Montreal International Documentary Festival

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Short and Medium-Length Competition

The Secret Garden Nour Ouayda

At dawn, a strange wild flora suddenly sprouts up on a morning like any other in an unnamed city. Mysterious new plants, flowers, and trees follow during the night, sparking questions about where they came from, what they’re capable of, and what they want. Legend has it that all city limits hide a secret garden invisible to the naked eye. Could these new species running wild be local? Two friends discover a notebook that offers clues to the nature of this inexplicable occurrence. This tale, which a cautious voice whispers to us over eight chapters, , is anchored as much in the imaginary potential of the film’s premise as in its impressionist visuals. (AJL)

Nour Ouayda also programmed in the festival a free screening of works by Malena Szlam as part of Doc-to-doc and will participate in a conversation with the artist Malena Szlam.

Filmmakers statement regarding the cancellation of the screening on november 20th :

“In solidarity with the Palestinian people's right to self-determination and their fight to live free and unoccupied, we withdraw our films from the screening scheduled for Monday 20th of November at Cinéma du Parc. This comes as a response to Cinéma du Parc's cancellation of a fundraiser screening in support of Gaza that was supposed to take place on November 6th at their cinema. In doing so, Cinema du Parc contributed to the silencing of Palestinian voices at a time where an ongoing genocide of the Palestinian people is being perpetuated by the Israeli occupation forces in Gaza. We stand against this act of censorship and stand with the Palestinian's fight to resist erasure. None of us are free until all of us are free.
We thank the festival for their support of our decision, and for taking the responsibility of an act made by one their venues.”

- Nour Ouayda, Matthew Wolkow and Deborah Stratman, filmmakers

competition : International Short and Medium-Length Competition

The Secret Garden

  • Country : Lebanon
  • Year : 2023
  • V.O : Arabic
  • Subtitles : French or English
  • Duration : 27 MIN
  • Cinematography : Nour Ouayda
  • Editing : Carine Doumit
  • Production : The Camelia Committee
  • Script : Nour Ouayda
  • Script : Carina Doumit
  • Sound Design : Kinda Hassan
Filmography of Nour Ouayda :

Towards the Sun (2019)
one sea, 10 seas (2019)
I was grateful the camera tore out my camera's microphone (2020)
Not all things that shine are beautiful (2022)

Presented in same section

La déconstruction de Baveuse City

by Chloé Pilon Vaillancourt

Four Mile Creek

by Ryan McKenna

Outside Center

by Eli Jean Tahchi

Holiday Native Land

by Nicolas Renaud, Brian Virostek


by Malaika Shostakovich, Mustafa Uzuner

Smoke of the Fire

by Daryna Mamaisur

Loving in Between

by Jyoti Mistry

Cold and Dark

by Peter Hošták


by Manuel Muñoz Rivas

Elefsina Notre Amour

by Mahdi Fleifel

Last Things

by Deborah Stratman


by Maryam Tafakory

Let The Red Moon Burn

by Ralitsa Doncheva

Marungka Tjalatjunu (Dipped in Black)

by Matthew Thorne, Derik Lynch

Quiet as It's Kept

by Ja'Tovia Gary


by Mark Durand

Nocturne for a Forest

by Catarina Vasconcelos

Vision of Paradise

by Leonardo Pirondi

Jill, Uncredited

by Anthony Ing

L' artifice

by Isabelle Grignon-Francke

Locus Cordis

by Alhasan Yousef

Four Holes

by Daniela Muñoz Barroso

Somehow Continue

by Karl Lemieux

Nine Easy Dances

by Nora Rosenthal

Procès verbal

by Matthew Wolkow

The Great Kind Mystery

by Ella Morton


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