Judging by the fact that it was standing room only at the RIDM press conference this year (the festival's 12th year) I believe it is safe to say that documentary films are no longer the ugly sister of the film world. Filling every seat and even lined up against the walls at Cinématheque Quebecoise, the media were spoken to by festival spokesperson Antoine Bertrand (Les Bourgon), executive director Marie-Anne Raulet and chair Philippe Baylaucq. Their excitement about the eleven days of the festivals was palpable and contagious. By the end of the their talk and the trailers of various films going to be shown I wanted to run right out and start watching some documentaries.
I would have to be a little patient to see films like the opening film by director Lixin Fan "Last Train Home" and closing film by directors Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher "October Country". In between you can check out one of the films from the different categories like Camera-Stylo ("It's Our Story", "War+Love in Kabul", "Old Partner"), Camera at the Ready ("Male Domination", "Avenue Zero", "L'Affaire Coca Cola"), EcoCamera ("H2Oil", "Orgasm, Inc.", "Bananas"), and DocTape ("Stretch Marks", "Carmen Meets Borat", "Beyond the Game").
Interest peaked? It should be as there are over 100 films from 35 different countries to choose from. Remember documentary films bring you the truest picture of what people around the world are thinking of or preoccupied with. This is real-life drama with the truest of emotions.
Films are just the beginning of it as you can also attend the RIDM Lounge Parties, Discussions with some of the directors, Encounters with people working in the industry to learn or discuss different timely topics, and Special Presentations of different films.
There's lots to do and only so many days and hours to do it in. My advice is to hit the ground running.
Where to look for more info: www.ridm.qc.ca
Buying Tickets: Online: www.admission.com
In Person: Cinématheque Québécoise and Grande Bibliotheque
Costs: Adult – $8, Senior/Student – $6
5 Films – Adult – $35, Senior/Student – $25
Passport – Adult – $115, Student/Senior – $80
Places to see films: Concordia University, ONF, Cinématheque Québécoise, Grande Bibliotheque, Coeur des Sciences @ UQAM, Centre Segal, Cinema Parallele, Institute Goethe, Maison Theatre