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MWFF – Is this The End?

Montreal World Film Festival
Serge Losique on stage at the Imperial Theatre in Montreal in August 2017. Photo © 2017 by Maurie Alioff. Used with permission.

MWFF – Is this The End?
By Ralph Lucas – Publisher

(July 12, 2018 – Toronto, ON) It is widely known that the American writer and humourist Mark Twain was supposed to have said, “the reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” Anyone who has followed the somewhat fragile state of the financial health of the Montreal World Film Festival has heard reports of its imminent demise several times over the past few years.

Now it really could be the end. On July 7th Le Journal de Montréal reporter Eric Thibault filed a story that Revenu Québec, the province’s tax ministry, had filed an application to force festival founder Serge Losique, now 87 years old, to settle the outstanding amount of some $499,000 or they will seek to shut the festival down.

Translated from the original story, the newspaper stated, “The Journal has learned that the l’Agence du revenu du Québec (ARQ) has just asked the Superior Court to issue an injunction to force the World Film Festival (FFM), founded and directed by Serge Losique, to stop activities for good.” The motion was filed in Montréal on June 28th.

The reason is quite simple. If allowed to proceed with its 42nd annual festival, the ARQ hopes to, as translated from the original story, “avoid the increase in the tax loss.”

The festival hopes to have the application set aside to, “avoid the collateral damage that may be caused to employees, volunteers, donors, suppliers, participants, amateurs and the general public.”

The fate of the festival will be debated before a judge in Montreal tomorrow, July 12. The Montreal World Film festival is scheduled to be held from August 23 to September 3.

Updated, image (July 12, 2018, Montréal, QC): Festival director Serge Losique appeared in a Montreal court this morning to answer the injunction. Losique was ordered to pay a minimum of $32,000 to the government before Aug. 1 to potentially save the festival.

Also see: It’s Alive, It’s Alive.
Also see: Inside Québec, 2016.
Also see: The original Journal de Montreal report.