After a first experience last year, Geneviève Schmidt is back hosting the Gala Québec Cinéma, Sunday evening. The 43-year-old actress promises a “very convivial” evening which will return to a certain normality.
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“Last year, I consider that we organized the gala in a masterly way in the sense that we did it at the last minute with several health restrictions and a limited number of spectators in the room”, recalls the interview facilitator.
“This year is going to be totally different. It's going to be a bit like a return to normal, even if there are still cases of COVID. Instead of having 80 people in the room, we will have 375. Studio 42 will come back to life! Because you should know that this will be the very last gala to be presented in the mythical Studio 42 of Radio-Canada. To me, there's something very solemn about that."
Another important difference in the eyes of Geneviève Schmidt: the actress has known for several months already that she will be at the helm of the great celebration of Quebec cinema this year. Last year, due to the pandemic, she was offered to host the gala just two months before the event was held.
“Last year, it was as if I was at home and at 4 p.m., I decided to invite 50 people to dinner at home, she says, laughing. It's doable, but let's say that not everyone is going to like the evening. This year, I have known since January that I will host the gala in front of 400 people. In terms of trust, it's better. It is also stressful, but knowing it in advance allows me to better prepare myself psychologically.
Under the sign of variety
Geneviève Schmidt has seen all the films nominated at the Gala Québec Cinéma this year. She says she was impressed by the variety of this 2021-2022 vintage.
“This year, I find that our films are really all assumed in their own way of doing things, she observes. We had a fantastic tale with The Time Snatcher, a zombie film with Brain Freeze, a sports competition film with Sam... I also find that we have new faces, diversity in the actors, two Indigenous female directors who are extraordinary [Caroline Monnet with Bootlegger and Tracey Deer with Beans]. I find it very interesting”.
The televised galas have been struggling since the start of the pandemic. Both in Quebec and in the United States, most award ceremonies have recorded significant declines in ratings over the past two years.
The Gala Québec Cinéma has not escaped this phenomenon: last year, the great festival of Québec cinema attracted 451,000 viewers, according to preliminary data from Numéris, a drop of approximately 33% compared to the 600 000 followers of the 2019 edition.
"It's true that there are several people who say that the gala format is outdated, but I don't agree with that at all," pleads the actress who we saw at the cinema in the films Liar, The Time Grabber and The Fall of the American Empire.
“I believe it is still possible to organize a gala that will entertain the public while promoting our culture and our cinema. Our vision of the gala this year has something very friendly about it. There will be guests of all genres, humor of all genres too. I think that no one will sulk their pleasure in seeing this hour and a half of gala.
In terms of humor, there is no question for Geneviève Schmidt of falling into mockery or nastiness.
"I don't want to laugh at people because it's not my cup of tea," she says. But, on the other hand, I can laugh at myself. I really like self-mockery. I can be at the same time very naughty in my humor, and very absurd too. I want to approach this in my own way, with frankness and sincerity.
Best First Film
Best Actress in a Leading Role
Best Actor in a Leading Role
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Revelation of the year
Best Documentary Film