Montreal 2007

  • Ron Holloway


31st MONTREAL WORLD FILM FESTIVAL Nic Balthazar's Ben X (Belgium-Netherlands) was the clear winner at the 31st Montreal World Film Festival (23 August to 3 September 2007). Besides sharing the Grand Prize of the Americas with Claude Miller's Un secret (France), it received the Ecumenical Prize and was voted the Audience Award. Not bad for a critic-turned-director making his debut feature. The story of a mildly autistic lad who is constantly put upon by a couple bullies at a technical school, the youth retreats into his own world and finds some refuge in video games on his computer. Before writing and directing this screen version of his own bestselling novel, penned to increase literacy among Belgian youths, Nic Balthazar had also developed Ben X into a successful play. Another audience favourite was awarded the runner-up Special Jury Grand Prize. In Ayelet Menahemi's Noodle (Israel) a six-year-old Chinese boy gets...