Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal (RIDM) announces 12 films in this year’s festival

The 18th annual Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) will be held from November 12 to 22. As a sneak preview before the announcement of the full line-up, the festival is pleased to pre-announce 12 films from this year’s program.

This year’s international competition will include The Other Side by director Roberto Minervini. Selected by both the Cannes Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) this year, the film follows the daily lives of marginal people living in Louisiana, taking us a modern American abyss.

Homeland by Abbas Fahdel, named best international feature at the Visions du Réel festival, is a chronicle of life in Iraq before and after the American invasion of 2003. An epic work of incalculable importance, Homeland is an unprecedented journey inside a country’s descent into the chaos of war.

In the Canadian competition, festivalgoers will discover Pinocchio by André-Line Beauparlant and Bienvenue à F.L. by Geneviève Dulude-De Celles. In Pinocchio, Beauparlant films a portrait of her brother, a compulsive liar whose true activities are unknown to her. The director undertakes a quest, full of twists and turns, to unmask and rescue the man, serving a prison sentence in Brazil for fraud.

Bienvenue à F.L., also selected by the TIFF, examines a community of teenagers in the self-contained world of their high school in Sorel-Tracy. Having learned to develop thick skins, they talk about their environment, identity and the particular time of life that is adolescence.

The Panorama section is a non-competitive selection of the best documentaries made since 2014. This year, the selection includes the latest films from Chantal Akerman and Frederick Wiseman, both also being shown at the TIFF this year. In No Home Movie, Akerman makes a solemn portrait of her mother, a death-camp survivor, in the final years of her life. For the first time, the Belgian filmmaker places her mother – who has cast a long shadow over her body of work – at the centre of the film, making us experience her death as a devastating wave.

In his new film In Jackson Heights, Wiseman explores the Jackson Heights neighbourhood in the New York City borough of Queens. Known for its cultural diversity and its role as a first American home for countless immigrants, the working-class neighbourhood has some 100 different communities and remains a hotbed of LGBT activism.

Also featured in the Panorama section, filmmaker Nikolaus Geyrhalter (Our Daily Bread) presents Over the Years. In 2004, the director visited a century-old Austrian textile mill. After interviewing the few employees remaining after a wave of layoffs, Geyrhalter documented the inexorable decline and eventual shuttering of the company. For nine years, he followed the radical changes experienced by the cast-off workers in an Austria that often touts its socio-economic health.

Le Bouton de nacre, the new film by Patricio Guzmán, won the Silver Bear and the Ecumenical Jury Prize at the most recent Berlin Film Festival. This philosophical essay examines history through the prism of the elements. This time, water is the thread guiding Guzmán’s exploration of the past. Water forms Chile’s longest border, and as a result it seems to contain all of the country’s memories and secrets.

Olmo and the Seagull by Brazilian director Petra Costa and Danish director Léa Glob, presented at the Locarno Film Festival, is another Panorama entry. The film documents the personal and professional life of Olivia, an actress in the famous Théâtre du soleil in Paris, during her pregnancy. While she and Serge, her boyfriend and colleague, have their love put to the test, the two artists play roles combining fiction and documentary as a way to show us their lives full of doubt, worry and joy.

In Peggy Guggenheim – Art Addict, director Lisa Immordino Vreeland details the fascinating, stranger-than-fiction life of the impulsive Peggy Guggenheim who, over the course of the 20th century, witnessed and participated in the emergence of many famous contemporary artists.

Oncle Bernard – L'anti-leçon d'économie by Québécois filmmaker Richard Brouillette will also be presented in the Panorama section. Filmed in 2000 during the making of Encirclement: Neoliberalism Ensnares Democracy, this interview with Bernard Maris, a.k.a. Oncle Bernard, is a fascinating conversation with the independent thinker who was Charlie Hebdo’s economics analyst, assassinated along with his colleagues in January.

Lastly, Marjorie Sturm will be among the many filmmakers showcased this year with her new film The Cult of JT LeRoy, a look back at the scandal surrounding JT LeRoy, the enfant terrible of American literature, media darling and “best friend” of Gus Van Sant. When LeRoy’s secret was revealed, the art world was turned upside down.

To receive an early bird discount on passes for all films (including the UXdoc Space but excluding the opening and closing films), visit www.ridm.qc.ca or La Vitrine - www.lavitrine.com. This special offer takes effect today and ends on October 1. Passes can be purchased online or from the La Vitrine box office in the 2-22 Building (2 Sainte-Catherine East). Early bird passes, available in limited quantities, are on sale for just $80 including taxes.

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 18th annual RIDM will take place from November 12 to 22, 2015
www.ridm.qc.ca / info@ridm.qc.ca

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