Thursday, November 17, 2011

Just a few days left to enjoy RIDM

Montreal, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2011 – There have been more than 100 screenings since the opening of the Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) last Wednesday. There are still a few days left to enjoy the festival’s 14th edition, which ends on November 20, including the chance to meet filmmakers from around the world.

For the festival’s second weekend, the programming team has put together few recommendations. Thursday evening, filmmaker Andrea Bussmann will attend a screening of her film He Whose Face Gives No Light, at 9 p.m. at Excentris. This poetic work, filmed in Mexico, is a sublime chiaroscuro look at elderly Mexicans who were extras in a fictional film. The screening of the medium-length film will be followed by a second medium-length work, Bielutine – Dans le jardin du temps, by French filmmaker Clément Cogitore, which takes viewers into the home of an elderly Moscow couple who own one of the world’s most impressive private art collections. This terrific double bill will be repeated on Saturday at 3:15 p.m.

Friday at 5:15 p.m. at Excentris, director Res Balzli will present Bouton, a poignant film about a lifelike puppet and its creator, who is battling cancer. Between smiles and tears, documentary reality and poetic fiction, the filmmaker’s first film is a wonderful fable about courage and joie de vivre in the face of illness –  an inspiring story in which the magic of creation transcends the cruelty of fate. At 6 p.m. at the Grande Bibliothèque, a screening of Impunidad, from directors Juan José Lozano and Hollman Morris, looks at Colombia’s “Justice and Peace” law, which was supposed to shed light on massacres of civilians. The screening will be followed by a debate on the theme The Language of War, A Colombian Dead End?The language of war evolves in a calculated fashion, influenced by vested interests, legal issues and media agendas. This debate is an attempt to rethink the doublespeak of war – words like “victim,” “conflict,” and “terrorism” – in order to gauge their power in present-day Colombia.

On Saturday, two free, interactive activities are on the menu at the Cinémathèque québécoise, providing an opportunity to learn more about the work of major filmmakers and to take part in lively, enriching discussions. First is a discussion about The Other America, with three U.S. directors: Matthew Porterfield (Putty Hill), Tristan Patterson (Dragonslayer) and Lee Anne Schmitt (The Last Buffalo Hunt). They will investigate a single question: “What’s left of the American Dream?” – or “How does one film today’s United States?” The second activity is a one-on-one with French filmmaker Jean-Charles Hue (La BM du Seigneur) and Quebec director Denis Côté, who share a keen interest in the portrayal of marginal people, and who both blur the line between documentary and fiction. A fascinating discussion on the nature of cinematic perspective, taking place at 4 p.m. in the RIDM Lounge.

Saturday evening at the Grande Bibliothèque, the festival’s awards presentation will be followed by the closing film, Tahrir, Place de la Libération, by Italian director Stefano Savona. The film will be screened again on Sunday at 1:30 p.m., also at the Grande Bibliothèque, with the filmmaker in attendance. Sunday at 5:30, the Grande Bibliothèque is the venue for a screening of the People’s Choice Award, which will be named on Saturday evening at the closing ceremony. Plus, a special tribute in honour of the Albert-Tessier Award will be held at the Cinémathèque québécoise, featuring three films by Marcel Carrière at 6:45 p.m.

This Saturday and Sunday, RIDM offers a child care service for children aged 4 to 12, from 12:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., at the Grande Bibliothèque for $7 per child. A variety of activities will be available including: creating storyboards, sound effects and music, telling stories through theatre and dance, using video equipment to shoot short docs or child-directed interviews and any other imaginative ideas that the children may have.

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 alike. Plus, with the aim of extending its reach beyond Montreal, RIDM will present selected documentaries in Quebec City from November 26 to December 2, in collaboration with Cinéma Cartier. For more details about the festival, visit  

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