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Montreal Bypasses Hollywood For World Cinema

The 20-strong film competition at the Montreal World Film Festival includes one U.S. contender: Joel Fendelman's David.

TORONTO -- Joel Fendelman's debut feature David, about Daud, an 11-year-old Muslim boy growing up in Brooklyn, is the lone American entry in the juried World Competition at the upcoming Montreal World Film Festival, organizers said Tuesday.

The Dina Shihabi-starrer will compete against 19 other films in the Montreal competition, including the Canadian film La Run, by Demian Fuica.

The Quebec film, which stars Jason Roy Léveillé, Marc Beaupré and Pierre-Luc Brillant, portrays a man whose father owes money to loansharks.

Also contending in Montreal is Eran Riklis’ Playoff, an Israeli/French co-production that stars Danny Huston and Amira Casar, and three German films: Sebastian Grobler's Lessons of a Dream, In the Fire, by Brigitte Maria Bertele, and the first feature A Family of Three, from director Pia Strietmann.

The Canadian festival competition will also feature entries from Japan, Poland, Spain, Russia, Iran, China and Italy.

The Montreal World Film Festival, which will unspool in all 383 films, including 230 features, from 70 countries, tends to put its focus on world cinema, unlike the rival Toronto International Film Festival which stuffs its lineup with Hollywood star-driven titles.

Other U.S. indie films screenings in Montreal include Amber Sealey’s How To Cheat, Fort McCoy, by directors Kate Connor and Michael Worth, Sarovar Banka’s A Decent Arrangement, and Stranger Things, by Eleanor Burke and Ron Eyal.

The Montreal jury will this year be led Spanish director Vicente Aranda.

Festival organizers already announced Canadian director André Forcier's French-language picture Coteau Rouge as their opening night film.

And this year's August 18 to 28 run for the Montreal festival will include a tribute to Catherine Deneuve and a master class by Claude Lelouch.

A complete list of film titles bound for the Montreal World Film Festival is available at www.ffm-montreal.org.