This Saturday the basement of Saint-Stanislas-de-Kostka Church will be full of film fanatics. In its fourth year, MEDIAFILM.ca’s Ciné-Bazar returns, and it will be bigger than ever. After last year’s 2,000 attendees, Martin Bilodeaux, chief editor at MEDIAFILM, is obviously excited for 2011’s enlarged event. There is “more room, more tables,” he said, pointing out that even in this twenty per cent bigger space, they “had to say no to some sellers.”
Bilodeaux told The Daily over the phone that the event began with no such grand intentions. MEDIAFILM, a press agency providing synopses and ratings of new films for Montreal’s French magazines, newspapers, and TV guides, was trying to make some room as they moved offices. Collected from fifty years’ worth of business, they realized much of the material they had could be of interest to friends and colleagues. After calling around, they realized there was a “real demand’ for some of the products on offer. For die-hard collectors, some these items were dreams come true. For others, the sale was simply a way of finding cheap DVDs, vintage posters, projectors, and indeed almost anything related to film. In its second year, they drew in twice as many sellers and by the third year (2010), they had a widely popular event.
Bilodeaux cited this popularity as being partly due to the bazaar’s location. “It’s in the heart of the Plateau,” he was pleased to claim. As well as collectors and film industry people who seek out contacts, families come to pick up cheap children’s films, or posters for decoration. “In movies, we stand in line,” Bilodeaux pointed out. We don’t necessarily discuss and meet other movie fans, but at this event, communication between customers and between sellers is part of the fun. Bargaining is more than welcome and a key part of the relaxed atmosphere.
This year, Ciné-Bazar is pleased to “welcome several new exhibitors, including 24 images magazine, as well as distributors Les Films du 3 Mars and K-Films Amérique.” The key addition however, according to Bilodeaux, is “a Cinémania gallery [with] a hundred giant posters mounted on polymer panels, to be sold at low prices.” Not only a treat for consumers, these large and aesthetically-pleasing posters, most of which are rare, or at least rarely-seen, “make the Ciné-Bazar a kind of exhibit.”
After this year’s event, Bilodeaux is optimistic for the future. In chatting to him about ExpoZine, which took place last November, he was excited by the sudden idea of a potential collaboration. He envisions bringing these events together and drawing an even more diverse crowd. For now, Ciné-Bazar seems a more than ideal way to spend a good part of a cold Montreal weekend.
— Ed Dodson
Ciné-Bazar runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on February 5 at Saint-Stanislas-de-Kostka Church, 4816 Garnier.