Montreal International Documentary Festival

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2 October 2023 Forum RIDM

2023 Rough Cut Pitch participants reveals


Forum RIDM, presented by Netflix, is pleased to announce the four teams selected for the 2023 Rough Cut Pitch. These filmmakers and producers will present a 15-minute excerpt from their feature-length documentary project in the final stages of development. They will also have the opportunity to pitch their project before an audience of industry professionals and Forum RIDM accredited participants. 

The four teams will have the chance to win an Industry All Access accreditation for Hot Docs 2024, as well as $1,500 in cash from Vital Productions.

Lhasa by Sophie Leblond (Quebec/Canada)

Production: Audrey-Ann Dupuis-Pierre - Metafilms

Lhasa is a feature documentary on the work, life and artistic vision of Lhasa de Sela, an internationally celebrated singer-songwriter who tragically died at the age of 37, leaving behind three award winning albums (BBC’s World Music Award, Platinum, Gold Records and more). The film will feature Lhasa de Sela narrating her own story through a series of never-heard interviews, audio excerpts, written diaries, cherished recordings of her songs and artwork. With her voice as a guide, the film dives into the inner world of this woman as she shares her doubts, aspirations and reflections on life, death, and creation.

Nolandia by Kinga Michalska (Quebec/Canada)

Production: Danae Elon - Entre Deux Mondes

Nolandia draws a psychological portrait of contemporary Poland from the perspective of young Poles living next to post-Holocaust sites of Jewish trauma. Poles have a complicated identity as victims, witnesses, and perpetrators in WWII. While they eagerly speak about their victimhood, their complicity in the murder of Jews and the appropriation of Jewish spaces is usually left unspoken. What would it take to hold together all of the pieces of their identity, including the most difficult parts? This observational documentary evokes both heartbreak and subtle humor by depicting the absurdity of denial and the unsettling coexistence of the impossible contrasts.

Parrandas by Constance Chaput-Raby (Quebec/Canada)

Production: Constance Chaput-Raby

In a Cuban village, during the grand Nativity celebration, men and women set off fireworks in bursts. One of them falls too low too fast causing an explosion that seriously injures several people, including teenagers. After this serious accident, the village decides to exclude minors from the explosives throwing area and offers workshops to learn the art of pyrotechnics. Through the journey of two teenagers, Edelsy and Lazarito, who are initiated into operating fireworks, the film portrays this community, torn between passing down knowledge and protecting its children. Parrandas is an ode to the continuity of this ritual and to these celestial displays that combine danger and splendor.

Spare My Bones, Coyote! (¿A dónde vamos, Coyote?) by Jonah Malak (Quebec/Canada)

Production: Dominique Dussault - Nemesis Films

For more than twelve years, every two weeks, Ely and Marisela have been organizing “búsquedas”, search operations in the American desert that separates Arizona from Mexico. With a group of volunteers known as “las Aguilas del Desierto”, they must search for, locate and return to families the migrants' bodies who died during their crossing on foot. Their reputation quickly spread not only in the Latinx community of California and Arizona, but also in Mexico and Guatemala. The feature documentary tells the story of their work, dedication and the challenging lives they have chosen to lead.


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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!