The curtain goes up on the fifth annual Festival du Cinema du Monde (FCMS) in Sherbrooke on April 9 and this year the home-grown international film festival is promising to be bigger and better than ever. “Cinema is a means by which we discuss the issues of society,” said Malika Bajjaje, the co-founder and Executive Director of the festival, explaining that the mission of the FCMS has always been to open people’s eyes to the rest of the world through the lens of cinema. “We have people who have told us that they are so appreciative of the way we allow them to discover new places in a way that is totally different than we see on the nightly news,” she added, noting that films are the closest people can get to looking at the world through the eyes of another. Although the FCMS has been a large-scale affair since its founding in 2014, Bajjaje said that growing popularity year after year has led to the organizers adding another day to the lineup this year. “We had a good problem,” the executive director said, explaining that the festival has become popular enough that another day’s worth of screenings is necessary to ensure that everyone who wants to come, can. From the evening of Monday, April 9 until the closing ceremonies on the following Sunday night, April 15, eleven different venues across the city will be hosting films ranging from animated shorts to feature length documentaries. In total 35 countries will be represented in 52 feature length fiction films, 31 feature length documentaries, and 32 short films in fiction and non-fiction, live action and animation. The programming draws on the award winners from other festivals around the world while also providing new, local filmmakers the opportunity to premiere their works for a public audience. Although the majority of the films are either in French or subtitled for a French audience, the international nature of the festival means that a large number of the films are either being screened in English or will be accessible to an English speaking audience. A range of free and ticketed events and screenings will take place in Sherbrooke over the course of the week, with a few specifically focused on celebrating the festival’s five years of existence. Among these Bajjaje pointed out a free outdoor photo exhibition of the works of local photographer Jocelyn Riendeau, whose artistic eye has been cast upon the festival since its first year. The photographs are to be displayed on the corner of King and Wellington Streets, not far from several of the key venues. See full story in the Friday, March 30th edition of The Outlet.