• James Parry

Internationally-acclaimed film director Jean-Marc Vallée coming to Hudson September 21


Director Jean-Marc Vallée returns to Hudson for the upcoming 10th Season of the Hudson Film Society

A smash hit at this week’s Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Quebec director Jean-Marc Vallée whose movie Demolition opened the fest to rave reviews is no stranger to being under the spotlight on the international scene.

In-depth interviews with him have appeared in mainstream media across Canada over the past few days. And he is equally at home in Hollywood, having directed such stars as Oscar winners Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto, as well as Reese Witherspoon and, most recently, Jake Gyllenhaal and Naomi Watts, as he is in Montreal where he first took a course in ‘cinema and society’ at Ahuntsic College.

And Hudson too, it would appear. For next Monday, September 21, and for the fifth time no less over the years, he will be the guest of honour on stage at Hudson Village Theatre when the Hudson Film Society launches its 10th season with the screening of his film, Wild. Vallée’s adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s bestseller about her epic hike along the Pacific Crest Trail in a journey of self-discovery and which was nominated for two Oscars, Best Actress (Reese Witherspoon) and Best Supporting Actress (Laura Dern).

Says HFS president, Clint Ward, “I truly believe, as do many others in the film industry, that he is one of the major and most highly respected cinema directors in the world today. And it’s a great honour to have him as our friend and honoured guests once again in our little town of Hudson.”

Adds Ward, who recently and totally unexpectedly received a visit from Vallée and his son when he was in rehab at a hospital in Ottawa following major surgery and the director had just received a National Arts Centre Award in the nation’s capital, “I was floored. He didn’t have to do that. But he did. And he also gave me a DVD of Wild and a CD of the soundtrack which I will always treasure. And copies of which will go to some lucky member of the audience whose winning ticket is drawn during our festival.”

As to why Vallée keeps returning to Hudson for its festival, Ward explains that since 2007, it has screened his films C.R.A.Z.Y., The Young Victoria, Café de Flore, Dallas Buyers Club, and now Wild.

“But more than that,” says Ward, “he just loves Hudson and our festival with its small group atmosphere. We helped him finding locations here when he was shooting Café de Floré, something that he has always appreciated and respected. And he knows that if we can ever help him again scouting locations or whatever, we will be here for him.”

There will be two screenings of Wild at 2 p.m. and 7.30 p.m. and for more info go to www.hudsonfilmsociety.ca or call Inga Lawson at (450) 424-2893.