Masterpieces of French-language Cinema to be Shown at Éléphant ClassiQ, November 19-22, 2015

The 2015 edition of Éléphant ClassiQ, the very first event of its kind in Canada, will take place in Montréal, November 19-22, 2015. The four-day programme honouring the masterpieces of French-language cinema includes: nineteen full-length films, presented in their restored versions, meetings with international stakeholders in the cinematographic industry and exhibits. Éléphant ClassiQ will be held at three Montréal theatres: the Imperial Cinema, Salle Claude-Jutra at the Cinémathèque québécoise, and Salle Pierre-Bourgault at UQAM’s Pavillon Judith Jasmin.


The spokesperson for this year’s edition of Éléphant ClassiQ is Québec director Maxime Giroux, whose film Félix & Meira has been selected as Canada’s official entry in the best foreign-language film category at the Oscars. Riding a wonderful wave of national and international recognition and, after winning awards at numerous festivals, Maxime Giroux had a most gratifying year in 2015, with the release of his third feature film.

Opening and closing

This first edition will open on Thursday, November 19, at 8:00 pm at the Imperial Cinemawith the projection of the famous popular French comedy La Folie des Grandeurs by Gérard Oury (1971), starring Louis de Funès, Yves Montand and Alice Sapritch.During this opening evening, which will also celebrate Gaumont’s 120th anniversary, Nicolas Seydoux, its president, and Danièle Thompson, the film’s scriptwriter and daughter of director Gérard Oury, will be the guests of honour. Many renowned guests will also be on hand for the occasion. During this evening, La Folie des Grandeurs will be preceded by the short film Comment Monsieur prend son bain, directed by Alice Guy, the very first female director in the history of cinema. 


On Sunday, November 22 at 7:00 pm, the French filmMarius by Alexander Korda (1931), for which the script and dialogue were written by Marcel Pagnol, will close the festival.The first part of the Marseillais trilogy by Marcel Pagnol, this full-length feature films stars Raimu, Pierre Fresnay and Orane Demazis. For this occasion, a jury composed of film professionals, representatives of Éléphant ClassiQ and UQAM’s Communications Faculty will present the “Maisonneuve, me reconnais-tu?” award to the student who wins the short film contest organized in association with UQAM. Three selected works will also be presented during the event, at the start of the session, at the Imperial Cinema. 


The 19 feature films presented as part of Éléphant ClassiQ will give viewers an opportunity to discover or re-discover film masterpieces from here and elsewhere, with the projection of French, Québec, Belgian, Swiss, Vietnamese and Senegalese films. 

Au cinéma Impérial

In addition to the opening and closing films, the Imperial Cinema will also host the first world projection of the restored copy of Entre la mer et l’eau douce (1967), the first feature film directed by Michel Brault; it will be projected in the presence of the film crew.The following films will also be shown: Clandestins by Denis Chouinard and Nicolas Wadimoff (Québec, Canada, Switzerland, 1997), presented in the presence of the directors; Deux hommes dans la ville by José Giovanni (France, Italy, 1973); Le Grand bleu by Luc Besson (France, United States, 1988); L’Homme de Rio by Philippe de Broca (France, Italy, 1964); Les Parapluies de Cherbourg by Jacques Demy (France, 1963) and Le Roi et l’oiseau by Paul Grimault (France, 1979) as part of a presentation for families.

At the Cinémathèque québécoise

The Salle Claude-Jutra of the Cinémathèque québécoise will host the following projections: Alphaville by Jean-Luc Godard (France, Italy, 1965); L’Armée des ombres by Jean-Pierre Melville (France, Italy, 1969); Le Banquet des fraudeurs by Henri Storck (Belgium, 1952) preceded by the short film L’Occupation du bureau de surveillance du cinéma by Denys DesJardins, which will be presented by historian Eric Bédard; Cléo de 5 à 7 by Agnès Varda (France, Italy, 1962); L’Odeur de la papaye verte by Tran Anh Hung (France, Vietnam, 1993); Le Pacha by Georges Lautner (France, Italy, 1968); La Planète sauvage by René Laloux (France, Czechoslovakia, 1973) and Touki Bouki by Djibril Diop Mambety (Senegal, 1973), which will be preceded by the short film Afrique sur Seine by Paulin Soumanou Vieyra (France, 1955), first short film by a Senegalese director.


The Salle Claude-Jutra will also host the film-concert Quatre cinémathèques, quatre stars! during which Québec composer, pianist and conductor Gabriel Thibaudeau will accompany the projection of rare films proposed by four French-language film libraries working to preserve the film heritage presented by Marcel Jean, the Director of the Cinémathèque québécoise, Serge Toubiana, Director of the Cinémathèque française, the Cinémathèque suisse and the Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique. 

November 22, 3:00 pm, Cinémathèque québécoise (Salle Claude-Jutra).

At the Pavillon Judith-Jasmin

The Salle Pierre-Bourgault of the Pavillon Judith Jasmin will present the documentary Le jardin oublié – La vie et l’œuvre d’Alice Guy-Blaché (1995), in the presence of its director, Marquise Lepage.

Les rencontres

In addition, Éléphant ClassiQ will present meetings with international stakeholders in the cinematographic industry, which will take place UQAM’s Pavillon Judith-Jasmin.



Important guests from the cinematographic world, both national and international, will be on hand to discuss the issues of financing the restoration of film works: Nicolas Seydoux, President of Gaumont; Alain Juppé, Mayor of Bordeaux and President of Bordeaux Métropole in France, former Prime Minister of France and driving force behind a French government investment programme that specifically enabled Gaumont to restore and digitize a portion of its cinematographic heritage; Pierre-Karl Péladeau, leader of the Parti Québécois and former President and CEO of Québecor, which originated the Éléphant project.

Participating moderator: Nathalie Bondil.

November 20, 11:00 am, Pavillon Judith-Jasmin (Salle Pierre-Bourgault).



During this round-table panel, the following guests will discuss the various aspects of restoring works: Davide Pozzi, Director of Immagine Ritrovata (one of the largest laboratories specializing in the restoration of films) and Viva Paci, Professor at UQAM.

Participating moderator: Claude Fournier. 

November 20, 4:00 pm, Pavillon Judith-Jasmin (Salle Pierre-Bourgault).



During this meeting, festival-goers will have an opportunity to talk with director Micheline Lanctôt, producer Denise Robert, photo director Sara Mishara and Flavie Payette-Renouf, director and granddaughter of Lise Payette. 

November 21, 4:00 PM, Pavillon Judith-Jasmin (Salle Pierre-Bourgault).



At this meeting, Director André Labarthe will present his documentary Pierre Perrault, l'action parlée (1968) from the “Cinéastes de notre temps” collection.

Participating moderator: Gérald Duchaussoy.

November 21, 6:30 pm, Pavillon Judith-Jasmin (Salle Pierre-Bourgault).



Several renowned guests from the cinematographic scene will be in Montréal as part of Éléphant ClassiQ, for the film projections and professional meetings.These include: Nicolas Seydoux, President of Gaumont; Danièle Thompson, director (La bûche, Fauteuils d’orchestre) and scriptwriter (Les aventures de Rabbi Jacob, La reine Margot); Ariane Toscan du Plantier, Director of Communications and Heritage at Gaumont and daughter of producer Daniel Toscan du Plantier; Nicolas Wadimoff, director (Clandestins, Aisheen (chroniques de Gaza), Spartiates); Davide Pozzi, Director of the restoration laboratory at Immagine Ritrovata; Serge Toubiana, Director of the Cinémathèque française, Rui Nogueira, film critic, former festival director, André S. Labarthe, director, and Alain Juppé, Mayor of Bordeaux (France).


Numerous Québec personalities will also attend these events: Micheline Lanctôt, actress and director (Pour l’amour de Dieu, Autrui); Claude Fournier, director (J’en suis!, Je n’aime que toi); Denise Robert, producer (Les invasions barbares, Maurice Richard, De père en flic); Flavie Payette-Renouf, director of the documentary about her grandmother Lise Payette : Un peu plus haut, un peu plus loin; Sara Mishara, photo director (Tu dors Nicole, Félix et Meira); director Marquise Lepage (Marie s’en va-t-en ville, Martha qui vient du froid, Le jardin oublié – La vie et l’œuvre d’Alice Guy-Blaché); director Denis Chouinard (Clandestins, L’ange de goudron, Délivrez-moi); actress Geneviève Bujold (Entre la mer et l’eau douce, Pour l’amour de Dieu, Chorus); actor Claude Gauthier (Entre la mer et l’eau douce, Les ordres); singer and actor Robert Charlebois; director Denys Arcand (Le déclin de l’empire américain, Les invasions barbares, Le règne de la beauté); director Jean-Claude Labrecque (A hauteur d’homme, Infiniment Québec); actress Louise Latraverse (Entre la mer et l’eau douce, Les ordres, A l’origine d’un cri); Denise Bombardier, television host; Marcel Jean, Director of the Cinémathèque québécoise and Pierre-Karl Péladeau, leader of the Parti Québécois.


Exhibits and hommage

Alice Guy

One hundred and twenty years ago, Alice Guy, a simple shorthand typist, discovered the cinema through a demonstration of the cinematographer Lumière, and decided to dedicate her life to it.In 1896, she directed her first film La Fée aux choux and then was put in charge of all production at Gaumont which is celebrating its 120th anniversary this year. The first director in the history of cinema, she took part in the first film colourization experiments and then opened her own studio, Solax Film, in 1907 in the United States. To honour this cinema pioneer, Éléphant ClassiQ will present one of her films at the start of each session, including: Chapellerie et charcuterie mécaniques, Comment Monsieur prend son bain, Effets de mer, Faust et Méphistophélès, La fée aux choux, Une histoire roulante, Les maçons and Le tango.


Poster exhibit

In cooperation with Tribu grafik, Éléphant ClassiQ has organized a poster competition which is open to students attending Québec universities and professional graphic artists in Québec. The jury, which is made up of graphic artists and film personalities, selected the poster created by Laurent Pinabel, a French designer and illustrator who has settled in Montréal, to represent the Éléphant ClassiQ event, along with 19 other creations which festival-goers will be able to discover at an exhibit which will take place in the Espace musée at Québecor’s head office, located at 612 Saint-Jacques in Montréal, and will be accessible until December 18.


Gaumont exhibit at the Cinémathèque québécoise

Gaumont, the oldest cinematographic company in the world, was born at the same time as cinema and is celebrating its 120th anniversary this year.For this occasion, an exhibit of Gaumont’s most beautiful posters and its masterpieces will be presented to visitors at the Cinémathèque québécoise in Montréal.

Tickets and general information

Tickets will be on sale on-line at as well as by telephone at 1 855 506-4097.

During the event, from November 19-22, sales outlets will also be located at the la Cinémathèque québécoise and the Imperial Cinema, where wickets will open one hour before each session.

Tickets will be sold at a flat rate of $7, with the exception of tickets for the film Le Roi et l’Oiseau, which will be free for those under the age of 18.

The meetings which will be held in the Salle Pierre-Bourgault of UQAM’s Pavillon Judith-Jasmin will be free and accessible to all.

Acknowledgements and partners

Éléphant ClassiQ is presented by Québecor and thanks its major partners: UQAM, Cinémathèque québécoise, Tribu grafik and Gestev as well as all other official partners and suppliers without whom the event would not have been possible.

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