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Montreal World Film Festival abruptly cancelled weeks before opening

Montreal World Film Festival abruptly cancelled weeks before opening

The annual Montreal World Film Festival has been cancelled, just over a month earlier than planned.

The festival, now in its 43rd edition, was scheduled to take place from August 23 to September 3.

The organization sent out a press release on Monday stating that the festival “is taking a break this year to prepare a great edition in 2020.”

No further details were given as to why the event was cancelled.

According to the press release, no films have been selected for the festival this year.

Radio Canada

The festival has had a difficult few years, starting in 2014 when the City of Montreal, SODEC and Telefilm withdrew their funding.

Two years later, Cineplex withdrew its support for the festival following a mass exodus of festival workers.

In a letter, the employees cited “financial insecurity” and “incompetent leadership” as reasons for their sudden dismissal, specifically naming festival chairman and founder Serge Losique.

Losique, 88, appeared in court last July to defend the festival against a tax bill from the Quebec government of $499,999.

The festival has been struggling financially for years and was also embroiled in a lawsuit with SODEC, Quebec’s arts funding agency, over money it borrowed in 2010.

Losique was unavailable for an interview on Monday, citing “extreme fatigue.”