Hugo Latulippe was in Percé, at the Les Percéides festival, last summer, when his gaze met that of director of photography Yves Bélanger. “We were face to face and we came with our eyes in the water. We hardly said anything to each other, but we had the same idea in mind, ”recalls the filmmaker.

They were both thinking of their friend Jean-Marc Vallée, who suddenly disappeared on Christmas Day 2021. Yves Bélanger was Jean-Marc Vallée’s appointed director of photography on his American projects from Dallas Buyers Club. Hugo Latulippe became friends with the filmmaker of C.R.A.Z.Y. in 1997. He worked for six months on a documentary series in Los Angeles while Vallée was filming his first English-language film, Los Locos, there.

As soon as he was appointed general manager of the Quebec City Film Festival (FCVQ) last April, Latulippe contacted Yves Bélanger to submit the idea of ​​a tribute to their mutual friend. He then asked Vallée’s ex-wife, screenwriter Chantal Cadieux, and their two sons — whom he knew as children — if they were okay.

This is how the new Jean-Marc Vallée tribute prize was born, which will be awarded as part of the 12th FCVQ, from September 13 to 17. The prize will be determined by a public vote and awarded to the Festival’s favorite feature film by Alex Vallée, one of the sons of the late filmmaker. His films C.R.A.Z.Y. and Wild will also be screened respectively at Place d’Youville and at the Théâtre Le Diamant, the festival’s headquarters.

“Everyone embarked on the project thinking that we were going to reunite the gang, says Hugo Latulippe. I’m going to invite some of the cast of C.R.A.Z.Y. and we are in conversation with colleagues and friends in L.A. to create this first Jean-Marc Vallée audience award. »

This new award is in line with the tone that its new general manager hopes to give to the FCVQ.

Hugo Latulippe wishes to clarify the mandate of the FCVQ in order to give it a “strong own personality” and singular, in a market of festivals where there are all the niches, he recalls. “I really want to fight so that we have big city festivals in Quebec,” he says.

When he was a teenager in Limoilou, the international cinema presented in Quebec as well as the theater of Robert Lepage, he says, “brought the whole world into [his] imagination”. Last year, due to the pandemic, the selection consisted only of Quebec fiction films. This year will mark the return of documentaries and international films, as well as free screenings at Place d’Youville.

“I’m boarding the bandwagon,” recalls Hugo Latulippe. I join a team that already had a vision. It is certain that in the fall, we will do a reboot. I already have intuitions of where we should go. I did not take the mandate because I no longer wanted to make films. »

The FCVQ, that said, already looks like the filmmaker of Alphée des étoiles and I rise. Latulippe, the defeated New Democratic Party candidate in the 2019 federal election, has long been an activist for social and environmental causes.

Also, it is no coincidence that the guest of honor of the 12th Quebec City Film Festival will be actress Christine Beaulieu. “We obviously have a connivance on the ecological question, says Latulippe, who will lead a discussion with the actress. We are going to program some of the films in which she has acted and we are going to meet the public to talk about being an artist and also a citizen. »

Christine Beaulieu is of course the author and performer of the wonderful piece J’aime Hydro. We saw it at the cinema with André Forcier (Kiss me as you love me, The forgotten flowers), Ricardo Trogi (The mirage) or even at Maxime Giroux (Norbourg).

” She is a friend. I’m going with the links. I believe in that a lot. This is what makes festivals work well: when there is a family and friendly spirit,” Latulippe says, giving the example of the Namur Festival in Belgium.

Festival-goers will be invited to offset their carbon emissions by $1 per ticket sold paid through the festival’s electronic ticket office.

“We do that with Arbre-Évolution, a very credible company that doesn’t do that for communication reasons,” says Hugo Latulippe. I know this because I went to the field with them. They follow the trees concretely, to ensure that they will not greenwash, but contribute to reducing our impact on ecosystems. »

The FCVQ will also present, on September 16 and 17, in a film-concert format, Le mécano de la Générale by Clyde Bruckman and Buster Keaton. The music will be composed and conducted by renowned maestro Gabriel Thibaudeau and performed by Les Violons du Roy. The entire FCVQ program will be unveiled in August.