Montreal International Documentary Festival

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13 July 2017

RIDM are back at UnionDocs


Once again this year, the UnionDocs team host the RIDM in their Brooklyn's headquarters in New-York for a RIDM Takeover. This event promotes the international profile of Quebec-made films, and provides a great opportunity to meet filmmakers. Sylvain L'Espérance (also part of the RIDM en plein air summer) will attend this special week-end of July 21-22. 


Friday, July 21 – 9:00PM - 2:00AM

RIDM x UnionDocs Party!

Join us for our welcome RIDM party Friday night at 9PM and get a chance to know more about RIDM, meet the team, hang out in our backyard, enjoy complimentary craft beers courtesy of Le Trou du diable, and Dieu du ciel,  and get on the dance floor!

We’ll have complimentary drinks from 10:00-midnight and a DJ spinning music on the dancefloor from midnight-2am.  More details coming soon.


Saturday, July 22 – 3:00PM - 5:00PM

Masterclass with Sylvain L'Espérance

Approaching Experiments in Form and Politics

Join Montreal-based filmmaker Sylvain L’Espérance for a rare opportunity to explore his work and process with him in NYC! For the past 25 years, L’Espérance  has travelled widely, from Quebec to Mali to Greece and has directed nearly a dozen films that combine direct cinema with experimental research to explore reality through a poetic lens. He will discuss his move from working with full crews, to a more independent production method, his experiences as an outsider traveling to document political turmoil, and his practice of using experimental forms to serve political awareness in documentary. He will use his latest feature Fighting Through The Night (RIDM, Berlinale) as a case study to talk about how to establish voice, political intention, and resistance as a filmmaker.

 No European director has ever managed such an ambitious project. That is lamentable for several reasons […] L’Esperance transmits in his Fighting through the Night a feeling of how existential the misery of the people really is, how desperate and without hope their situation. He lets those speak who remain on the outside, and that is honorable and moving.”

– Thekla Dannenberg, Perlentaucher 

“By taking stock of life and resistance on the political battlefield, Combat au bout de la nuit puts reality back in motion,and does it with rare intensity. A film that commands our admiration.” 
– Robert Daudelin, 24 images


Combat au bout de la nuit (Fighting Through the Night) [Selections]

285 min., 2016, Quebec

Filmed over the course of two years, is a long journey to the heart of Greece today. In this country thrown into torment by a totalitarian economy, institutional violence is met with stubborn resistance. Driven by both complementary and dissonant energies, the film is suffused with a desire for freedom and the rebellious power of the people it brings together. Whether they are native Athenians, Syrian or Afghan refugees, cleaning women or unemployed longshoremen, volunteer doctors or the homeless, all these men and women, all their stories, respond to each other and weave unexpected connections. By following the people who are struggling to build a different future, Combat au bout de la nuit leads us to the insight that amidst today’s chaos, a new shared world, its shape still uncertain, is slowly emerging.


Saturday, July 22 – 5:00PM - 6:00PM

Happy Hour

UnionDocs Backyard will be open

Craft beer courtesy of Le Trou du diable, & Dieu du ciel.


Saturday, July 22 — 7:30PM - 9:30PM


Les printemps incertains (Shadows of Spring)

53 min., 1992, Quebec

Emerging from the multiple perspectives of this film, a memory of a neighbourhood is recreated which tells of the fragility of working class habitats. Residents and workers from southwest  Montreal recount its tragic history: the immigration and settling of the Irish in the 19th century; the expropriation of Griffintown; the destruction of Goose village; the industrial decline of Pointe-Saint Charles and surroundings.


Saturday, July 22 — 10:00PM - 11:00PM

Closing Reception

Stick around after the program to mingle and close out the day with RIDM, UnionDocs, and Sylvain L’Espérance!


Generous support for this weekend provided by the Cultural Services of the Québec Government Office in New York, and RIDM.


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!