RIDM 2017 Overview

The 20th anniversary RIDM

November 9-19

Montreal’s well-regarded documentary event showcases more than 70 new documentary features in addition to shorts and retrospective programming.


The festival’s Canadian Feature Competition consists of eleven titles, including: Laura Bari’s PRIMAS, which profiles two young women who cope with a history of sexual assault; Tao Gu’s TAMING THE HORSE, a personal portrait of the director’s disaffected childhood friend; Hubert Caron-Guay’s DESTIERROS, which follows South American migrants as they try to cross the US border; Carlos Ferrand’s 13, A LUDODRAMA ABOUT WALTER BENJAMIN, an experimental essay on the philosopher’s years in exile; and Serge Giguère’s LES LETTRES DE MA MÈRE, a personal reflection on the fimmaker’s mother.


A dozen docs vie in the International Feature Competition, among them: Basma Alsharif’s OUROBOROS, an experimental hybrid on the Gaza Strip; Juliana Antunes’ BARONESA, about two friends living in a Brazilian favela; Eric Baudelaire’s ALSO KNOWN AS JIHADI, a look into the life of a young French jihadi who fought in Syria; and Anthony Chidiac’s ROOM FOR A MAN, an unconventional portrait of a Lebanese gay man.


Work appearing in RIDM’s Midlength Competitions includes Jacquelyn Mills’ IN THE WAVES, a meditation on the filmmaker’s grandmother’s mortality; Clément Cogitore’s BRAGUINO, a portrait of the two feuding families residing in a small Siberian village; and Yaser Kassab’s ON THE EDGE OF LIFE, an intimate look at the experience of the director and his girlfriend, both Syrian refugees.


The fest’s non-competitive Panorama includes Special Presentations such as Pierre-Yves Vandeweerd’s THE ETERNALS, an essay about an Armenian community who have been stuck in unending war with Azerbaijan for two decades, and Guillaume Sylvestre’s YOUTH PROTECTION SERVICES, an intimate profile of the work of the titular Quebec agency; and Sense of Place, which offers Gústav Geir Bollason and Clémentine Roy’s CARCASSE, which looks at a group of people fighting to survive on a remote island.


Other Panorama sections include The State of the World, with Ivan Granovsky’s LOS TERRITORIOS, in which the director adopts the role of war correspondent to learn about global conflict, and Émilie B Guérette’s THE OTHER RIO, about the inhabitants of a Rio squat near the Olympic stadium; Portraits, which offers John Bruce and Pawel Wojtasik’s END OF LIFE, a profile of people approaching their deaths, and Matthieu Brouillard’s QU’IMPORTE LA GRAVITÉ, about the friendship between a blind man and a deaf man; and La Bête Humaine, which presents Wen Hai’s WE THE WORKERS, on the struggles of Chinese factory workers to bring attention to their working conditions, and Zuzana Zelinova’s EDIT&ME, about a Slovakian woman in Quebec who serves as a caretaker to other immigrants who suffer from Alzheimer’s.

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