The annual RIDM ended on Sunday leaving in its wake many film fans entertained, educated and moved. What more could one ask for from a film festival? Precious little, I say. Each year the programmers behind RIDM strive for more and accomplish just that. They get the best documentaries from the past year and bring in interesting guests.
Here is the list of winners straight RIDM:
GRAND PRIZE FOR BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE
The grand prize for best international feature, presented by Bell Media, went to Room for a Man by Anthony Chidiac. “The film opens doors and windows to an inner world that contains an entire private universe of deep meaning, broaching serious issues with wry humour and an irresistible rebellious spirit.”
SPECIAL JURY PRIZE – INTERNATIONAL FEATURE
“For its bold artistic vision that seeks ways to involve film in social and political realities, its original creative approach and its exploration of the dark corners of exile”, the special jury prize went to Taste of Cement by Ziad Kalthoum.
The jury for the international feature competition was composed of Daniel Kasman, Damien Detcheberry, Leena Pasanen, Marie-Ève Juste and Neil Young.
GRAND PRIZE FOR BEST CANADIAN FEATURE
Citing “the fluid and original structure the filmmaker created for his portrait of a complex protagonist,” the Canadian feature jury named Taming the Horse by Tao Gu as best Canadian feature.
The jury also awarded a special mention to Primas by Laura Bari.
SPECIAL JURY PRIZE – CANADIAN FEATURE
The special jury prize went to Jean-François Lesage for La rivière cachée, “for making a natural phenomenon a protagonist, and for the precision and elegance with which the film describes even ordinary existential issues.”
BEST NEW TALENT FROM QUÉBEC / CANADA
Presented by Post-Moderne, the award for best new talent from Quebec/Canada is presented to the maker of the best first Canadian documentary in the official selection. This year’s award went to Emilie B. Guérette for L’autre Rio. “The filmmaker ventured into the interstices of a major international event, where she achieved remarkable proximity to her protagonists.”
The Canadian feature competition jury was composed of Emilie Bujès, Pablo Alvarez Mesa and Robert Gray.
BEST INTERNATIONAL SHORT OR MEDIUM-LENGTH FILM
The jury selected Ico Costa’s Nyo Vweta Nafta as this year’s best international short or medium-length film. “This magnificent film, shot in 16mm, is grounded in the political and economic realities of Mozambique. Its artistic vision serves its contemplation of the world and helps us understand important issues.”
BEST CANADIAN SHORT OR MEDIUM-LENGTH FILM
The award for best Canadian short or medium-length film was presented to Jacquelyn Mills for In the Waves. The film “is a touching meditation that transcends the personal, elegantly steering a course from the banal to the deeply philosophical, without ever losing sight of the materiality of everyday routine.”
The jury for the Canadian and international short and medium-length competitions was composed of Adam Cook, Amandine Gay and Lisa Jackson.
PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD
Presented by TV5, this award recognizes festivalgoers’ favourite film in the official competition and Panorama sections. This year’s audience pick was Amandine Gay for Ouvrir La Voix.
MAGNUS ISACSSON AWARD
The Magnus Isacsson award was created in honour of the late, much-loved Montreal documentary filmmaker Magnus Isacsson. It is presented to an up-and-coming Canadian director who demonstrates social conscience. Presented by the ARRQ, Cinema Politica, DOC Québec and Main Film, this year’s award went to Jason O’Hara for State of Exception, “a film that reveals its director’s exceptional commitment. An activist, passionate, necessary film, made entirely independently over many years.”
The jury for the Magnus Isacsson Award was composed of Jocelyne Clarke, Ezra Winton (Cinema Politica), Richard Brouillette (Main Film), Sophie Bissonnette (ARRQ) and Steve Patry (DOC Québec).
This award recognizes a documentary selected by the student jury from among the films in the Canadian competition. It is part of the RIDM’s youth outreach and awareness program and is presented with the support of the CSN and Telefilm Canada. This year’s student award was presented to Tasha Hubbard for Birth of a Family, a film notable for “the urgency and authenticity of its subject, majestic landscapes that echo the intense emotions the film inspires, and its frank documentation of the alienation of a people. It is a clear reminder that we are on unceded indigenous land.”
The jury for the student award was composed of Florence Côté-Lagacé (Cégep Édouard-Montpetit), Antoine Harvey (Collège Montmorency), Charles-Édouard Martel-Marquis (Cégep de Saint-Laurent), Sarah Mederos Bernia (Cégep André-Laurendeau), Adriana Paquette, (Cégep Marie-Victorin), Chloé Simard (Collège de Maisonneuve).
WOMEN INMATES’ AWARD
The women inmates’ jury is composed of five inmates of the Joliette Institution. They chose a winner from a selection of eight films from the official competition and Panorama. Daisy, Mélanie, Jackie, Roxanne and Julie named Bagages by Paul Tom for “its original approach that opens a window on the other and introduces us to young people who reveal themselves frankly and unreservedly, and because we believe this is a touching and necessary film.” This initiative is carried out in partnership with Telefilm Canada, the Quebec chapter of the Elizabeth Fry Society and the Entente sur le développement culturel de Montréal. The project is supported by the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications and the Ville de Montréal.