Montreal International Documentary Festival

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16 November 2016

Animated documentaries, docu-fiction, political profiles and family odysseys in the spotlight for the RIDM’s second week

Montreal, Wednesday, November 16, 2016 – The RIDM’s 19th edition starts its second week with a wide selection of screenings with special guests in attendance. The Animating Reality retrospective will also be a highlight of the days to come.


The retrospective showcases the dynamism and diversity of animated documentaries. In collaboration with the Sommets du cinéma d’animation, the RIDM will explore the fascinating history of connections between animated and documentary film through a retrospective of nearly 30 films, with emphasis on high-quality Quebec and Canadian productions from the 1950s onward. Many of the filmmakers will attend the screenings: Penny Lane, director of NUTS!, Theodore Ushev, director of Les journaux de Lipsett,Matthew Tankin, director of Myniarski chute mortelle,Pierre Hébert, director of Herqueville and Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre, director of Passages.


During the Inside Animated Reality round tableon November 18, filmmakers will discuss the possibilities that animation opens up for documentary, and vice versa – from animators’ need to confront the real to documentary filmmakers’ need to use animation. 


Several political films featuring memorable portraits will figure prominently in the coming week’s programming. Speaking is Difficultis a concept as simple as it is powerful: a look back on five years of mass shootings in the United States, through an exploration of places haunted by the sounds of 911 calls. The split screen, a technique often seen in contemporary art, is used in Long Story Short to bring documentary subjects together: individuals living precarious lives in California, their voices ringing out in unison. In the Beat Dox section, Raving Iran follows two DJs from Iran’s underground techno scene who fight to keep their music alive. Filmed with full access, we see the brave struggle of young people who refuse to be silenced. We'll Be Alright documents the struggle for freedom of two orphans unjustly interned in a psychiatric hospital by the Russian government. This is a poignant work with a remarkable narrative structure. Starless Dreams is a frank, sensitive portrait of seven young women detained in a re-education centre outside Tehran. Most of the young Iranian women are minors, and all have transgressed. Mrs. B. is a North Korean woman living in China illegally. She is sold by smugglers and finds herself torn between two families and two countries. Mrs B.: a North Korean Womanpowerfully captures migrants’ dilemmas and tragedies. Chadian filmmaker Mahamat-Saleh Haroun meets survivors of the dictatorship of Hissein Habré, now standing trial for his crimes. Hissein Habré: a Chadian Tragedyis a powerful, gut-wrenching work.


Two engrossing family odysseys are also being shown in the days to come. For eight years, Oslo filmmaker Aslaug Holm filmed her two sons, Markus and Lukas, from childhood to adolescence, creating Brothers, a poignant ode to the passage of time and evolving dreams. In 95 AND 6 TO GO, Kimi Takesue films her grandfather, a gruff but endearing widower, who slowly takes over the film. This is a deeply moving portrait, containing a second portrait of its subject’s departed but eternally present wife. Kimi Takesue will attend both screenings, on November 18 and 19.



The real and the imaginary are one and the same in the Beyond Boundaries section. It’s summer in Warsaw. Kris and Michal go out most nights, meet people and laugh a lot. All These Sleepless Nights captures their insomniac wanderings in dazzling moments and superb images.Inevitably, Gus Van Sant’s Elephant comes to mind when we watch Dark Nights. Haunted by the Aurora, Colorado movie theatre massacre of 2012, this poetic, melancholy docu-fiction paints a portrait of a lost country where violence is part of everyday life. Seldom has an epistolary documentary resonated as powerfully as The Dreamed Ones. The letters of poets Bachmann and Celan, read and filmed, make for an engrossing exploration. Xiaobin is 17 and has just arrived in Argentina. While learning Spanish, she imagines her possible futures. The Future Perfect is a delicate film that deftly blends documentary and fiction.


The RIDM keeps challenging the boundaries between documentary and fiction. Young people attending a college on the outskirts of Paris confide their dreams, hopes and fears in the poignant, fantastical docu-fiction, Swagger.Presented in the International Feature Competition, The Human Surge isa unique, fully realized first film. This global journey on the fiction-documentary border creates a new perspective on the idleness of today’s youth.


Presented in World Premiere, Freelancer on the Front Lineswill close the RIDM’s 19th edition on November 19 at 7 p.m., at Concordia University’s Alumni Auditorium (H-110), with the filmmaker Santiago Bertolino and the protagonist Jesse Rosenfeld in attendance. The film offers a uniquely intimate look at the life of a freelance journalist covering the Middle East, observing how the written press covers major political upheavals.


The screening will be followed by the closing night party at the RIDM Headquarters (3450 St. Urbain Street). Dance the night away with Lebanese/Montreal party boys Wake Island, the effortlessly melodic Exit Someone, DJs Noah Bick, B2B, antoine93 and pascale project.


The 19th edition of the RIDM will take place from November 10 to 20, 2016

at Cinéma du Parc, Cinémathèque québécoise, Concordia University, Pavillon Judith-Jasmin Annexe (UQAM) and RIDM Headquarters (3450 St. Urbain Street). /


Media are cordially invited to attend the Closing Ceremony, please RSVP to:

Caroline Rompré | publicist | 514-778-9294|



Discover the best in documentary, take part in our year-round activities, and make the most of your festival!


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Discover the best in documentary, take part in our year-round activities, and make the most of your festival!

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Discover the best in documentary, take part in our year-round activities, and make the most of your festival!