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La Guerre du feu ("Quest for Fire")

WINNER: Best Make-Up, Academy Awards 1983; Best Film and Best Director, César Awards 1982

“More than just a hugely enterprising science lesson… It's also a touching, funny and suspenseful drama… a unique achievement” – Janet Maslin, NEW YORK TIMES

La Guerre Du Feu from Festival Fantasia on Vimeo.

A primal, Paleolithic adventure begins when a tribe of homo sapiens are attacked by a less evolved, and far more ferocious, gang of hominids. Driven from the caves they call home, these early humans have lost their most precious possession — the tiny flame they keep protected from wind and rain, as they are as yet unable to create fire themselves. Three survivors set out in search of a new source of fire, a journey fraught with danger — and discovery.

An Oscar winner for its make-up work and recipient of two Césars, a BAFTA award and five Genies, the critical success QUEST FOR FIRE is all but unique in cinema history, a prehistoric thriller crafted with remarkable talent and scientific care. Sociobiologist Desmond Morris and author Anthony Burgess assisted in the proto-linguistic interactions, and familiar faces from genre film history — Ron Perlman, Everett McGill, Rae Dawn Chong — got their start here.

QUEST FOR FIRE is a memorable milestone of homegrown genre cinema, with a particular place in our hearts. Among the producers was the late Denis Héroux (July 15, 1940 – December 10, 2015) a Canadian film director and producer. He was also a true friend to Fantasia, a member of our board of administrators. We will always remember him as a man who, first, became one of the most successful independent filmmakers in the province, and then became involved in co-production projects and big-budget productions such as ATLANTIC CITY (1980) and QUEST FOR FIRE (1981). In 1984, he was among the co-founders of Alliance Films. Fantasia has created the Denis Héroux Award in his honour, to celebrate the artists of Quebec who help shape our genre and independent film scenes.

— Rupert Bottenberg