The Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) is pleased to announce the first five titles to screen at its upcoming 26th edition, which will run from November 15 to 26, 2023. Featuring both eagerly anticipated Canadian films and major international favourites, the selection unveiled today will immerse filmgoers in a world that is at a crossroads.
RIDM remains committed to offering the most stimulating and most wide-ranging approaches to documentary filmmaking, with works that continually expand the boundaries of the genre. As it enters its second quarter-century, the festival reasserts itself as an absolute must for emerging talents and acclaimed filmmakers alike.
Local cinema with an international flair
La garde blanche by Julien Elie | Canadian Premiere
Five years after Dark Suns (Grand Prize, National Feature – 2018 RIDM), Julien Elie returns with a rigorously researched, bona fide work of cinema. This time, he sheds light on the regime of terror and violence brought about by transnational companies, in collaboration with the Mexican government and organized crime, which enables them to lay claim to territories and exploit their resources. With great respect and attention to detail, La garde blanche showcases the courage and dignity of the struggle against this latest incarnation of a destructive and deadly colonialism, which runs rampant and with impunity.
While the Green Grass Grows by Peter Mettler | Canadian Premiere
Winner of Vision du réel’s Grand Jury Prize for International Feature Film, Peter Mettler (Becoming Animal – 2018 RIDM, and The End of Time – 2012 RIDM opening film) explores the cycle of life in While the Green Grass Grows, a seven-part series, two chapters of which will be presented as a feature at the festival. Intricately woven out of a visual diary started in 2019, this epic and intimate cinematic journey hones in on the director’s personal experience of losing his parents during the pandemic. Mettler’s meditative approach underscores the fragility and profound nature of human relationships.
Caiti Blues by Justine Harbonnier | Quebec Premiere
Justine Harbonnier (Andrew Keegan is Moving - 2016 RIDM) returns to the festival with Caiti Blues, a feature film debut that tells the story of Caiti, an extraordinarily gifted singer who dreams of reconnecting with the music scene to which she belongs, while earning a living as a waitress in an unusual New Mexico town. Oscillating between moments of introspection, reverie and euphoria, Caiti Blues portrays a young woman who carries the burden of success, while society around her seems to be failing miserably. Singled out at Hot Docs, where it won the DGC Special Jury Prize, the film also screened at Visions du réel and Cannes' ACID section.
From the Cannes Film Festival to RIDM
Mambar Pierrette by Rosine Mbakam | Quebec Premiere
Having received its World Premiere at Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight, Mambar Pierrette by Rosine Mbakam (Delphine’s Prayers – 2012 RIDM) chronicles the daily grind of a seamstress in Douala, Cameroon. With her trademark tender and sensitive touch, the Belgian-Cameroonian filmmaker brings her documentary background to bear in this frank work of fiction. Mambar Pierrette portrays a delicate yet determined woman who must demonstrate resilience to meet the needs of her children.
Crowrã (The Buriti Flower) by João Salaviza & Renée Nader Messora | Quebec Premiere
Crowrã (The Buriti Flower) by João Salaviza & Renée Nader Messora (The Dead and the Others - Focus Brazil: Navigating the Future, 2022 RIDM) lands at RIDM after taking home the Ensemble Prize of the Cannes Festival’s Un Certain Regard section. The film is an ethnofiction that spans nearly a century of memories of the Krahô, an indigenous community in Brazil whose stories of resistance are as powerful as those of the slaughters they survived. Filmed in 16mm over a period of fifteen months, Crowrã’s characters (some of whom co-wrote the screenplay) give themselves over to the filming process with remarkable ease, which endows the work with authenticity rarely encountered in cinema.
The complete RIDM line-up will be unveiled at a press conference on Wednesday, October 25 at 10 a.m. at the Cinémathèque québécoise, and made available online that same day.