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Maxime Dieu • Delegato generale, Festival internazionale del cinema di Mons

"Vogliamo riposizionare Mons sulla mappa dei festival"

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- Cinergie ha incontrato Maxime Dieu, il nuovo delegato generale del (nuovo) Festival internazionale di Mons, per parlare della sua imminente edizione 2019

Maxime Dieu • Delegato generale, Festival internazionale del cinema di Mons

Questo articolo è disponibile in inglese.

After a year of transition, the Mons-based cinephile event, launched in 1984 with a focus on love, is returning under a new name – the Mons International Film Festival – and with a new general delegate in its folds: Maxime Dieu, a well-known programmer who’s been part of the team since 2005. It was within the festival offices, located in La Louvière, that André Ceuterick’s successor received us, to talk about his plans to relaunch the event; a task which he intends to carry out while remaining true to the festival’s rich history. He’s looking to breathe new life into the event, and its 2019 edition is already sounding hearty.

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Cinergie: With just a few days to go until your festival relaunch, how are things looking?Maxime Dieu: Good. We feel calm and ready for this new adventure, which we’re very happy to be embarking on. Everything’s going as it… should, despite a reduced team and two months’ delay in our preparations, owing to the fact that we had to revisit all the partners we usually use. Thankfully, their responses were positive - enthusiastic even - which is encouraging. But it’s only when the festival itself gets underway that things will get back to normal and we’ll be able to judge how it’s gone, one way or another, maybe...

The event is changing its name. Why so?
It’s all part of its evolution. After the cancellation of the 2018 edition, it seemed logical to think about it. In the end, there were more arguments in favour of a name change, even though love will always be our guiding line. If big international festivals can allow themselves to be generalists, smaller ones such as ours must hold onto their individual themes.

You spoke about this transitional period - which was rather a delicate one given this 2018 cancellation – saying that you were “like a knocked-out boxer who had to climb back into the ring”. Did you always believe you could do it?
The image of a boxer is always a good one in film terms (laughs). But yes, relaunching a festival is a real struggle. If we hadn’t reacted quickly, there wouldn’t have been a festival in Mons anymore. We had to wake up, immediately. I’ll admit that, at times, when everyone was telling me it was “doomed”, I was pretty much the only one who still believed in it. But I’ve always felt it’s possible to breathe new life into a given formula, because film is a passion and I couldn’t imagine this town without a festival!

As soon as you arrived, you announced that there was no way you’d be starting afresh with a more lightweight festival...
No, because if we wanted to retain a certain calibre, meet the requirements of the subsidies we receive, and satisfy our partners and our audience, we needed to offer a certain number of films and activities. We also needed to accord greater status to certain films – Belgian films included – by inviting known names to the festival. It’s an initial version of what it is we’re moving towards, because we already have lots of ideas for the future. So, there was a break, but the festival has a rich past which it acquired thanks to those who carried it on their shoulders for thirty years plus: we just want to give it back its Belgian feel and its international reach, and to put Mons back on the festival map. But we didn’t want to forget what had been done in the past, otherwise we would have called ourselves Mons’ “1st” International Film Festival...

It seems you want to showcase Belgian film more than ever in this coming edition...
Yes, perhaps because, just like us, it does well abroad but less so at home, as we know (smiles). But I think that the role of Belgian festivals is to shine a light on national film. We have artisans and talented individuals who are in high demand. That’s why, in addition to Duelles, we’re also screening Escapada [+leggi anche:
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intervista: Sarah Hirtt
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(Sarah Hirtt), Cavale [+leggi anche:
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(Virginia Gourmel) and Coureur [+leggi anche:
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trailer
intervista: Kenneth Mercken
scheda film
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(Koen Mortier), for example, and it’s why actors such as Bouli Lanners, Jean-Luc Couchard and Jonathan Zaccai will come along.

(The full interview can be read in French here.)

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(Tradotto dal francese)

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