The REGARD team is now reviewing films for the festival, and they’re eager to even see more
submissions as they prepare an all-new program for our 26th edition, coming up next March 23
to 27. Local and foreign filmmakers: you’re invited to submit your shorts from now until the
November 1 deadline. It’s a unique opportunity to be part of an exciting festival where you’ll
meet plenty of passionate movie lovers!
That’s not our opinion, but that of our good friend Hervé Demers. The Quebecer has directed
several films, including Une fois la poussière retombée. We’ve had the good fortune to welcome
him to multiple editions of the festival, and recently had a chat with him about his experiences at
Our first question is, as a filmmaker, what are the benefits of submitting your film to
North America’s biggest international short-film festival?
H: Unlike most cultural events, REGARD doesn’t take place in a big city, and that’s a big benefit
for networking. The participants are much more accessible – the filmmakers, distributors and
festival programmers put their everyday lives on pause and travel to Saguenay for a few days
for the festival. You can’t underestimate the impact of that break in routine. Everything’s more
festive, and people are more engaged.
R: Did participating in REGARD help advance your filmmaking career?
H: REGARD is the first festival in Quebec to program my work consistently, one film after
another. Sooner or later, any filmmaker who perseveres in their artistic approach will meet
people who share their values and who become valued allies for promoting their films. In my
case, REGARD is where I found that kind of relationship. Over the years the bond has only
grown stronger, at festivals in Quebec and abroad. For example, I’ve often met members of the
festival’s team at other festivals, and I’ve always felt that they were doing everything they could
to help me and promote our filmmakers’ work. It’s truly special.
R: What sets REGARD apart from other short-film festivals in Canada or elsewhere?
H: What really stood out on my first visit was the enthusiasm of the Saguenay audience during
opening night and at the international competition screenings. You get the sense that the public
eagerly anticipates the event. The atmosphere is electric! It’s an annual must-do event. As far
as I’m concerned, REGARD’s greatest achievement is forging such a strong bond with the
people of the region.
Over the years, REGARD has become an essential stop on the international circuit of festivals
specializing in short films. In that niche, it’s Canada’s flagship event and programming teams
from other festivals attend regularly (Clermont-Ferrand, Busan, Dresden, Indie Lisboa, etc.). It’s a golden opportunity to meet professionals from around the world in a casual setting, and to
learn more about how the circuit works.
R: What is REGARD’s place in your filmmaking career?
H: Most of my films explore rural and working-class lives grounded in the Quebec landscape.
My most recent documentary project, for example, explored the memory of the old mining town
of Asbestos (now named Val-des-Sources). That’s why the REGARD Festival seemed like the
perfect place to launch my films – the festival has an audience that’s sensitive to the themes
that interest me, and it’s an essential part of the international festival circuit.
So, has Hervé Demers persuaded you to submit your film? To have a warm, accessible
professional adventure where you’re sure to meet new allies in the film world, make your
submission by November 1 here.
Who knows, maybe we’ll meet in one of our theatres next March!