Montreal International Documentary Festival

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26 November 2023 Festival

Award winners of the 26th edition the Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM)

Press releases

Montreal, Saturday November 25, 2023 - The Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) ends tomorrow, Sunday, November 26. The winners of this 26th edition were revealed during the awards ceremony which took place this evening at the Cinémathèque québécoise.


Knit's Island by Guilhem Causse, Ekiem Barbier and Quentin L’helgoualc’h (France)

“Through their ability to immerse us in an unlikely community and bear witness to the human condition in the digital era, the directors manage to transcend the anonymity of the virtual by giving us access to the secret life of their characters. Despite the destructive fantasies generated by a limitless and illusive world, it's the humanity of people separated by great distances that ultimately triumphs.“


Crowrã by João Salaviza and Renée Nader Messora (Brazil, Portugal)

“Amidst widespread dominance over minorities and land extortion, the collective representation of a community with an orally transmitted heritage stands as an exemplary act of resistance. Through the language of cinema, a rich creation as well as documentation, and a profoundly humanistic and sensitive approach, this film intertwines the Kraho people's intimacy, life and struggle to preserve their immemorial narratives.“ 

A special mention is awarded to This Woman by Alan Zhang (China, Malaysia).

The jury for the international feature film competition was made up of Qutaiba Barhamji (editor), Claire Diao (critic), Sylvain l’Espérance (filmmaker), Wood LIn (artistic director) and Lindiwe Matshikiza (filmmaker).


While the Green Grass Grows by Peter Mettler (Switzerland, Canada)

“Through a fine balance between the persistent capturing of reality while holding a firm grasp on creative freedom, this film takes on the notion of our becoming by turning the camera on the ones who have brought us into this world, and ultimately accompanying them in their own departure. With great complexity and cinematic elegance, an intimate world takes on epic proportions in this diaristic structure, where image and sound, sequence and time remind us of the continuous flow of life, and in turn, its inextricable connection to death knowing that as always, there is beauty in the endless cycle of highs and lows. “

SPECIAL JURY PRIZE FOR NATIONAL FEATURE COMPETITION presented by Télé-Québec | La Fabrique culturelle and Grandé Studios

Má Sài Gòn (Mother Saigon) by Khoa Lê (Quebec/Canada)

“Equally kaleidoscopic and precise, spontaneous and deliberate, this intimate portrait gives voice to the joy, sadness, and camaraderie shared by a community longing for acceptance. Combining reality and dreams, the colorful tapestry of queer life in a Vietnamese metropolis is movingly captured in this documentary.“

NEW VISIONS AWARD presented by the Société civile des auteurs multimédia (SCAM) and Post-Moderne

Meezan by Shahab Mihandoust (Quebec/Canada, Iran)

“This film is a subtle reflection on work. The filmmaker captures the precision of all gestures and lingers on their space, on the details of their environment, and on the system that dictates it. The sound design opens up the confined space of the workers, which is used to situate the repetitive and concentrated work in a relentless, industrial frame in the film’s later half. Never imposing, the director takes the time to let the events and the words emerge. The jury wants to award this work of pure observation, in which the form allows the audience to witness the power of reality.“

The jury for the national feature film competition and the New Visions Award was composed of Sofía Brockenshire (filmmaker), La Frances Hui (programmer for the Museum of Modern Art in New York) and Madeline Robert (programmer for Visions du Réel).


Ever Since, I Have Been Flying by Aylin Gökmen (Switzerland)

“A profound and visually beautiful film painting a vivid tableau of the ongoing Kurdish struggle for identity expression and political rights. The film manages to emotionally engage the viewer through a strong personal story which unfolds the broader context of the situation, boldly using a wide pallet of cinematic tools.“

A special mention is awarded to Aqueronte by Manuel Muñoz Rivas (Spain).


Jill, Uncredited by Anthony Ing (Canada, United Kingdom)

“A cleverly conceived and beautifully edited cinematic exploration transcending into an existential relationship with the image of the self. Jill - a forgotten background actor, morphs from film to film, adapting to new embodiments while the viewer is confronted with the whole lifespan of a human being resurrected from the cinematographic oblivion.“


Holiday Native Land by Nicolas Renaud and Brian Virostek (Quebec/Canada)

“An audiovisual dialogue between the present and the past, that delivers a strong political message by exposing the white man's supremacy, colonial attitude and means of control, and its patronizing protection over native people, landscape and animals.“

The jury for the short and medium film competitions was composed of Pablo Alvarez-Mesa (filmmaker and director of photography), Viera Čákanyová (filmmaker) and Naghmeh Abbasi (filmmaker).

MAGNUS-ISACSSON AWARD presented by ARRQ, DOC Québec, Funambules Médias, Cinema Politica and Main Film

La Guardia Blanca by Julien Elie (Quebec/Canada)

“The author takes on issues that are universal and planetary - social justice in relation to environmental devastation - while grounding themself in a specific place and time, and bringing home those issues to our realities as quebecers and canadians. Their commitment towards the characters in the film and to the challenges they face is transparent, lending the film a deep emotional charge. As part of a longer, sustained trajectory on behalf of the people and causes presented, we commend the filmmaker’s courage in standing alongside the film's protagonists in often dangerous circumstances. Finally, we were taken by the film’s precisely conceived form, sober yet luminous, masterfully rendered in all its dimensions.“

The Magnus-Isacsson jury was composed of Marion Chuniaud (Main Film), Marie-France Laval (ARRQ), Olivier D. Asselin (DOC Québec), Charles Duquet (Funambules Médias), Sarah Foulkes (Cinema Politica) et Jocelyne Clarke (producer, director and editor).

STUDENT JURY AWARD presented by the Caisse Desjardins du Plateau-Mont-Royal

La Guardia Blanca by Julien Elie (Quebec/Canada)

“Despite all our different perspectives, we eventually reached consensus on a documentary that humbly testifies to a love for cinema. This feature-length film particularly impressed us with its meticulous visuals, notably in terms of composition, lighting, textures and colours. Accompanied by a haunting soundtrack, the film brings to light a hidden subject that deserves to be revealed. With this award, we wish to recognize the hard work of a passionate filmmaker.“

The student prize jury was made up of Philippe Beauchemin & Anaïs Pierre from Collège Dawson, Lily Beaudoin from Cégep de Saint-Laurent and Julien Bellefleur & Juliette Rivard from Cégep du Vieux-Montréal.

WOMEN INMATE JURY AWARD in partnership with the Elizabeth Fry Society of Quebec and thanks to the Agreement on the Cultural Development of Montreal concluded between the City of Montreal and the Government of Quebec

Má Sài Gòn (Mother Saigon) by Khoa Lê (Quebec/Canada)

“We chose this film for its authenticity, its audacity, its sound and visual effects as well as its courage about difference. It is very touching and teaches us a lot about diversity. It succeeds in presenting us with different situations and realities specific to people from the Queer community with humor, resilience, resourcefulness and mutual assistance, we nominate Mother Saigon. We need more documentaries on this subject. We appreciate the guts of shooting a genre in such a different country.“

The women inmates’ jury is composed of six inmates of the Joliette Institution, the only federal women’s penitentiary in Quebec. They named their favourite documentary from among five films in this year’s festival. This initiative was implemented by the RIDM in 2011.

PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD presented by the Canada Media Fund (NOUS | MADE)

Éviction by mathilde capone (Quebec/Canada)


Remember that this award, which comes with a $10,000 grant, was awarded to Juliette Balthazard for her film Where Motion Has Not Yet Ceased (Canada, Czech Republic) last Sunday.


RIDM wishes to acknowledge the support of the institutional and main partners who have contributed to the success of this 26th edition. Thanks to the Government of Québec, the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications, SODEC, the Secrétariat à la région métropolitaine, Telefilm Canada, the Canada Council for the Arts, the City of Montreal, the Conseil des arts de Montréal, Tourisme Montréal, Tourisme Québec, the Centre des Services aux Entreprises - Intégration en emploi (Emploi-Québec), the Ministère des Affaires municipales et de l’Habitation, Recyc-Québec, Télé-Québec, the Canada Media Fund, Bell Media, Radio-Canada, the Cinémathèque québécoise, Post-Moderne, Rodeo FX, PRIM, as well as Benoît Parent and Arthur Gaumont-Marchand.


The 26th edition of the RIDM runs until November 26

at the Cinémathèque québécoise, Cinéma du Parc, and Cinéma du Musée.

Information and tickets purchase:

Follow the RIDM on Facebook - X - Instagram - Letterboxd



Media contact: Caroline Rompré | pixelleX communications | 514-778-9294 |




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Discover the best in documentary, take part in our year-round activities, and make the most of your festival!