Short films: The Regard de Saguenay festival smashes an attendance record

Short films: The Regard de Saguenay festival smashes an attendance record


Who says short films don't get crowds running? Certainly not the artisans of the Regard festival, in Saguenay, which has just broken its attendance record. 

More than 30,000 people attended the various screenings last weekend, during the 27th presentation of this event, which has become a must on the circuit of film festivals in America.

Last year, Regard received 24,000 festival-goers in its halls. We are therefore talking about a 25% increase.

Member of the board of directors of Regard since its inception, filmmaker Sébastien Pilote is amazed by the response and the curiosity of people.

“We have two rooms with more than 900 seats and one with around 300 seats. We had to turn away hundreds of people on Saturday, for films that people have never heard of,” he says.

A happy problem that general manager Justine Valtier will have to deal with. “Do we need another room? We already have a few ideas in mind,” she points out.

The Regard International Short Film Festival broke attendance records this weekend in Saguenay, during of his 27th presentation.

Young people at the rendezvous

In addition to attracting filmmakers from around the world to Saguenay, the Saguenay International Short Film Festival takes great pride in the relatively low average age of its festival-goers. Many young people under the age of 30 attend the sessions. 

Special attention is given to the school clientele. In 2023, no less than 17,000 primary and secondary school students have seen films at Regard.

“It is essential because they are the future. I am convinced that culture, like short films and cinema, is necessary to understand the world in which we live,” says Justine Valtier.

Without compromise

For his part, Sébastien Pilote is pleased to note that the festival continues to grow without compromising on the quality of the films it presents.

“We have never leveled down in programming and it pays off. Quality, rigor and seriousness. »

He also sees in the success of Regard a hope for cinema in theaters. “There are still ways to attract people,” notes the filmmaker.

To judge the works in official competition, Regard brought together a high-level jury. It was formed in particular by the former director of Cannes Critics' Week and an authority on cinema, Charles Tesson, director Maxime Giroux and actress Sophie Desmarais.

The films of the selection 2023 of Regard are available online, from March 27 to April 9 at

Some winners of Regard 2023

Grand Prix

  • Natureza Humana, by Mónicca Lima ( Portugal/Germany)

Special Mention (Grand Prix)

  • Sèt Lam, by Vincent Fontano ( France)

Canadian Grand Prix

  • The Thirty-Second Season, by Charles-Émile Lafrance ( Quebec)

Jury Prize

  • Invincible, by Vincent René-Lortie (Quebec)

Special Mention (Jury Prize)

  • Tskaltubo, by Toby Andris (Quebec/Canada/Georgia)

Best Animation Award

  • Ice Merchants, by João Gonzalez (Portugal/UK/France)

Special mention (animation)

  • Eeva, by Lucija Mrzljak and Morten Tsinakov (Estonia/Croatia)

Best Documentary Award

  • Buurman Abdi, from Douwe Dijkstra (Netherlands)


  • Madeleine , by Raquel Sancinetti (Quebec)

Quebec Critics' Prize

  • Said of a deer leaving his antler, by Salomé Crickx (Belgium)

Special Mention (Critics' Prize)

  • An Avocado Pit, by Ary Zara (Portugal)