September 4, 2020 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)
Loin de Bachar (Far from Bashar), a feature documentary by Pascal Sanchez produced by the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), will open in Montreal at the Cinémathèque Québécoise on Friday, September 25, in its French-subtitled version. The film paints a nuanced portrait of a courageous family forced to flee Syria for Montreal, where their lives continue to be impacted by the seemingly endless war. The theatrical release, initially scheduled for this past March after the film’s world premiere at the 2020 Rendez-vous Québec Cinéma (RVQC), comes as we approach the 10-year anniversary of the start of the Syrian civil war. On Wednesday, September 30, during the Journées de la culture, Sanchez will also give a talk about his creative process as part of the Cinéastes racontent series. The talk will be followed by a special screening of the film at the Cinémathèque.
“Far from Bashar won’t change the course of the war in Syria. It may, however, succeed in making some of us a little more open to those affected by it.” – Pascal Sanchez, director
- Screenings in Montreal
Starting Friday, September 25, at the Cinémathèque Québécoise, with the filmmaker in attendance at certain screenings.
- Les cinéastes racontent – 2020 Journées de la culture
- Wednesday, September 30, at 5 p.m. at the Cinémathèque Québécoise (free admission). Sanchez in conversation with NFB executive producer Nathalie Cloutier. The event will also be broadcast live on the NFB’s Facebook page (in French).
- A special screening of Loin de Bachar will follow at 6:30 p.m. (tickets available at the Cinémathèque).
- Les cinéastes racontent is a series of talks that offer a behind-the-scenes look at the creative process of filmmakers working with the NFB’s French Documentary Studio. This edition is taking place during the Journées de la culture.
About the film
Loin de Bachar (Far from Bashar) by Pascal Sanchez (73 min)
Produced at the NFB by Nathalie Cloutier
Several years ago, after taking part in the mass uprisings against Bashar al-Assad, Adnan al-Mhamied had to flee Syria with his wife, Basmah, and their four children. Now settled in Montreal, the family opens their door to filmmaker Pascal Sanchez. They’ve adjusted to life in a peaceful city, but Adnan and Basmah still fear for loved ones back in Syria whose status and whereabouts remain unknown.
About the filmmaker
Director, screenwriter, producer and photographer Pascal Sanchez cut his teeth in film on the TV series La Course destination monde, a competition he ultimately won. He went on to make a number of shorts (Un arbre avec un chapeau) and series (Manifestes en série) before directing his first feature, The Ailing Queen, about a beekeeper whose bees are dying. The Ailing Queen won an award at the Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) and received the Gémeaux for best documentary (nature/science). The Undaunted, his chronicle of a housing project in a low-income Montreal neighbourhood, opened RIDM in 2015. Far from Bashar is his fourth documentary feature.
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Electronic Press Kit | Images, trailer, synopses: Far from Bashar
Journées de la culture
Rendez-vous Québec Cinéma
French version here | Version française ici.