Views of the World Film & Music Festival


Combining a passion for quality filmmaking and an interest in promoting social and environmental justice, the Views of the Wold Film and Music Festival is without equal. With the intention of becoming an annual event in Montreal, the first edition is shaping up to be an enriching experience for attendees and judges alike.

Running from September 22 to 25, the festival includes world premiere screenings, networking, professional development panels, keynote speakers, and a judged competition in three media: film, scripts, and film music. The film jury will have 9 members, music 7, and script 5.

Michel Zgarka

Michel Zgarka

Festival Delegate General Michel Zgarka was tight-lipped about the members of the jury, who will be announced on September 2; however, he revealed that OSM Assistant Conductor Dina Gilbert will be a juror on the film music panel.

Views of the World is the result of a thorough study of both the Montreal and International film festival scenes. “Although Montreal is known for being the city of festivals, it still lacked a festival which associated quality films, music, and a socially redeeming value,” explains Zgarka.

On the decision to incorporate film music as part of the festival, Zgarka says it is merely another way the Views of the World Film and Music Festival stands out. By broadening the consideration from mere cinematography, the festival opens up a rare avenue for discourse about film music. “None of the international film festivals incorporate music for film, even though film music and soundtracks create the mood and atmosphere of the film,” he says.

The festival’s founders are Michel Zgarka, Georges Leclere (President), Ysé Brisson (Deputy Delegate General), Thanushka Nanayakkara (Partner), and Alan Rogers (Commercial Director); each member of the team bringing years of invaluable film experience to the table.

Zgarka, who has a highly distinguished career, with over 30 years of experience in film production, marketing, financing, and business development, is excited about the festival’s prospects after the enthusiastic response from entrants. “We have received many entries, each with a significant social value,” he mentions. “We already have enough material for the four days of the festival. At this point, we could actually have six days of films, documentaries, shorts, scripts, and music.”

A Powerful Mission Statement

Karen Strassman

Karen Strassman

The festival is an outgrowth of international media company XII Tribes Entertainment and as such, it naturally adopted the company’s robust mission statement of social and environmental justice, including gender parity, minority representation, and sustainable growth. As the name suggests, “Views of the World” encourages diverse perspectives with the ultimate purpose of creating and promoting art that advocates progressive change.

Karen Strassman, who brings a wealth of industry experience as an actress, voice actress, and dialect coach, will be a member of the film jury. Strassman and Zgarka are long-time collaborators who met at the Cannes Film Festival many years ago.

Strassman herself is excited to learn about a variety of issues. Ultimately, her ranking depends on the personal impact of the film. As she states, “My main criteria are: Has it made an impact? Has it touched my heart?”

“Films have the possibility to change the world,” explains Strassman. “Films have the ability to address a lot of subjects other media do not. There is only a certain amount of lecturing you can do…and I think people have less and less patience for reading long articles. Films that are well done have a way of addressing the heart of an issue. It goes past intellectual understanding. You feel it. You live it. More than any other medium, films have the ability to bring us closer to each other.”

For more information about the Views of the Wold Film & Music Festival, visit


About Author

Kiersten van Vliet was the Web Editor and an Editorial Assistant for La Scena Musicale from 2015–17.

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