Montreal International Documentary Festival

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29 October 2020 Festival

The Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) announces its complete 2020 program

Press releases

Montreal, Wednesday, October 21, 2020 – The Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) is proud to announce the program for its 23rd edition. This year, the festival will run for three weeks, from November 12 to December 2. 109 films, including 48 features, and numerous remote discussions and workshops will, more than ever, make November a grand celebration of documentary film.


This year, the festival’s program will be available online everywhere in Quebec via, the festival’s streaming platform powered by CineSend. To make the most of the flexibility enabled by the web while creating a festival experience that encourages a dialogue among the works, a subset of the program will be available each week. The weekly line-ups will be organized around 8 thematic sections with equal weighting for short, medium and feature-length films. In addition to the films, the sections will be enhanced with complementary content such as video discussions and podcasts. All films and other content will be accessible with reduced-cost passes and subscriptions. The films in this year’s festival come from 45 countries and once again underscore the superb work being done by women – who made 52% of the films in the official selection. As a space for discovering new documentary voices, the festival will include 18 first features alongside works by festival favourites like Frederick Wiseman, Claire Simon, Dieudo Hamadi, Laura Huertas Millán and Kazuhiro Soda.



Meeting the many challenges of 2020, the RIDM has designed its sections as explorations of issues and responses to current realities. 

NOVEMBER 12 TO 18, the RIDM invites audiences to:


DISRUPTING HISTORY: 11 films that use cinema to shed light on little-known historical episodes, critique official narratives or reflect on the enduring impact of key figures. Collectively, these essays, broadsides, performances and archival explorations form a fascinating set of works that, from Canada to Afghanistan, Colombia and Nigeria, encourage us to rethink our relationship with the past: 

84 by Daniel Santiago Cortés

499 by Rodrigo Reyes

A Bright Summer Diary by Lei Lei

The American Sector by Courtney Stephens and Pacho Velez

Bicentenario by Pablo Alvarez-Mesa

Histoire d’un regard by Mariana Otero

The Forbidden Reel by Ariel Nasr

Inconvenient Indian by Michelle Latimer

the names have changed, including my own and truths have been altered by Onyeka Igwe

Ouvertures by Louis Henderson and Olivier Marboeuf

Une image, deux actes by Sanaz Sohrabi


EXPLORING NATURE: 11 films about our multifaceted relationships with nature and the environment: the impacts of climate change, spiritual and mystical connections with the natural world, animal’s-eye-view perspectives and observations of the socio-cultural impacts of our relationship with nature: 

À perte de vue by Marie-Chloé Racine and Sarah Salem

Cenote by Kaori Oda

Icemeltland Park by Liliana Colombo

Jiíbie by Laura Huertas Millán

Lichen by Lisa Jackson

maɬni – towards the ocean, towards the shore by Sky Hopinka

Piedra Sola by Alejandro Telémaco Tarraf

Stray by Elizabeth Lo

The Magnitude of All Things by Jennifer Abbott

The Two Sights by Joshua Bonnetta

Un fleuve l’hiver by Félix Lamarche


SEEKING COMMUNITIES: 11 films that observe and examine politics, identity issues and social reintegration. From observational grand narratives to autobiographical testimonials, this section is all about how we engage with others:

City Hall by Frederick Wiseman

Clean With Me (After Dark) by Gabrielle Stemmer

Communicating Vessels by Maïder Fortuné and Annie MacDonell

Dark City Beneath The Beat by TT The Artist

Film About a Father Who by Lynne Sachs

Home, and a Distant Archive by Dorothy Cheung

In the Shadow of the Pines by Anne Koizumi

Les libres by Nicolas Lévesque

Merry Christmas, Yiwu by Mladen Kovacevic

Monologues du Paon by Matthew Wolkow

Ndagukunda déjà by Sébastien Desrosiers and David Findlay


Presented in collaboration with Radio-Canada.


NOVEMBER 19 TO 25, the RIDM will focus on:


CONTEMPLATING DYSTOPIA: 12 films that confront the strangeness of our world. An unlikely road movie with the spokesman for a death cult, an imagined world without people, futuristic architecture and nocturnal odysseys. These creative films reframe our reality:

A Machine to Live In by Yoni Goldstein and Meredith Zielke

A Shape of Things to Come by Lisa Malloy and J.P. Sniadecki

Armour by Sandro Aguilar

Bile by Ira A. Goryainova

FREM by Viera Cákanyová

Hole by Jaakko Pallasvuo

Los Conductos by Camilo Restrepo

Me and the Cult Leader by Atsushi Sakahara

Shānzhài Screens by Paul Heintz

Signal 8 by Simon Liu

Tension Structures by Adrian Duncan and Feargal Ward

The Foundation Pit by Andrey Gryazev


BECOMING ONESELF: These 12 films are profiles and self-portraits about our relationship with the world – a series of inspiring and poetic existential quests that affirm the many definitions of self:

Lointain by Aziz Zoromba

Mazzarello by Carmen Rachiteanu

Métamorphoses by Nicolas Renaud

My Mexican Bretzel by Nuria Giménez

No Ordinary Man by Aisling Chin-Yee and Chase Joynt

Passage by Sarah Baril Gaudet

Petite Fille by Sébastien Lifshitz

Prière pour une mitaine perdue by Jean-François Lesage

Six Pieces in Stargazer Album by Jiyang Zhang

The Plastic House by Allison Chhorn

Trees in Summer by Suyu Lee

Wintopia by Mira Burt-Wintonick


CHALLENGING POWER: These 12 films, running the gamut from activist cinema to highly experimental pieces, confront past and present injustices while paying tribute to many brave and committed people:

Stateless by Michèle Stephenson

Downstream to Kinshasa by Dieudo Hamadi

Impardonnable by Marlén Viñayo

Invasion by Michael Toledano and Sam Vinal

Landfall by Cecilia Aldarondo

Les femmes du soleil: une chronologie du regard by Hamed Zolfaghari

Mother-Child by Andrea Testa

Nardjes A. by Karim Aïnouz

Oil & Water by Anjali Nayar

Peugeot pulmonaire by Samy Benammar

Quelque chose brûle by Victoria Maréchal, Nicolás Tabilo and Macarena Astete

Softie by Sam Soko


Presented in collaboration with the CSN - Confédération des syndicats nationaux.


NOVEMBER 26 TO DECEMBER 2, the RIDM will ask viewers to:


REDEFINING INTIMACY: 13 films with an intimate side, exploring everything from family relationships and romantic entanglements to the state of healthcare. These very personal stories question the relationship between the individual and their society and time:

CHSLD by François Delisle

CHSLD, Mon Amour by Danic Champoux

Goodnight Goodnight by Mackenzie Reid Rostad

Le Fils de l'épicière, le Maire, le Village et le Monde by Claire Simon

Life of a Dog by Danae Elon and Rosana Matecki

Mon Amour by David Teboul

Sayōnara by William Andreas Wivel

Southern Sorceresses by Beto Amaral, Carla Caffé and Eliane Caffé

Tandis que je respire encore by Laure Giappiconi, Elisa Monteil and La Fille Renne

Teeth by Jennifer Martin

Thanadoula by Robin McKenna

The Metamorphosis of Birds by Catarina Vasconcelos

Zero by Kazuhiro Soda


SURVIVING VIOLENCE: 12 activist films that testify powerfully to some of today’s most distressing violence: exploitation of Indigenous peoples, the tragedies faced by migrants, countries at war, state repression and violence against women: 

3 Logical Exits by Mahdi Fleifel

Ankebût by Ceylan Özgün Özçelik

Aswang by Alyx Ayn Arumpac

Errance sans retour by Mélanie Carrier and Olivier Higgins

Extractions by Thirza Cuthand

La Maison Bleue by Hamedine Kane

La mort blanche du sorcier noir by Rodrigo Ribeiro

Night Shot by Carolina Moscoso

Purple Sea by Khaled Abdulwahed and Amel Alzakout

Sous un même soleil by François Jacob

The Earth Is Blue as an Orange by Iryna Tsilyk

Unarchive by Cecilia Araneda



This year’s RIDM will have the same competitive sections as always, but the student and women inmates’ awards unfortunately cannot be presented this year.


Grand Prize For Best International Feature - presented by TV5

Grand Prize For Best National Feature - presented by Studios St-Antoine

Special Jury Prize International Feature

Special Jury Prize National Feature - presented by PRIM

New Visions Award - presented by the SCAM and Post-Moderne

Best International or Medium-Length Film

Best National Short or Medium-Length Film - presented by Télé-Québec and SLA location

Magnus Isacsson Award - presented in collaboration with ARRQ, DOC Québec, Funambules Médias, Cinema Politica and Main Film

People’s Choice Award - presented by the Canada Media Fund (NOUS | MADE)



Once again this year, the RIDM will host numerous discussions, round tables and activities to complement and enrich the festival’s film programming.


Special Programs

La soirée de la relève Radio-Canada will be back with first films by up-and-coming directors. The event will be livestreamed by Radio-Canada on November 22 at 5 p.m., after which the films will be available on ICI


8 x Wapikoni mobile: the RIDM and the Wapikoni mobile are working together again this year to present eight short films online; they will be shown in rotation before all films in the Canadian competition.


Once again this year, the Public Listening Session gives festivalgoers the chance to immerse themselves in a world of sound. The program comprises three short audio works – winners of Le Réel à l’écoute competition – and a feature-length work. An event organized by Les Soirées d’écoute publique and, presented by the PRIM centre.


Round Tables and Discussions

Diversity in French-language production: presented with the support of the Consulate General of France in Quebec, this round table moderated by Yanick Létourneau will include filmmakers Amandine Gay and Miryam Charles and producer and programmer Hicham Falah. The panellists will discuss diversity issues in French-language documentary production.


Film and theatre: production during a pandemic: presented in collaboration with Espace libre, Wapikoni mobile and Cinéma Moderne, this round table is moderated by Aude Renaud-Lorrain. The panellists, François Bernier and Hubert Lemire (DuBunker) and Marie-Kristine Petiquay (Wapikoni), will discuss their creative and logistical experiences and challenges during the pandemic.


New reality-based narratives: a checkup: presented in collaboration with Inis and the labdoc (laboratoire de recherche sur les pratiques audiovisuelles documentaires) at UQÀM, this round table moderated by Matthieu Dugal will look at the state of affairs in the digital media ecosystem and new narrative approaches in documentary.


RIDM Dialogues:  video discussions with filmmakers who have a work in this year’s festival.


The RIDM Podcast: multiple episodes focusing on interviews with Quebec filmmakers. Produced in partnership with 24 images magazine.



This year, the RIDM box office is exclusively online, via the festival’s website. To keep access to the entire program simple and affordable, there are only two purchasing options:

RIDM Pass – $70 +tx: the pass is good for all festival programming

Section Subscription – $15 +tx: good for all films in one of the 8 sections


All films in the official selection will be available at all times during the festival weeks listed at The viewing platform will be accessible as of November 9, with the films available starting November 12 at 8 a.m.


Please note that if public health conditions permit, several in-theatre screenings may be announced in early November. In this case, single tickets will be sold through the RIDM website.



In these uncertain times, the RIDM wishes to acknowledge the remarkable support and encouragement our partners have provided. It is a sign of trust and a testament to the resilience of our institutions and community. Thanks to the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications, SODEC, the Secrétariat à la région métropolitaine, the Canada Council for the Arts, Ville de Montréal, Telefilm Canada, the Conseil des arts de Montréal, the Consulate General of France in Quebec, Bell Media, Canal D, the Canada Media Fund, Télé-Québec, CSN, TV5, Radio-Canada, Post-Moderne, the Société civile des auteurs multimédia (SCAM), Studios Saint-Antoine, PRIM, BDO, the Cinémathèque québécoise and Chop Chop studio.


About RIDM

Quebec’s only film festival dedicated to documentaries, the Montreal International Documentary Festival presents the best reality‐based films, including the works of established directors and new talents.


The 23rd annual RIDM will take place from November 12 to December 2, 2020.

Information: |

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For interview, Vimeo links or visual material requests, please contact:

Caroline Rompré | pixelleX communications | 514-778-9294 |


Accreditation / Online Form (to fill out before October 30)

All 2020 Press Releases are available

Press Area / Downloads (Photos, Official Trailers, etc)*:

*Please ask us for the access code if needed.


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!