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Léo Bonneville, Pioneer of the Film Club Movement in Quebec, Has Left Us

Monday 9 July 2007, by SIGNIS

Brussels, July 1, 2007 (Guido Convents) - Léo Bonneville died last month in Montreal, at the age of 87. He was a stalwart of cinema in Quebec and French Canada.

In 1950 he was asked to establish the first student film societies relying on movies embodying human and social values and on post-screening discussions. The idea prospered and Bonneville became one of the most well-know advocates of film clubs in French speaking Canada.

In 1955, Fr Jean-Marie Poitevin of the diocesan centre for cinema in Montreal founded the film magazine Séquences. A year later he asked Bonneville to be the editor of the magazine, a position in which he excelled for 40 years. He was a faculty member at the University of Ottawa for many years and has also participated in many international conventions and festivals. While simultaneously conveying his passion for the medium, This film lover has conveyed his passion of the medium to several generations of film students, several of which became filmmakers. He was often a guest for radio and television broadcasting on film.

During this time, he also had many links with the activities of OCIC and became a regular jury member of Catholic and Ecumenical juries at international film festivals such as Montreal, Venice, Berlin, Cannes and Mar del Plata. In 1996, he started writing the history of OCIC which he presented in its French version at the World Congress of OCIC in Montreal in 1998 under the title: Soixante-dix ans au service du cinéma et de l’audiovisuel (70 years at the Service of Cinema and Audiovisual Media). He was himself an important part of these 70 years of history.

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