Montreal, – The 16th annual Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) will be held from . This year’s edition boasts an exciting selection of 135 films from more than 40 countries, along with more than 100 guests from around the world.
The RIDM is honoured to open the festival with The Square (Al Midan), by Egyptian filmmaker Jehane Noujaim. The film is a spectacular and much-discussed chronicle of the eventful last two years in Egypt. Closing the festival will be the world premiere of Fermières by Annie St-Pierre, an affectionate and endearing look at the Cercles de Fermières du Québec.
International feature competition
Twelve international features will be competing for the Grand Prize for Best International Feature, the Image Award and the Editing Award. The selection includes bold, internationally acclaimed films such as E agora? Lembra-me by Joaquim Pinto (Special Jury Prize and FIPRESCI Prize, Locarno), a heartbreaking diary about illness and the value of life; Haricots rouges by Narimane Mari (winner of three awards at FID Marseille), the first hybrid Algerian film, a work that defies categories and brings pure delight. The new talents featured in this section tell stories from every corner of the world, from a disturbing island in India (Char… The No Man’s Island by Sourav Sarangi) to the historic centre of Mexico City (Calle López by Gerardo Barroso Alcala and Lisa Tillinger), the indignados movement in Spain (Vers Madrid (The Burning Bright)! by Sylvain George) and the tragic consequences of racial tensions in the U.S. (Let the Fire Burn by Jason Osder). There are also epic love stories, including that of a young gay couple (American Vagabond by Susanna Helke), a director’s love for an elderly Iranian painter (Fifi hurle de joie by Mitra Farahani) and a long-ago love who reappears in the present (Belleville Baby by Mia Engberg).
Canadian feature competition
The RIDM is pleased to announce a Canadian competition with several filmmakers whose work has previously appeared at the festival: Alanis Obomsawin (Hi-Ho Mistahey), John Walker (Arctic Defenders), Helene Klodawsky (Come Worry With Us), Julie Perron (Le semeur), Dominic Gagnon (Hoax_Canular), Laura Bari (Ariel) and the team of Ashley Sabin and David Redmon (Night Labor). The festival is also delighted to present exceptional discoveries such as Bà nôi by Khoa Lê, Alex marche à l’amour by Dominic Leclerc, Ayiti Toma, au pays des vivants by Joseph Hillel, and À jamais, pour toujours by Alexandra Sicotte-Lévesque. The selection of films from Quebec and across Canada runs the gamut from intimate portraits and political documentaries to essays, experimentation, music and docu-fiction, an eloquent testament to the diversity of our country’s documentary cinema.
International short and medium-length competitions
Eleven short and nine medium-length films round out the official competition. It is a powerful, awe-inspiring selection that takes us everywhere from a poster shop (Dusty Stacks of Mom: The Poster Project) to the history of a family of visionaries (Une histoire pour les Modlin), the aurora borealis in Manitoba (Magnetic Reconnection), and even inside the human body (Da Vinci). The latest short masterpieces by Sergei Loznitsa (Letter), Miguel Gomes (Redemption), Harun Farocki (A New Product) and Jean-Marie Teno (Une feuille dans le vent) give the line-up a healthy dose of poetry, humour and emotion. Last but not least, the makers of Rabbit à la Berlin, Bartek Konopka and Piotr Rosolowski, are back with the not-to-be-missed The Art of Disappearing, the extraordinary story of a Haitian Vodou priest’s tour of Communist Poland in the 1980s.
This section includes the latest works from the world’s great documentary filmmakers: At Berkeley by Frederick Wiseman, a portrait of the United States’ most famous public university; Dans un jardin je suis entré by Avi Mograbi, in which the filmmaker dreams of a peaceful Middle East; L’image manquante by Rithy Panh, an autobiographical film that won the Grand Prize in the Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes Festival; La maison de la radio by Nicolas Philibert, a behind-the-scenes look at Radio-France; The Crash Reel by Lucy Walker, about the extreme-sports industry; First Cousin Once Removed by Alan Berliner, an insightful masterpiece about literature and forgetting; Salma by Kim Longinotto, a portrait of the most famous Tamil woman poet; and Father’s Garden by Peter Liechti, a portrait of the filmmaker’s parents using puppets and rabbits that will have audiences laughing and crying. Art is also on the menu, with two eagerly anticipated films: Finding Vivian Maier, the story of the posthumous discovery of a great street photographer, and Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction, a portrait of the charismatic character actor.
Global events are the focus of the Horizons section. Les Chebabs de Yarmouk follows a group of young Palestinian refugees in Syria against a backdrop of rising tensions; Night Replay reveals a strange role-playing game in which tourists pretend to cross the Mexico–U.S. border illegally; Mirage à l’italienne is a portrait of people who want nothing more than to leave their country, Italy; Big Men investigates the power struggles surrounding petroleum reserves in Ghana; La clé de la chambre à lessive is a tender look at the intricacies of human relations in the laundry room of a social housing complex in Switzerland; and Québékoisie is a lucid look at relations between aboriginal and non-aboriginal people in Quebec.
Against the grain
The festival’s boldest section covers everything from Montreal’s roller derby scene (Derby Crazy Love) to the many faces of Boris Karloff (A Masque of Madness); from the Freedom Theatre, a place for creativity and resistance in Jenin, Palestine (Art/Violence), to an adulterous American couple in the 1960s who made audio recordings of their most intimate moments (Suitcase of Love and Shame).
The Territories section is devoted to films that explore the human–environment relationship; it provides opportunities to better understand our planet and its inhabitants. Among the works presented are two major new Quebec-made films, Sans terre, c’est la faim (No Land No Food No Life) by Amy Miller, a scathing exposé of the global phenomenon of agricultural land-grabs, and Bidonville by Jean-Nicolas Orhon, a journey into the world’s shantytowns. Other noteworthy entries include the superb Cloudy Mountains, a Chinese documentary about asbestos miners; the heartbreaking Unter Menschen, about chimpanzees formerly used in AIDS research; and The Expedition to the End of the World, a thrilling chronicle of a North Pole adventure.
The RIDM’s new section for documentaries on musical topics includes five films and a wide variety of musical styles: Bloody Daughter is a portrait of the great classical pianist Martha Argerich, directed by her daughter, Stéphanie; Brothers Hypnotic looks at the jazz/funk band the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble; My Prairie Home introducers us to Rae Spoon, a transgender electro-country singer from Western Canada; Our Vinyl Weighs a Tondocuments the key hip-hop label Stones Throw Records; and The Punk Singer is a portrait of Kathleen Hanna, the feminist icon and vocalist famed for her work with Bikini Kill and Le Tigre.
Our webdocs section returns for a second year with seven web projects, presented in public with assisted navigation. The Canadian entries are Fort McMoney by David Dufresne, Ceci n’est pas Embres by Matt Soar and A Short History of Highrise by Katerina Cizek. Other works include I Love Your Work by Jonathan Harris, an enlightening webdoc about a lesbian porn production, and Type:Rider, a multiplatform game that immerses us in the world of typography, accompanied by an interactive installation at festival headquarters.
RETROSPECTIVES AND TRIBUTES
Headlining this year’s retrospectives is a major tribute to legendary Franco-German filmmaker Marcel Ophuls, including screenings of his complete documentary works, from 35mm prints of classics such as The Sorrow and the Pity and Hôtel Terminus to films never before shown in North America like the highly entertaining Yorktown and the autobiographical À la recherche de mon Amérique. This program will delight anyone with a passion for cinema or 20th century history.
The Sensory Ethnography Lab
A special program will be devoted to Harvard University’s Sensory Ethnography Lab, including screenings, round tables and a performance. The Sensory Ethnography Lab has earned acclaim for its avant-garde approach to ethnographic documentary cinema with films such as Leviathan, Sweetgrass, Foreign Parts and Manakamana.
The RIDM will present a tribute to the Franco-Belgian documentary television series StripTease, giving many Montrealers their first taste of “the show that undresses you,” a cult hit in French-speaking European countries since the 1980s.
Accompanying the presentation of Da Vinci in the short film competition, the festival presents Il capo and Piattaforma Luna, the first two instalments in the trilogy by Yuri Ancarani, one of today’s most talented and original Italian filmmakers.
Michel Brault and Arthur Lamothe
Michel Brault and Arthur Lamothe both passed away recently, and the RIDM and the Cinémathèque québécoise will pay tribute to both filmmakers with a special presentation of four shorts by Brault (Les raquetteurs, Québec-USA ou l’invasion pacifique, Les enfants du silence and Éloge du chiac) and of Lamothe’s Mépris n’aura qu’un temps.
Special activities 2013
Montreal, Wednesday, October 23, 2013 – The Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) will host a large number of special events to complement its film program. Discussions with filmmakers, post-screening debates, round tables, live shows and even interactive installations will all add stimulation and excitement to the festival’s 12 days.
Discussion between Marcel Ophuls and John Friedman: To mark the 25th anniversary of Hôtel Terminus, a film that earned Marcel Ophuls the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature, the RIDM invites the public to an historic reunion between the legendary filmmaker and the American producer of Hôtel Terminus, John Friedman. The two men will talk about their collaboration on the film, the difficulties they encountered and the director’s career.
Inside the Sensory Ethnography Lab: Since last year’s Leviathan, the film world has been fascinated by the Sensory Ethnography Lab, the Harvard University research centre that seeks nothing less than to redefine the connections between visual ethnography and aesthetic innovation. The SEL’s main filmmakers (Lucien Castaing-Taylor, J.P. Sniadecki and Stephanie Spray) will discuss the laboratory’s philosophy and their own eclectic and exacting approaches to filmmaking.
Issues in sound design: Sound design is one of the least studied of all facets of documentary production. With special guest Ernst Karel, the sound designer for all Sensory Ethnography Lab films, the RIDM presents an opportunity to learn about the process and issues involved in the use of sound in documentary film and other artistic disciplines. Ernst Karel, Simon Gervais and Christian Calon will discuss the innovative use of recorded sound.
Documentaries and archives: Archival audio-visual materials have always been a crucial resource for documentary filmmakers. While often used for illustrative purposes, they also have tremendous evocative power that begs to be used. Numerous recent films have demonstrated sustained, original and even deeply poetic use of pre-existing sounds and images. A number of filmmakers with works in this year’s festival (Yervant Gianikian, Jason Osder, Jane Gillooly and Dominic Gagnon) will discuss these developments.
Screenings + debates: The screenings of Char… The No Man’s Island and Salma will be followed by debates. The first looks at the future of an imperilled nation, Bangladesh, which could lose as much of 20% of its land by 2050 due to rising sea levels. The second delves into the troubling issue of child marriage and its consequences, with special guest Salma Rajhati Samsudeen, the subject of Kim Longinotto’s Salma.
Meet the directors: Daily at 1 p.m. in the RIDM café, a film critic will interview one of the festival’s guest filmmakers (3450, Saint-Urbain St).
PERFORMANCES AND CONCERTS
Ernst Karel and Émilie Payeur: Ernst Karel is both the Sensory Ethnography Lab’s sound designer and a multidisciplinary audio artist. He will give a performance to introduce festivalgoers to this facet of his artistic work. This event is a Montreal first, and it will be accompanied by a performance by Montreal-based electro-acoustic musician Émilie Payeur.
Public reading - The Lebanese Rocket Society: To celebrate the launch of a new monograph by Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, the co-directors of The Lebanese Rocket Society, Joreige will give a performance-reading reflecting on the rewriting of certain historical events and the construction of imagination.
Beat Dox Sessions: Accompanying the music-themed documentaries in the festival’s Beat Dox section will be nearly 20 free concerts at festival headquarters, in collaboration with partners such as local music festivals Pop Montreal, M pour Montréal and Suoni Per Il Popolo. Confirmed artists include Passwords, Foxtrott, How Sad, Chevalier Avant Garde, James Irwin, Maica Mia, Deluxe, Technical Kidman and Seoul. There will also be a number of launch parties and theme events featuring DJ sets.
Kino-Pedals: Presented in collaboration with Quartier des Spectacles, the Kino-Pedals draw passers-by into an immersive interactive world. Every evening from November 8 to 24 starting at sunset, the installation outside Saint-Laurent metro station will be open to the public. Four modules in the shape of the letters R-I-D-M, equipped with pedals, will trigger projections of short films on a large outdoor screen.
Type: Rider: In connection with the webdoc Type:Rider, this interactive, poetic installation uses video projection and shape recognition to allow users to interact with typographical characters that they move and arrange on a large magnetic wall.
A Few Facts about RIDM 2013
20 activities for the industry at Doc Circuit Montreal
20 free shows and DJ sets
12 world and international premieres
14 North American premieres
21 Canadian premieres
41 Quebec premieres
90 foreign guests
18 Quebec filmmakers
60 decision-makers and panelists at Doc Circuit Montreal
À JAMAIS, POUR TOUJOURS
À LA RECHERCHE DE MON AMÉRIQUE
A MASQUE OF MADNESS
A NEW PRODUCT
A SENSE OF LOSS
A SHORT HISTORY OF THE HIGHRISE
A STORY FOR THE MODLINS
A THIRD VERSION OF THE IMAGINARY
ALEX MARCHE À L'AMOUR
ART OF DISAPPEARING, THE
AS LONG AS THERE'S BREATH
AYITI TOMA, AU PAYS DES VIVANTS
BÀ NÔI (GRANDMA)
BIDONVILLE : ARCHITECTURES DE LA VILLE FUTURE
BLAZING WORLD, THE
CECI N'EST PAS EMBRES
CHAR... THE NO-MAN'S ISLAND
CHEBABS DE YARMOUK, LES
CLÉ DE LA CHAMBRE À LESSIVE, LA
COME WORRY WITH US!
CRASH REEL, THE
DANS UN JARDIN JE SUIS ENTRÉ
DERBY CRAZY LOVE
DUSTY STACKS OF MOM: THE POSTER PROJECT
E AGORA? LEMBRA-ME
ETERNAL NIGHT OF TWELVE MOONS, THE
EXPEDITION TO THE END OF THE WORLD
FATHER'S GARDEN - THE LOVE OF MY PARENTS
FIFI HURLE DE JOIE
FINDING VIVIAN MAIER
FIRST COUSIN ONCE REMOVED
GELD.GR - MONEY AND THE GREEKS
HARRY DEAN STANTON: PARTLY FICTION
HARVEST OF MY LAI, THE
I LOVE YOUR WORK
IMAGE MANQUANTE, L'
JOYCEAN SOCIETY, THE
LEAF IN THE WIND
LEBANESE ROCKET SOCIETY, THE
LET THE FIRE BURN
LISA, GO HOME!
MAISON DE LA RADIO, LA
MARCEL OPHULS AND JEAN-LUC GODARD: THE MEETING IN ST-GERVAIS
MARCEL OPHULS, PAROLE ET MUSIQUE
MASTER AND DIVINO
MEMORY OF JUSTICE, THE
MÉPRIS N'AURA QU'UN TEMPS, LE
MICHEL BRAULT: A FRUITFUL GAZE
MIRAGE À L'ITALIENNE
MOTHER AND THE SEA, THE
MUNICH 1938 OU LA PAIX POUR 100 ANS
MY PRAIRIE HOME
NO LAND NO FOOD NO LIFE
NU PERDU, LE
NUITS SANS SOMMEIL
OUR VINYL WEIGHS A TON
PUNK SINGER, THE
SORROW AND THE PITY, THE
STRIP-TEASE - PROGRAM 1 : MANY AUTEURS, MANY STYLES
STRIP-TEASE - PROGRAMME 2 : WHAT ABOUT GOD?
STRIP-TEASE - PROGRAMME 3 : FAMILIES: GOTTA LOVE'EM
SUITCASE OF LOVE AND SHAME
TROUBLES WE'VE SEEN, THE
VERS MADRID (THE BURNING BRIGHT)!