Montréal, February 7, 2019 – Yousra Benziane is the happy winner of this year’s Regard sur Montréal residency. The $75,000 bursary will allow the filmmaker to spend 11 months on writing, directing, post-producing, and presenting the short film Nitrate. Benziane’s film will focus on the collective memory of refugees in Montréal, as they oscillate between wonder and horror during the city’s summer fireworks displays.
“In Montréal, refugees can’t really enjoy the summer fireworks displays over the St. Lawrence. They remind them of the bombs they fled, and they trigger post-traumatic shock syndrome.”
Founded in 2014, the Regard sur Montréal film residency is offered by the Conseil des arts de Montréal (CAM), the Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC), and the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) through its ACIC* program, in partnership with Les Films de l’Autre and the Montréal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) Forum. The residency awards an emerging professional artist in Montréal from a culturally diverse background with a bursary for the development and writing of a short documentary film, along with support for the film’s production, promotion, and presentation. The film must be less than 15 minutes long and look at Montréal from an original and socially relevant perspective.
This year, RIDM and its Forum joined the Regard sur Montréal residency as a new partner. The RIDM Forum will host the winner at the RIDM Talent Lab, a professional and creative development initiative for emerging artists operating since 2014. While the residency relies on funding from three levels of government, it also involves knowledgeable partners to support professional filmmakers from culturally diverse backgrounds and to help create and promote selected film projects.
A Montréal-born filmmaker of Moroccan descent, Yousra Benziane holds a degree in film production from Concordia University with a minor in film studies from Université de Montréal. In 2016, she earned a bachelor’s degree in communication and digital media from UQAM. Special Bulletin was her first professional film (Festival Regard, Festival de Clermont-Ferrand, Best Short award at Courts d’un soir). In 2016–2017, she presented the installation Fuite at the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts as part of the exhibition The Art of Inclusion.
About the Conseil des arts de Montréal
A dynamic partner of professional artistic creativity in Montreal, the Conseil des arts de Montreal identifies, supports and recognizes excellence in the creation, production and presentation of artistic endeavours. Through its initiatives, the Conseil encourages new thinking, discovery and daring at the heart of Montreal’s artistic landscape. Since 1956, the Conseil des arts de Montréal has been an influential player in the development of “Montreal, Cultural Metropolis.”
SODEC‘s mandate is to promote and support the development of cultural enterprises in Québec and abroad in the film, television production, publishing, fine arts, music, and variety sectors. It is also responsible for protecting and enhancing 31 heritage properties that reflect Québec’s identity.
About the NFB
The NFB is Canada’s public producer of award-winning creative documentaries, auteur animation, interactive stories and participatory experiences. NFB producers are embedded in communities across the country, from St. John’s to Vancouver, working with talented creators on innovative and socially relevant projects. The NFB is a leader in gender equity in film and digital media production, and is working to strengthen Indigenous-led production, guided by the recommendations of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. NFB productions have won over 7,000 awards, including 18 Canadian Screen Awards, 17 Webbys, 12 Oscars and more than 100 Genies. To access NFB works, visit NFB.ca
or download its apps for mobile devices.
*ACIC: Aide au cinéma indépendant – Canada, the Independent Filmmaker Assistance Program of the NFB’s French Program
About Les Films de l’Autre
Les Films de l’Autre is a non-profit organization whose mission is to encourage formal research and freedom of creation in independent film. The centre holds a unique position in Quebec’s cinematic community, bringing together filmmakers who are both producers and directors of their works.
Quebec’s only film festival dedicated to documentaries, the Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) presents the best reality‐based films, including the works of established directors and new talents.
RIDM also offers activities for industry professionals through the RIDM Forum, North America’s only bilingual documentary market. The RIDM Forum offers an intensive program of professional workshops, lectures, and business meetings that focus on training, knowledge sharing, and partnership development.
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