|Serge Losique started the festival in 1977. He recently lost $2 million in public funding for the World Film Festival. (Paul Chaisson/Canadian Press)|
Q&A with World Film Festival founder Serge Losique
'I’m not fighting nobody, but everybody tried to fight us,' Losique says
By Jeanette Kelly, CBC News
It was one of those opportunities you don’t often get: an impromptu conversation with an elusive, somewhat temperamental public figure.
But Wednesday afternoon when I saw Montreal World Film Festival founder Serge Losique in conversation with a colleague in an otherwise pretty empty room at the festival headquarters, I decided to chance a request for an interview.
Is the Montreal World Film Festival doomed?
I’ve been looking into how well the festival is managing given the loss of $2 million of public funding and the consensus in the industry that the festival had run its course.
Here’s a transcript of part of that conversation with the colourful film buff.
Jeanette Kelly: I want to talk about the festival. How do you think it’s going?
Serge Losique: Very well. I cannot complain. A lot of people, a lot of stars coming now from all over the world. Now today it’s the biggest star in Japan coming here with a delegation of 40 people, plus four televisions, plus eight biggest newspapers in Japan. The whole country of Japan is right here arriving today so I cannot be more happy than that.
JK: How do you feel about trying to get the money together to try to finance the festival this year?
SL: Oh, don’t talk about financing. I don’t want to even talk about that, you know. It’s going very well. We find every financing and the festival is booming and we stay forever.
JK: But you didn’t get money from Telefilm, from SODEC (Société de développement des entreprises culturels) or from the city.
SL: (Interrupting) But F--k, the hell with them! So what! Don’t talk to me about that. Do you think we only depend on Telefilm or SODEC? That means nothing for us.
JK: Really? It doesn’t make life more difficult for you?
SL: No, but any artistic creation is always difficult. If it’s not difficult there will be no creation. It’s like a beautiful woman is standing on the street nobody is interested [in competing for her attention], but if you are fighting for her, that’s what’s interesting.
JK: Why do you keep fighting?
SL: I’m not fighting nobody, but everybody tried to fight us. Don’t forget one thing, when you are famous and you have a great festival on five continents and everybody respects that, it’s very easy to put yourself in the media when you are shooting at the monument. Everyone wants to get a piece of our famous situation and glory.