Cineplex dumps Montreal's World Film Festival ahead of opening
Cineplex pulls its cinemas from the festival a day after employees quit
Montreal's World Film Festival has been dealt another blow just prior to its opening night as the Cineplex movie theatre chain is withdrawing from the festival.
It's the second setback the festival has been hit with this week after a group of employees announced their resignation Tuesday over what they say is poor leadership.
"We've been working hard to support and co-ordinate the 2016 festival for some time now," said Daniel Seguin, the vice-president of operations for eastern Canada at Cineplex Entertainment.
"Because of financial, timing and operational concerns with the festival itself, we had to make the difficult decision to not partner with them this year."
The festival's president and founder, Serge Losique, 85, said he wasn't sure Cineplex's decision would stick.
"We'll see. For me, it's not set in stone," Losique told Radio-Canada.
Without Cineplex, the World Film Festival is down to one screen from the eight which were planned.
Film distributors worried
Filmoption International, the distributors of the film Embrasse-moi comme tu m'aimes, reassured filmgoers that the film's premier will continue as planned at the Imperial Thursday night.
"It's very frustrating because all of the attention gets put on the festival instead of on the film," Filmoption International spokesperson Andrew Noble said.
"Part of the role of festivals is that they are supposed to promote the film, they are supposed to promote the film maker."
Noble said a second screening of Embrasse-moi comme tu m'aimes is scheduled for Friday at the Forum but he's not sure it's happening at this point.
Noble added that he's not surprised by the turmoil at the festival but thinks it's sad that this is happening in its 40th year.
The 40th World Film Festival runs from Aug. 25 to Sept. 5.
with files from The Canadian Press, Radio-Canada and CBC's Sudha Krishnan