“There is a really strong relationship between music and film,” said Carmen Negrelli, one of the curators of Film Pop. The series, now in its seventh year at Pop Montreal, will run the full five days alongside the city-wide music festival. “It’s an interaction with a piece of art the same way that going to a show is…Film Pop provides access to films that may not be easy to see otherwise and provides access to them in really interesting venues and spaces.”
This year, Film Pop boasts 43 features, shorts, and music videos from different countries around the world to be shown around the city. The venues range from a former synagogue to a rooftop, and perhaps even your own living room.
Film Pop’s curators selected films from over 300 submissions with a mandate to showcase independent filmmakers and find movies with “a strong correlation to music,” according to Negrelli. Though that is not to say that the curators are favouring any one style of film. Negrelli highlighted Toumast, a film about the Tuareg nomadic tribe in North Africa developing contemporary culture playing on October 1 at 8:00 p.m. at Éspace Urbain (3660 St. Laurent). “We don’t just want cookie cutter indie films,” said Negrelli. “[With the Tuareg] there is a culture of making music and electric guitar music. It’s not a cute indie movie – it’s a different style, but it’s still in line with our mandate – it’s a music film. I guess [the Film Pop organizers] look for uniqueness.”
Indie music videographer Vincent Moon is going around during Pop giving private screenings of his work in people’s homes, providing one of the festival’s more unique film-watching experiences. On Pop’s website, Moon explained that, “my film-making is much better suited to being watched by a single viewer. I take viewers one by one unlike Hollywood cinema which aims to amalgamate the audience.”
On a larger scale, the world premiere of Look at What the Light Did Now – a documentary by Anthony Seck on the creation and promotion of Feist’s 2007 hit album, The Reminder – is playing on September 29 at 9:00 p.m. at the Ukrainian Federation (5213 Hutchison). Pop Montreal will also premiere less publicized films such as Before Night, a short film by director Yung Chang with music by Ensemble, which will be performed live with the film on October 2 at 5:30 p.m. at the Ubisoft rooftop on 5480 St. Dominique.
While separated by less than a month from larger film festivals like Montreal’s Festival des Films du Monde and the Toronto International Film Festival, Film Pop sees itself as capable of providing a unique experience. “I think the fact that we’re surrounded by all these big film festivals kind of gives us more freedom,” said Negrelli. “There aren’t many other spaces just for music films. The fact that we’re a small, specific niche already sets us apart.… We’re not a competitive festival – our festival is purely about enjoying something together.”