The Montreal World Film Festival holds a special place in the heart of Canadian cinephiles.

As one of the country’s oldest international film festivals, its opening marks the start of the film festival season here in Canada. This year’s event is particularly noteworthy as the festival celebrates its 40th anniversary.

Oh, and we’re giving you a chance to be front row and centre for the action – be sure to enter our contest below.

For those of you who are new to MWFF, what really sets it apart is the sheer diversity of films. From India to Brazil and, of course, our own backyard, you have the chance to see top-notch cinema from all corners of the fine planet. Not many other film festivals can say that.

Now, it wasn’t easy to narrow down our list, but here are five standout flicks we have our eye on this year.

Embrasse-moi tu m’aimes
This romantic comedy set in World War II-era France by director Andre Forcier has the prestigious honour of kicking off this year’s MWFF. Forcier has won a variety of awards at the festival so his latest work is definitely on our radar. It features many rising Quebec stars, as well as a scandalous romantic subplot that might shock a few viewers and promises to be entertaining.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deUX9acyInQ

Tatara Samurai
What happens when a young swordsmith decides to leave his village to become a samurai? This is the big question of Tatara Samurai, an action-packed drama from director Yoshinari Nishikori which features actors from hit Japanese group EXILE. Filmed entirely on location in Japan, this beautifully shot film is high on our list.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jY-IhyDuIBM

English subs here.

Sankhachil
This award-winning film from Director Goutam Ghosh chronicles the struggles of people living on both sides of the border following the partition of Bengal. An Indian-Bangladesh co-production, the film is sure to be an eye-opener for international audiences who might be unfamiliar with the subject matter.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2okXzIGady8

My Hindu Friend
This Brazilian drama stars noted actor Willem Dafoe as a film director who is diagnosed with cancer and, while hospitalized, meets and befriends an eight-year-old Hindu boy who is also a patient at the hospital. If the plot wasn’t enough, knowing that this is the last film by Hector Eduardo Babenco (he died earlier this year of a heart attack), makes it even more of a tear jerker.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lf9u3rs1RXc

Night Peacock
This romantic drama follows the story of Elsa, a musician who splits her time between France and China, and her complex relationships with three different men. The music and the beautiful scenery make this film a true feast for the senses and a must-see for any MWFF attendee.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4GvaztyZLo

Are you just as excited as us for the Montreal World Film Festival? Good, because we’re about to make your MWFF experience that much sweeter. We’re giving away two pairs of tickets to the world premiere screening of Tatara Samurai on August 29th – simply fill out the form below to enter.

*An email confirmation will be sent to two winners by Friday, August 26th. Prompt acceptance is required.

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