (1999), was awarded a Prix Jutra and Best Film at the Delle Donne International Film Festival. Familia (2005), her debut feature-length fiction film, was well received domestically and internationally. It won the City TV Award for Best Canadian First Feature Film and the Claude-Jutra Award for Best First Film.
Archambault’s brilliant foray into the world of commercial cinema was followed by Gabrielle (2013), a multi-award-winning production. A touching and mesmerizing film, it introduces the talented Gabrielle Marion-Rivard, a young actress and singer with Williams syndrome. Premiering at the Locarno International Film Festival, it received the Prix du Public. It won similar prizes at both the Festival International du Film Francophone de Namur and the Festival du film canadien de Dieppe.
Narrowly missing a nomination as Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards, Gabrielle received multiple awards at home: Best Picture and Best Actress at the Canadian Screen Awards. It won in five categories at the 16th Soirée des prix Jutra. (Meilleure réalisation, Meilleur montage, Meilleur scénario, Meilleure actrice de soutien, Film s’étant le plus illustré à l’extérieur du Québec).
“When you see a success like Louise Archambault’s Gabrielle …, it really inspires everyone here — students, staff and professors — to maintain that tradition of excellence,” said Daniel Cross, chair of Concordia’s Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema.