Thursday, October 20, 2016

RIDM 2016 Programming

The Montreal International Documentary Film Festival (RIDM)
19th Edition

November 10 - 20, 2016

The annual Montreal International Documentary Film Festival (RIDM) is a key event for everyone who appreciates the art of the documentary. This year, it will offer 128 films from 35 countries and more than 100 guests.

The festival will present 13 world premieres, 18 North American premieres, 24 Canadian premieres and 31 Quebec premieres, and will inaugurate a new competition for Canadian short and medium-length films. RIDM is a key springboard for emerging artists and local productions.

The festival will open with the Quebec premiere of Fire at Sea by Gianfranco Rosi. The film is a unique immersion in the everyday life of Lampedusa, an Italian island famous for being the European landing point for numerous refugees. The film won the Golden Bear at this year’s Berlin Film Festival, and establishes Gianfranco Rosi as one of today’s great documentary filmmakers, thanks to a rare aesthetic sensibility and a willingness to confront the major issues of the day – themes echoed in the rest of the festival’s 2016 line-up. The film is presented in collaboration with Amnesty International Canada (French Branch) and distributed by EyeSteelFilm.

The festival will close with Freelancer on the Front Lines by Santiago Bertolino (Carré rouge sur fond noir), an all-access look at the life of Jesse Rosenfeld, a freelance journalist who covers conflict zones. An essential film that helps us understand how the written media interpret global issues in the age of Twitter and 24-hour news cycles. It is produced and distributed by the NFB and will open across Quebec in spring 2017.


11 awards will be presented to the makers of winning films in four competitive sections.

International feature competition

The 11 films in the international feature competition, presented by Bell Media, are a strong, varied group that testifies to the creativity, diversity and relevance of reality-based cinema.

Documentary cinema has always presented powerful socio-political reflections through the prism of intimate stories:

Another Year (Shengze Zhu), one working class family’s dinners inspire viewers to ponder the challenges facing a large part of China’s population;
We’ll Be Alright (Alexander Kuznetsov) follows the struggles of two young Russian women locked up in a psychiatric hospital for life;
Tempestad (Tatiana Huezo) the stories of two protagonists on a poetic odyssey, revealing the tragedy of human trafficking in Mexico;
Mixed Feelings (Guy Davidi), a small Tel Aviv apartment turned into acting school is the improbable scene of group therapy surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict;
The Great Wall (Tadhg O’Sullivan) and
Havarie (Philip Scheffner) both experiment with the documentary form as a way of documenting the current migrant crisis;
Calabria (Pierre-François Sauter), a tenderly existential road movie;
Il Solengo (Alessio Rigo De Righi and Matteo Zoppis), a playful investigation set in rural Italy;
Kate Plays Christine, a fake making-of that lays bare the actor’s profession. Director Robert Greene’s refusal to make a distinction between fiction and documentary in Kate Plays Christine, to better shatter his actress’s mystery;
Brothers of the Night (Patric Chiha), an exploration of Vienna’s nighttime underworld reminiscent of Fassbinder and Kenneth Anger;
The Human Surge (Eduardo Williams), a journey filmed on three continents. The latter two works are both essential films about marginalized youth in a globalized world.

Canadian feature competition

The ten films in the Canadian feature competition are as diverse and ambitious as their international counterparts, travelling the world and exploring every documentary approach.

Prison in Twelve Landscapes is an original essay by Brett Story on the devastating impacts of the American penal system;
Angry Inuk is an important and essential cri de coeur by Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, presenting the Inuit perspective on the seal hunt;
Gulîstan, Land of Roses is an impressive, masterful and sensitive first film by Zaynê Akyol, filmed among a group of PKK women soldiers;
Living with Giants a sadly poetic portrait of two young Inuit by Aude Leroux-Lévesque and Sébastien Rist;
Michael Shannon Michael Shannon John by Chelsea McMullanan elusive, surreal story of a family;
Tales of Two Who Dreamt, the story of the making of a Gide and Kafka-influenced film as told by Andrea Bussmann and Nicolás Pereda; 
The Stairs by Hugh Gibson, and 
Resurrecting Hassan by Carlo Guillermo Proto, two deeply humanistic chronicles;
Quebec My Country Mon Pays by John Walker, a personal film that unpacks the divisions between Quebec’s anglphone and francophone communities;
Combat au bout de la nuit by Sylvain L’Espérance, an epic, politically aware, eclectic work about the recent upheavals in Greece; it is L’Espérance’s most ambitious film yet.

For more information about the RIDM documentary film festival, the programming, and film projection schedules, visit the RIDM website.

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