Montreal, Tuesday, November 12, 2013 – The Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) will launch its 16th edition this Wednesday, November 13 with a screening of the new film by Egyptian filmmaker Jehane Noujaim: The Square (Al Midan). This epic documentary is a chronicle of recent events in Egypt.
From January 2011 to July 2013 – from the first anti-Mubarak protests to the fall of Morsi – Egyptian filmmaker Jehane Noujaim’s (Control Room) crew stayed on the front lines of events as they unfolded in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. Guided by Ahmed, a charismatic incarnation of valiant Egyptian youth; his friend and enemy, Magdy, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood; and Khalid Abdalla, an actor known for The Kite Runner, the film makes the square itself its central subject: it is the beating heart of a people who have been fighting for their rights for more than two years. Updated since the early cut shown at Sundance (where it won the Audience Award), this epic documentary is both spectacular and deeply moving; it is one of the year’s absolute must-see films. After winning a second Audience Award at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), the film started a dazzling run that already places it among the most popular titles of 2013.
The Square, RIDM’s opening film, will be shown in the original Arabic with French subtitles on Wednesday, November 13 at 7 p.m. at the Monument-National’s Ludger-Duvernay Theatre, with the director in attendance. This opening night screening is by invitation only. The French translation was done by Épilogue, a division of TV5. Two other screenings of the film are programmed for regular audiences: November 15, at 9:15 p.m., at Cinéma Excentris (with French subtitles) as well as November 17, at 4:30 p.m. at Cinéma du Parc (with English subtitles).
The screening will be followed by the RIDM’s grand opening night party, which is open to everyone. Starting at 9:30 p.m., the people present will get to enjoy the performances by bands Passwords and How Sad, followed by DJs Commando and Tinsoldierman. The party will happen at the RIDM headquarters (3450 Saint-Urbain), the nerve center of this 16th edition, where most of the festival’s parallel activities and evening activities will occur.
The Cinema Politica organization will also present Jehane Noujaim’s previous film: Rafea: Solar Mama. The screening will happen on November 22 at 7 p.m., at Concordia University. Rafea: Solar Mama tells the story of a Bedouin woman from Jordan who decides to become a solar engineer despite the reluctance of her community.
Quebec’s only film festival dedicated to documentaries, the Montreal International Documentary Festival presents the best reality-based films, including the works of established directors and new talents.
The 16th RIDM will take place from November 13 to 24, 2013 at Cinéma du Parc, Excentris, the Cinémathèque québécoise and Concordia University.