Cacouna-based filmmaker Hugo Latulippe won the Best Canadian Film award at the 40th FIFA International Film Festival on March 25 for his documentary “I’m rise.” A great way to highlight its theatrical release, which took place on the same date.
To create this documentary, the director followed the sisters Véronique and Gabrielle Côté for several months in the process of creating the play “I get up”, which was presented at the Théâtre du Trident in 2019. “I invited the theater team to Cacouna with us one weekend in the summer of 2018, they were looking for material for the show”, explains Hugo Latulippe. In the trailer, the small group is seen having an argument on the mountain at Kistokuk Seaside Park in Cacouna.
With his camera, Hugo Latulippe documented the concerns of the artists, namely gender equality, the voice of indigenous peoples and the environment. The voice of this documentary is carried by 90% women. Sara Montpetit, activist of the La Planète au Parlement movement, the artist Catherine Dorion and the actress Ariel Charest, among others, are also part of this documentary. “When we started filming, Catherine Dorion was not cast and the actresses were not yet known to the general public. I think she adds to the festive side of the film,” says the director. Sara Montpetit played Maria Chapdelaine in Sébastien Pilote’s film released in 2021.
FOR BETTER FINANCING
The documentary “I rise” also won this FIFA Best Canadian Film award in a particular context. In a letter published in Le Devoir on March 1, more than 800 signatories, including filmmakers, screenwriters, actors and writers, asked the Société de développement des entreprises culturelle (SODEC) for better financing for documentary shorts and feature films, since in 2021, the The organization dedicated 3.4% of its budget (that is, 1.4 million dollars) to it. In 2013, funding was $2.8 million, or approximately 11% of the budget. This letter has the signatures of several “big shots” in the art community, including Denys Arcand, Denis Villeneuve, Richard Desjardins, Philippe Falardeau, etc.
“Throughout the financial arrangement, the production company of Me Levante has suffered refusals from all the institutions that normally finance films in Quebec and Canada. The same goes for big TVs. Only the Canada Council for the Arts, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and SODEC, but at the end of the process and with minimal sums, embarked on the process when the film was almost finished. However, since its introduction, it has had three full houses and received standing ovations. The producers, the Ciné-Scène de Québec company, never budged. They carried out the project in a heroic way”, adds Hugo Latulippe.
The latter is concerned about the drop in funding that would mean the death of Quebec documentaries, while the lion’s share goes to works of fiction. However, he does not believe that it was a deliberate intention of SODEC. “Quebec documentarians prove every year that we are capable of making a good film with modest means, especially when our films circulate on the circuit of major foreign festivals. So imagine what we could do with the funding!” he says.
The FIFA jury recognized the documentary “I Rise Up” for “its positive portrayal of the passion and hope expressed collectively by young artists and poets from all walks of life. The vibrant spirit of the Côté sisters at the heart of this project, who believe in the power of words, poetry and subjective experience, is infectious and magnificently relentless. A powerful take on a unique production journey.”
The director says he’s encouraged by the award and the audience response so far. “This is great news for the whole team. It’s an underfunded film, so I think that will help it get a wider distribution. I think it is really a good candidate to attract people to the room”, adds Hugo Latulippe.
The montage was made in Cacouna by the filmmaker, his wife Stéphanie Robert. The vast majority of the landscapes depicted in the documentary to illustrate the territory of Quebec were shot in Bas-Saint-Laurent. The documentary “I get up” is available in theaters from March 25. It is scheduled to be screened at Rimouski’s Paraloeil cinema on April 28. It does not appear for the moment in the programming of the Princesse de Rivière-du-Loup cinema. “I rise” is produced by Ciné-Scène and distributed by SPIRA.
“Twenty young actors are brought together in the laboratory by the directors Véronique and Gabrielle Côté to create a collective work for one of the great national theaters. For a full year, they delve into contemporary Québec poetry with the aim of extracting from it the “spirit of the times”. In the workshop as in the four corners of the territory, we are witnessing the birth process of the lift. What people will we be in the future? What can art do to transform the world? Can we still have children? Insurgents, inhabited by the fervor of those who dream of beauty, obeying only their intuition, erect an ode to life. And when – spin! – one of their own is elected to the National Assembly of Quebec, poetry is literally involved in the political life of the country”.