Montreal International Documentary Festival

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10 October 2018 Festival

Opening and closing film from the 21st edition!


The Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM), returning for its 21st annual edition this November 8 to 18, are please pleased to announce its opening and closing films. What Walaa Wants (Le rêve de Walaa) is an unforgettable portrait of a strong-willed young Palestinian woman directed by Christy Garland, opening the event with its Quebec premiere on Thursday, November 8. The festival’s closing night, on Saturday, November 17, features the Canadian premiere of Julien Faraut’s John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection. Both films profile extraordinary people, illustrating the wonderful variety and depth of documentary cinema and its subjects.



The winner of the Special Jury Prize – Canadian Feature Documentary at the most recent Hot Docs festival, What Walaa Wants (Le rêve de Walaa) takes us inside the far-from-mundane daily life of a strong-willed young Palestinian woman with a dream: to join the Palestinian Security Forces. While her strong personality and dynamism make Walaa an ideal recruit, her impulsiveness and lack of respect for authority clash with her training regimen. Christy Garland focuses not only on Waala but also her surroundings, crafting a coming-of-age narrative about a complex, highly likeable young woman while capturing constant tension in Palestinian families and the community at large.

What Walaa Wants (Le rêve de Walaa) will be screened, with director Christy Garland in attendance, in the Alumni Auditorium at Concordia University (room H-110) on Thursday, November 8 at 7 p.m., in the original Arabic, with French subtitles (by invitation only). The film is also an official selection for the Canadian feature competition.  The film will have a public screening during the festival’s first week.

Co-produced and distributed by the National Film Board, What Walaa Wants (Le rêve de Walaa) will open in theatres in Winter 2019.


The opening screening will begin with the short film Printemps Now !, a poetic look at reflections on the streets of Montreal by Jean Jean. The film was made during the Regard sur Montréal residency program for emerging, immigrant, visible-minority and first-generation minority filmmakers organized by the Conseil des arts de Montréal, SODEC and the NFB through its Aide au cinéma indépendant (ACIC) program, in collaboration with Les Films de l'Autre.



A portrait of a maverick athlete, a reflection on the relationship between sports and film, and a look back at a legendary tennis match: John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection is a brilliant, genre-defying film by Julien Faraut. It is nothing less than a reinvention of the sports documentary. With erudite narration by Mathieu Amalric and a number of dazzling aesthetic choices, the film uses previously unseen 16mm footage shot during the Roland-Garros tournament in 1984. A bold attempt to unravel the mystery of an athlete obsessed with perfection and disdainful of cameras.

The Canadian premiere of John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection will close the festival, with Julien Faraut in attendance, on Saturday, November 17 at 7 p.m. (in the original English and French, with French subtitles) in the Alumni Auditorium at Concordia University (room H-110). Tickets for closing night will go on sale on October 17 at noon.

Presented in collaboration with the Service de coopération et d’action culturelle of the Consulate General of France in Quebec, the department of art history and film studies at the Université de Montréal, the Observatoire du cinéma au Québec and MK2 l MILE END, John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection will have a public screening on Sunday, November 18.

The film, distributed by MK2 l MILE END, will open in theatres in late November. 


The full program for the 21st annual RIDM will be unveiled at a PRESS CONFERENCE on Wednesday, October 17 at 10 a.m. at the Cinémathèque québécoise (335 De Maisonneuve Blvd. East). It will be posted online later the same day.


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