This week, we had the opportunity to talk with Belgian filmmaker Valery Carnoy, whom we were lucky enough to welcome to the 23rd edition of the Festival.
A contender for the Grand Prize, the Quebec Critics Award (AQCC), the Jury Prize and the Public Award during the 2019 edition, Valery tells us about his first experience at REGARD and how the festival was instrumental in distributing his short film Ma Planète worldwide.
R: Valery, before coming to the festival, what were your motivations for submitting your short film?
V: In Belgium, REGARD is considered a key festival alongside Clermont-Ferrand and Interfilm Berlin. Also, I’ve participated in a number of festivals, and I would say that REGARD is one of the few that perfectly combines the “fun” and “professional” sides. It’s always a lot of fun, and the various activities really bond the participants. You meet all sorts of fascinating people, from Chicoutimi locals who love their festival to industry professionals from around the world.
R: What sort of career opportunities resulted from your time here?
V: The selection for REGARD allowed me to obtain a grant to help distribute my film all around the world. I also met many festival programmers who selected my film for their festivals.
R: After your successful participation in the festival’s 23rd edition, what is REGARD’s place is your filmmaking career?
V: REGARD was simply the first big trip I took as a filmmaker. It was the first time in my life that I’d screened a film overseas, the first time that I started to really believe in this dream. So I have detailed sensory memories of the festival. I remember almost everyone I met. I remember the smells of the theatres, the glow of the city lights. Above all, I remember the many intoxicating and freezing evenings organized by the festival.
R: As a filmmaker, why would you say it’s worthwhile to submit a film to REGARD?
V: There are many benefits! Firstly, it’s a qualifying festival for the Oscars. Secondly, it’s heavily covered by the media in Quebec. You get to do interviews for radio and newspapers, which is good practice for the future. Above all, the festival teaches you how to communicate with the audience. After every day of the competition, a meet and greet is scheduled for the public to meet the filmmakers. So you have to open up and share.
Valery Carnoy is definitely one of the rising stars who resonated with audiences during his visit to Chicoutimi for the REGARD Festival. There’s still time for you to submit your film and participate in this enriching and eclectic experience, coming up in March 2022. Fill out this form before November 1st.
Photo: Valery Carnoy