Montreal International Documentary Film Festival (RIDM) Preview

Each fall for just under two weeks film enthusiasts are treated to the screening of some of the planet's best documentary films from the past year. The festival features over 100 films from many different countries. While documentaries are the focus there are plenty of other types of things to catch your interest and keep you busy. Besides films there will be master classes, workshops, roundtable discussions, parties, tributes, receptions, and kids' screenings. As I said, there is plenty to do and see.

In its thirteenth year the RIDM has continued in its mandate to select engaging, unique and artistically impressive documentary films that cover a variety of subjects under the umbrellas of politics, environmental and social concerns. RIDM also allows Montrealers to discover many Quebec-made documentaries so we can see the high level of talent we have right in our own province. Being screened at this festival allows local films to be discovered by those in the industry and from outside the province.

The opening film this year is Stéphane Lanthier's "Les Fros" and the closing film is Lucy Walker's "Waste Land". In between there are other highly anticipated films that will be screened such as, Jia Zhang-ke's "I Wish I Knew" (China) about the city of Shanghai, Pierre Thoretton's "L'Amour Fou" (France) about the love between Yves Saint-Laurent and Pierre Berger, Lou Reed's "Red Shirley" (USA) about Reed's elderly cousin, Sepideh Farsi's "Tehran Without Permission" (France/Iran) shot using her cell phone about the city of Tehran, and John Walker's "A Drummer's Dream" about a music camp here in Canada.

There are a number of tributes happening this year including one to Marcel Simard, La Republique Marseille, From USSR With Love, Three Perspectives on the Quiet Revolution, and Michel Chartrand. Several films that look at the work and themes of each of the subjects will make up each of the tributes.

Master Classes will be hosted by Isabelle Lavigne, D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus, and Denis Gheerbrant. Discussions will be held concerning such topics as Global Warming: Is the Truth Really Convenient?, Contemporary Psychiatric Medication: Fact and Fiction and Which Policies Might Really Help the Victims of Prostitution? There are several others and they are all interesting.

Finally the Lounge Parties will give you a chance to socialize with fellow film enthusiasts and people in the industry. The parties include the Opening Party, A Taste of Egypt, A Turtle Dance, Rockin' RIDM, and (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction. Music, film, discussion, and a little something to drink – what could be more appealing?

Additional Information:
-Venues: Concordia University – 145 de Maisonneuve West
Cinema Parallele – 3536 St. Laurent
Goethe Institut – 418 Sherbrooke East
Cinematheque Quebecoise – 335 de Maisonneuve East
Grande Bibliotheque – 475 de Maisonneuve East
NFB Theatre – 1564 St. Denis
Centre Pierre-Peladeau – 300 de Maisonneuve East
-Ticket Purchase: At cinema box offices or
-Ticket Prices: One Screening: Adult: $10
Student/Senior: $8
Five Screenings: Adult: $40
Student/Senior: $32
RIDM Pass: Adult: $85
Student/Senior: $70
Opening Ceremony: Adult/Student/Senior: $15

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