Montreal Tips For
(When To Arrive)
Everyone kept talking about the New Montreal
Film Festival, and how they didn't know if the
World Film Festival was going to be around for
much longer, but assuming it is, here are some
things we learned from our visit there that might
be helpful to filmmakers in the future.
Montreal is a nice city, and the Festival has
a wealth of good films, but I wouldn't call it
an essential Festival to attend. If you want
to go, you can have a good time, but there isn't
a very unified Festival atmosphere, and it was
difficult to meet other Filmmakers.
The Festival doesn't offer any travel, at least
they didn't for us, so you're on your own as
far as getting there. They will send someone
to pick you up from the airport if you fly. If
you decide to drive, like we did, you should
the hotel and leave it
there. You won't need it once you're in Montreal.
Plan on about $40 to park the car for 3 days.
It's expensive, but it's nice to have it out
of the way and safe in the hotel parking garage.
When To Arrive -
I don't think it really matters. Just plan to
attend during the days your film is screening.
It doesn't seem like there is all that much to
miss, unless there are films or tributes you
really want to see.
The festival offers hotel accommodation, but
you have to pay extra if it's for more than one
person. The hotel is nice, and you can walk to
all of the theatres.
Eating - There is a little
happy hour thing that happens every day from
6-8PM where you can get free beer, but the food
is limited to chips and pretzels. Free food seemed
impossible to find, so we ended up paying for
almost every meal. The hotel has a big breakfast,
and one guest per film receives tickets for the
breakfast every morning, but everyone else has
to pay. Thankfully the very cool Gerry Peary
ended up with some extra tickets and snuck them
to us before he left. That allowed all of us
to fill our bellies for a few mornings. There
are plenty of good places to eat, and pizza slices
are $.99 almost everywhere if you're on a tight
budget. Make sure to try the Poutine.
If you attend, bring at least one night outfit,
because there is an invitation for the director
to attend a dinner, and it's at a nice restaurant.
They stagger these dinners, so that everybody
gets invited one night while they are in town.
This was the only time I really met and was able
to talk to other filmmakers, and it was fun.
There are plenty of distributors around the Festival,
but I didn't really get to meet any of them.
There is no party scene, so you just have to
hope they show up to your film. There is also
a market aspect to the Festival, and you can
sign up and have screeners available for people
who want to view them.
I feel like press people were there, but I don't
think they came to see our film. It doesn't seem
like the Festival gets all that much press in
general, at least not outside of Montreal. We
didn't do any interviews, or find any write-ups
of the film anywhere.