Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM), Nov 9-20

The 14th Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal (RIDM) or Montreal International Documentary Festival begins tonight at Ludger-Duvernay Theatre at the Monument-National. The opening night screening is Frederick Wiseman's latest offering Crazy Horse, a direct cinema look at the behind-the-scenes workings of the renowned cabaret/burlesque show that bills itself as "he best nude dancing show in the world." The festival will also present a retrospective selection of Frederick Wiseman's work and a masterclass with Wiseman vie Skype Frederick Wiseman: the Art of Watchfulness.

The closing night screening will be Stefano Savona’s Tahrir, Place de la Libération, which shows a first-hand account of the events in Cairo during the overthrow of President Mubarak.

In addition to showing 119 films from 32 countries, RIDM also presents numerous industry events and sessions. They will hold Master Classes, discussions, screenings & debates, and parties. They also host the market Doc Circuit Montreal, the only bilingual documentary market in North America. Doc Circuit Montreal supports doc filmmakers with training, pitching and networking opportunities with 75 invited decision-makers and panelists.

The 14th Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal runs until November 20 at the Cinémathèque québécoise, Cinema ONF, Cinema excentris, Grande Bibliothèque, Goethe-Institut and Université Concordia.


Opening of the 14th RIDM

Montreal, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011 – The 14th edition of the Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) opens on Wednesday, Nov. 9 with a screening of Crazy Horse by American filmmaker Frederick Wiseman. The documentary takes us behind the scenes at the famous Crazy Horse cabaret in Paris during rehearsals for a new show, Désirs, choreographed by Philippe Decouflé. RIDM will also pay tribute to this major filmmaker with a retrospective of ten of his most significant films, in their original format (in most cases, 16mm). Mr. Wiseman will give a master class via Skype on Sunday, Nov. 13 at the Cinémathèque québécoise.

The festival’s first weekend will be loaded with screenings and special activities. Friday, Nov. 11, features the Canadian premiere of José e Pilar by Miguel Gonçalves Mendes. This funny, poignant documentary – Portugal’s entry for the Oscars – is a portrait of the celebrated Portuguese novelist José Saramago. On Saturday, Nov. 12, L’empire du milieu du sud (The Empire of Mid-South) is a must-see exploration of Vietnam’s colonial history, based on extraordinary, never-before-seen archival footage. This superb film was made by Eric Deroo and Jacques Perrin, a legendary actor and an important figure in French documentary cinema (MicrocosmosLe peuple migrateurOcéans).

On Sunday, be sure to witness a true cinematic event: Karamay. This six-hour Chinese documentary, banned in its own country, examines a shocking tragedy that destroyed a small community. This significant new film will be shown in two three-hour screenings. At 5 p.m., The MSSO: 10 Years Later cocktail is a chance to catch up with the group that launched the Spontaneous Movement for the Survival of the NFB (Mouvement spontané pour la survie de l’ONF) in 2001.  The event, taking place in the RIDM Lounge, will be followed by a screening of The Last Heritage Minutes.Another Sunday highlight: the evening screening of Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, the highly anticipated third instalment in the Paradise Lost trilogy. For 15 years, filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky have followed the riveting legal saga of the West Memphis 3. This conclusion to the trilogy, completed barely a week before the three men were freed, has been updated since it was screened at the TIFF.

In connection with another retrospective, Danish filmmaker Jørgen Leth will be at the festival to give a master class on Saturday, Nov. 12. He will also participate in a roundtable discussion, Filming Haiti, on Sunday, Nov. 13, along with fellow panellists Aïda Maigre-Touchet (Élégie de Port-au-Prince) and Charles Najman (Une étrange cathédrale dans la graisse des ténèbres). The three filmmakers will talk about why they are so passionate about this unique country, and the essential role of documentary filmmaking as witness to its tensions and tragedies. Both activities are free.

Finally, here are a few of the festival’s international guests for the first weekend: Swiss filmmaker Fernand Melgar(Vol spécial), German director Diana Näcke (My Freedom, Your Freedom), French directors Regis Sauder (Nous, Princesses de Clèves) and Manuela Fresil (Entrée du personnel), American filmmaker Jeff Silva (Ivan & Ivana) and Spain’s Hermes Paralluelo (Yatasto).

Quebec’s only film festival dedicated to documentaries, the Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) presents the best reality-based films, including the works of established directors and new talents alike. The 14th edition of RIDM will take place from Nov. 9 to 20 at the Cinémathèque québécoise, Cinema ONF, Cinema Excentris, Grande Bibliothèque, Goethe-Institut and Concordia University. 


Environmental issues on the silver screen at RIDM

Montreal, November 9, 2011 –More than 100 films will be presented at the 14th Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM), but a special section will address a critical topic: the environment. The EcoCamera section sheds light on ecological debates and calls into question our relationship with the planet, by screening films about a wide range of issues. For example, The End of the World Begins with One Lie takes a look at the 2010 BP oil disaster, and The Forgotten Space is a compelling essay about the excesses of global capitalism. Two Quebec films also have the potential to attract a significant amount of attention:

L’or des autres (The Gold of Others)

Directed by Simon Plouffe | Québec, 2011, 60 min, original French version with English subtitles.
For some, it’s a bonanza. For others, it’s a chasm waiting to swallow them whole. Though there are many differences of opinion, the 3,640 inhabitants of the tiny one-industry town of Malartic, Abitibi share the same destiny since 2006, when the mining company Osisko chose Malartic for the largest open-pit gold mine in Canada. Expropriations and relocations soon followed, plus the destruction of 205 homes, two schools, two retirement homes and a daycare. The mine has had a devastating impact on the town’s heritage and on people’s daily lives. It hasn’t been easy.

The director will be present at the following screenings: Saturday, Nov. 12 at 5 p.m., at the Grande Bibliothèque (475 de Maisonneuve E)*
Sunday, Nov. 20 at 3:45 p.m., at the Grande Bibliothèque (475 de Maisonneuve E)

*Screening and debate : The mine or life, the case of Malartic

Presented in collaboration with Alternatives


Directed by Richard Boyce | Québec, 2011, 65 min, original English version
It’s one of the most majestic natural areas in Canada; over an area the size of Belgium, Vancouver Island, bordered on its west coast by the Pacific Ocean. Is the site of the last temperate rainforests in the world an eco-tourist’s dream? Sadly no. The government is selling this corner of paradise is being sold, parcel by parcel, to forestry companies. If nothing is done, this natural jewel will disappear within the next 15 years.

The director will be present at the following screenings: Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 8 p.m., at Cinéma Excentris, Cassavetes theater (3536 Saint-Laurent Blvd)
Saturday, Nov. 19 at 1 p.m., at the Grande Bibliothèque (475 de Maisonneuve E)*

*Screening and debate : Sustainable forestry, is it possible?

Presented in collaboration with Cœur des Sciences de l’UQAM
The 14th edition of RIDM will take place from November 9 to 20 at the Cinémathèque québécoise, Cinema ONF, Cinema Excentris, Grande Bibliothèque, Goethe-Institut and Concordia University. With the aim of extending its reach beyond Montreal, RIDM will also present selected documentaries in Quebec City from November 26 to December 2, in collaboration with Cinéma Cartier.

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