Montreal, April 3, 2017 – The awards ceremonies of the 35th International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA) took place on Saturday, April 1 at the Monument-National. The film Belle de nuit – Grisélidis Réal, Self-Portraits by Marie-Ève De Grave (Belgium) earned this year’s Grand Prize in the Competition section. Four other films were awarded prizes by the jury, each of them demonstrating boldness and originality in terms of both form and content.

« We selected works that were powerful, moving and sometimes disturbing. This winners of the 35th edition reflected the direction we wanted to give the festival this year » affirmed Executive Director Natalie McNeil and Programming Director Anita Hugi.


Presided over by world-renowned artist Marc Séguin, the jury included filmmaker Étienne Desrosiers; documentary producer Colette Loumède; Chantal Molleur, the co-founder and director of White Frame; and Pascale Raynaud, head of programming and films on art at the Louvre. Over the course of their discussions, the jury agreed to reward intelligent, risk-taking works that reflected the social relevance of art.

In the words of Marc Séguin, « the jury favoured works that demonstrated boldness. We also took form into account, certainly, but we wanted to emphasize that art, to be socially relevant, must involve intelligent and sensitive risk-taking, which is sometimes disruptive. »


Grand Prize

Belle de nuit – Grisélidis Réal, Self-Portraits
Director: Marie-Ève De Grave (Belgium)

Comments from the jury: « A film of staggering authenticity, revealing an uncompromising artist. A woman whose lust for life suffuses the screen. A discreet, sensitive and poetic work on the role of art as a necessary weapon for survival. A hard-hitting yet touching film. Undoubtedly one of the finest films in recent years. »

Jury Prize

In the Steps of Trisha Brown
Director: Marie-Hélène Rebois (France)

Comments from the jury: « A film about the transmission of knowledge and skills to women from different generations and cultures, about the visionary work of a trailblazing figure in modern dance: Trisha Brown. This restrained and unadorned work focuses solely on its subject: the memory of the body. We discover the effects of time and its bridges through a mise en abyme of archival images, without which the flagship work Glacial Decoy would no longer survive. »

Best Portrait

Pavlensky – Man and Might
Director: Irène Langemann (Germany)

Comments from the jury: « A stunning portrait of an extraordinary artist. For Petr Pavlensky, social commitment and activism are inseparable from his art and life. By literally embodying political art in his performances, Pavlensky forcefully denunciates the Russian political regime. The direction is surgically precise, vivid and direct, like its subject. A film that depicts both the exterior and interior of the man, revealing a single-minded, iron-willed artist. »

Best Essay

Koudelka, Shooting Holy Land
Director: Gilad Baram (Czech Republic)

Comments from the jury: « Director Gilad Baram, the assistant of the Josef Koudelka, follows the Czech photographer’s journey back to the Holy Land after an absence of several years. He manages to frame his subject with the same rigour, research and awareness of the photographer himself. The film’s synchronicity is perfectly in tune with the on-site work of the celebrated photographer. »

Special Prize

Director: Lut Vandekeybus (Belgium)

Comments from the jury: « A sister’s portrait of her brother: the renowned choreographer Wim Vandekeybus. The film’s strength lies in the blurring of the boundaries between the artist’s creative and daily lives. A colossal job of editing in which the narrative codes disappear, making us wonder if the film is a documentary, biography or promotional corporate video. Between love and hate, this profile skilfully and disturbingly mixes fiction and reality, revealing a figure at once surprising, detestable, loveable or narcissistic. It is up to the viewer to decide. »

To download photos and trailers of the winning films:


The International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA) is devoted to the promotion and distribution of the world’s finest productions on art and media art. The only event of its kind in North America, and the largest in the world, this competitive festival has become a fixture on the cultural landscape. An annual focal point for the worlds of art, culture and cinema, FIFA has presented since its inception nearly 6,000 films from 75 countries.