The Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM), which returns for a 20th year this November 9 to 19, is pleased to announce the opening and closing films for this anniversary edition. 24 Davids, an essay by Céline Baril filmed on three continents, will have its world premiere on Thursday, November 9. To close this major documentary festival, Nothingwood by Sonia Kronlund, an unforgettable portrait of Afghanistan’s king of Z-movies, will be shown on November 18. Two bold films directed by women filmmakers.
Opening film – 24 DAVIDS
A thinking person’s road movie, 24 Davids travels to three continents for a 24 inspiring encounters. The people we meet seem very different from one another, except that they’re all named David. And they are also given to deep thinking about major issues facing the world, and a desire to work for change.
For more than two decades, Céline Baril has been one of the most original voices in Quebec’s film industry. Working against the grain of formulaic movies, her approach is grounded in boundless curiosity and an artist’s focused eye. The cinematic essay is her favoured medium. Since Barcelone (1989), she has travelled the world and met members of many different cultures in her quest to create a humane, critical portrait of the world today.
The world premiere of 24 Davids will be presented in the Alumni Auditorium (H-110) at Concordia University on Thursday, November 9 at 7 p.m. (by invitation only), with the filmmaker in attendance. There will be a public screening during the festival’s first weekend.
24 Davids is produced by Colette Loumède at the National Film Board of Canada (NFB). Its theatrical release is slated for February 2, 2018.
Closing film – NOTHINGWOOD
Screened at the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes this year, Nothingwood is the first film by French journalist Sonia Kronlund. The film is a feisty, fascinating portrait of Salim Shaheen, a larger-than-life figure with a consuming passion for the movies who has become the uncontested king of Afghanistan’s micro-budget Z-movie scene. Making more than 10 films a year, he pushes back against everyday horrors with popular flicks. Kronlund captures him with an apt blend of fascination and critical distance, profiling the personality of a self-taught artist and entrepreneur who has a talent for telling tall tales that bring people together. A journey to the intersection of movies and reality.
The North American premiere of Nothingwood will close the festival, with director Sonia Kronlund in attendance, on Saturday, November 18 at 7 p.m. (in the original English, French, Pashto and Dari, with French subtitles), in the Alumni Auditorium at Concordia University (H-110). Tickets for the closing night screening will go on sale on October 18 at noon.
Presented in collaboration with the Service de coopération et d’action culturelle of the Consul General of France in Quebec, the department of art history and film studies at the Université de Montréal, the Observatoire du cinéma au Québec, UniFrance and FUNFILM. There will be a second screening of Nothingwood on Sunday, November 19.
Distributed by FUNFILM. The film’s theatrical release is scheduled for Winter 2018.