Montreal International Documentary Festival

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11 November 2020 Festival

The Festival is Up and Running!

Again this year, the festival presents the best reality‐based films, including the works of established directors and new talents. This year’s festival will be the most accessible yet, with all programming available online everywhere in Quebec at


Starting today, November 12 at 8 a.m., festivalgoers can discover the first three thematic sections: Disrupting HistoryExploring Nature and Seeking Communities. Each section has 11 films, including short, medium-length and feature films, available until November 18 at midnight.


From November 19 to 25, three different sections will be available on the festival’s online platform: Contemplating DystopiaBecoming Oneself and Challenging PowerRedefining Intimacy and Surviving Violence will follow from November 26 to December 2.


DISRUPTING HISTORY - available from November 12 to 18

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.


Four films from Quebec and the rest of Canada are in this section; all are in the Canadian competition: The Forbidden Reel by Ariel Nasr (Quebec), Inconvenient Indian by Michelle Latimer (Canada), Bicentenario by Pablo Alvarez-Mesa (Quebec, Colombia) and One Image, Two Acts by Sanaz Sohrabi (Quebec, United States, Germany).


Several works selected by prestigious international festivals are also part of this program: 499 by Rodrigo Reyes (Mexico), an award-winner at Hot Docs and the Tribeca Film Festival; The American Sector by Courtney Stephens and Pacho Velez (United States), screened at the Berlin Film Festival; Ouvertures by Louis Henderson and Olivier Marboeuf (France, Great Britain, Haiti), selected for CPH:DOX; and Histoire d’un regard by Mariana Otero (France), presented at Hot Docs. Alongside these titles are some creative and inspiring short films: the names have changed, including my own and truths have been altered by Onyeka Igwe (UK), 84 by Daniel Santiago Cortés (Colombia) and A Bright Summer Diary by Lei Lei (United States, China).


EXPLORING NATURE - available from November 12 to 18

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.


The section includes a large contingent of films from Canada/Quebec: À perte de vue by Marie-Chloé Racine and Sarah Salem (Quebec), Lichen by Lisa Jackson (Canada), The Magnitude of All Things by Jennifer Abbott (Canada), The Two Sights by Joshua Bonnetta (Canada, UK) and Un fleuve l’hiver by Félix Lamarche (Quebec).


Films from the international competition include maɬni – towards the ocean, towards the shore by Sky Hopinka (United States) and Jiíbie by Laura Huertas Millán (France, Colombia) who was honoured with a retrospective at the RIDM in 2019. Other foreign films in this section: Cenote by Kaori Oda (Japan, Mexico), Icemeltland Park by Liliana Colombo (UK, Italy), Piedra Sola by Alejandro Telémaco Tarraf (Argentina, Mexico, Qatar, UK) and Stray by Elizabeth Lo (United States), bringing multiple perspectives on environmental issues.


SEEKING COMMUNITIES - Available from November 12 to 18

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. Presented in collaboration with Radio-Canada.


Canada and Quebec are also well-represented in this section, with Communicating Vessels by Maïder Fortuné and Annie MacDonell (Canada), In the Shadow of the Pines by Anne Koizumi (Canada), Monologues du Paon by Matthew Wolkow (Quebec), Ndagukunda déjà by Sébastien Desrosiers and David Findlay (Quebec, Rwanda) and Les libres by Nicolas Lévesque (Quebec), in the New Visions competition.


The section includes three must-see films from our southern neighbours: City Hall by Frederick Wiseman (United States), Dark City Beneath The Beat by TT The Artist (United States) and Film About a Father Who by Lynne Sachs (United States). Lastly, online communities, immigration and work are the focus, respectively, of Clean With Me (After Dark) by Gabrielle Stemmer (France), Home, and a Distant Archive by Dorothy Cheung (Netherlands, Hong Kong) and Merry Christmas, Yiwu by Mladen Kovacevic (Sweden, Serbia, France, Germany).


8 X WAPIKONI MOBILE - Available from November 12 to December 2

The RIDM and Wapikoni mobile are joining forces to screen eight films deeply engaged. HELI, SET ŦTE SḰÁL ȽTE by Renée Sampson, Kassinu by Uapukun Mestokosho McKenzie, Kijâtai by Kijâtai-Alexandra Veillette-Cheezo, Nutashkuaniu Shipu by Marc-Antoine Ishpatao, Pitoc e icinakosian by Gerry Ottawa and Jos-Onimskiw Ottawa-Dubé, Sharing Mela'hma by Crystal Dawn Morris, The Comeback by Lyne-Sue Kistabish and The Hands of an Elder by Dinah Sam will be available for free at from November 12 to the end of the festival.



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: the RIDM Pass ($70 +tx) good for all festival programming or a 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


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!