Montreal’s Cinemania film festival translates to virtual realm

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It’s quite the transition year for Cinemania.

Montreal’s international festival of French-language films, all shown with English subtitles, enters its 26th edition without feisty founder Maidy Teitelbaum, who retired from the event in January, and in the midst of a pandemic that has forced all films online. But if managing director Guilhem Caillard is breaking a sweat, he isn’t showing it.

“It’s just a continuity,” Caillard said Monday of Teitelbaum’s departure. “I’ve been working at Cinemania since 2011, so we stay on the road and we keep on going. Maidy left after 25 years, and there’s more to come for Cinemania.

“My job is to make sure that everything works, and we have fantastic years in front of us, even though times are difficult. I hope we have 25 more years. There are more exciting things to do for the future.”

Caillard’s vision and unflappable optimism have seen Cinemania grow exponentially under his watch as managing director, since 2014. Formerly an ambitious niche event, it has become one of Montreal’s premier film celebrations, showcasing the best titles from each year’s French film crop, including many highlights of major film fests, from Cannes on down.

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