Montrealer Pier-Philippe Chevigny specializes in depicting real-life social issues on screen. His latest short film, Rebel, is no exception. It tackles the rise of right-wing extremism in Quebec in a unique way — as seen through the eyes of a child.
Rebel has made it into 90 international film festivals, such as TIFF, Busan, and Vladivostok. It won 23 awards, including the Golden Owl Award at Tirana International Film festival, which led to it being long-listed for an Academy Award nomination.
While it didn't make the shortlist, the 15-minute film is available on YouTube and worth watching — especially if you, like Chevigny, have noticed an increase in ultranationalist groups popping up in the province over the past few years.
He used Soldiers of Odin, Storm Alliance and La Meute as examples, and said he was inspired by a photo of a six- or seven-year-old boy waving a La Meute flag at a demonstration.
"That kid doesn't understand the politics behind all of this, he's just following his parents," said Chevigny.
"I thought that would be an interesting idea ... to tell the story through the eyes of someone who was kind of oblivious to what's going on around him. And then he gets to witness something that triggers his understanding."
Chevigny said he used a "nervous handheld camera, always sticking really close to the boy's point of view" at the beginning of the film to signify a lack of awareness.
"As the story progresses, it becomes much more edited ... so the idea was to have the audience go through that same process of having that moment of realization," he said.
What stands out about the film is its nuance. No one is entirely good or bad. The extremist characters are multi-dimensional.
"That was a result of my research. I started following these groups on social media, and I realized they were not the neo-nazis I was expecting them to be. They were everyday normal people ... they were actually family people," Chevigny said.
"It's not surprising to see neo-nazi skinheads march against immigration, but it's very worrying when you see everyday normal people getting sucked into these ideologies. And that's the part that I wanted to raise awareness about."
Rebel has about 20-30 festivals to go. But Chevigny is already planning his next project.
He told MTL Blog he just got the green light from funders to make his first feature film about the exploitation of Latin American workers in Quebec's farming industry, which is set to start shooting this summer.
This video shows Montreal street names being changed to New York ones. MTL Blog reporter Alex Melki was able to have an individual confirm that it was allegedly part of the filming for Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts.
And from what the following photos show, it's looking like there are all kinds of different cars in whichever film is being shot at the moment, which is very on-brand for a Transformers movie.
More Transformers Rise of The Beasts photos from Montreal today.
More Mirage and MYSTERY BEETLE / NOT GYLPH https://t.co/nEuznGwaAO
— Daniel Arseneault "Protoman" (@Daniel Arseneault "Protoman")1626208580.0
Dorchester Square is seemingly one of the main locations for this current movie shoot.
Quand Montréal se donne des airs de New York en 1990. Tournage du 7e film de la franchise ‘’Transformers’’, ‘’Rise… https://t.co/juPpl9NcDh
We know Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts is for sure being filmed in Montreal, we simply cannot confirm this movie set is for the film — although it's highly likely to be. And if that's true, then that means Anthony Ramos, one of the main actors in the new movie, could be in Montreal. Keep your eyes peeled!
Aujourd'hui 12 et 13 juillet 2021, début à 9h00 pm du tournage de Transformers Rise Of The Beasts au parc Square Do… https://t.co/Tw1X9Z1SC0
— Les Transformers - Québec et France (@Les Transformers - Québec et France)1626160244.0
Since July 1, it has been possible for people who have had to recover from unemployment due to the pandemic and for people who have not been studying full time in the last 12 months to register for one of the training programs of the Program for the requalification and the accompaniment in information technology and communications (PRATIC).
Whether it's a college or university program, a certificate, an attestation of college studies (AEC) or a diploma of specialized graduate studies (DESS), among others, there are 142 training programs waiting for future students.
In Montreal alone, nearly sixty college programs and 20 university programs are available, and a total of 15 in the Capitale-Nationale region.
There are, for example, ACSs in programming, multimedia production, mobile application development or graphic design, to name a few.
The complete list of training courses offered by region can be found on the government website.
Thanks to a budget of some $39.6 million, financial assistance of $650 per week will be offered to 2,500 Quebecers for the duration of their full-time training. A $1,950 bursary will be awarded to graduates.
Who is eligible to enroll in PRATIC?
Two criteria will determine if a person is eligible to register for PRATIC. You must be unemployed and not have been a full-time student in the 12 months prior to applying.
The government suggests that you contact the Services Québec office in your area and an agent will determine with the future student if PRATIC corresponds to his/her needs.
Remember last year when it seemed that every week there were new COVID-19 rules that the Quebec government would spring on us and we all felt really down? Well, it's the same thing this year, but instead of misery, we're feeling optimistic because this summer's new COVID-19 rules have an eye towards a pandemic-freefuture.
One of the major changes coming on Monday is that you no longer have to maintain a two-metre distance between other people.
According to the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS), "the distance to be respected between people from different residences will be lowered from two meters to one meter, both outside and inside."
There are still two situations that require two-metre distancing, however: "singing activities" and "high-intensity exercise in gyms," according to the government.
Wearing a face mask is still mandatory in all indoor public spaces.
Let's get flexible
No, not like that!
We're talking about stores, festivals, sporting events, and other activities with potentially large crowds.
As of Monday, there won't be any capacity limits inside retail stores. While you still have to maintain a one-metre distance, there will be no more annoying lineups outside.
Moreover, in venues with fixed seating, people from different households only need to keep one seat between them and other parties. One-metre distancing is still required in common areas.
Finally, "at amateur events where spectators are seated in bleachers, bleachers or fixed seating, the maximum number of spectators permitted per sports venue is 50 indoors and 100 outdoors."
The government has also reminded Quebecers that "since June 25, adequately protected people" — i.e. people with two doses of a vaccine — "no longer have to follow the recommendations on distancing and wearing a face covering during gatherings in private homes."