The 24th edition of the Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) starts today, Wednesday, November 10. The festival will be held in theatres until November 21, and online from November 14 to 25 on the festival’s platform, accessible everywhere in Canada.

Opening night

The festival will open with the screening of Futura by Pietro Marcello, Alice Rohrwacher, and Francesco Munzi on Wednesday, November 10 at 7 p.m. at the Cineplex Odeon Quartier Latin (by invitation only). Presented in partnership with the Italian Institute of Culture in Montreal, Futura captures a troubled time in which the global pandemic forces us to reflect on what the future may hold. The film will be preceded by Des voisins dans ma cour, a Quebec-made short by Eli Jean Tahchi, which explores the boundary between the Parc-Extension neighbourhood and the Town of Mont-Royal: a physical barrier that highlights the divide between two neighbouring communities.

Vitaly Mansky comes to Montreal

Filmmaker and producer Vitaly Mansky will be in Montreal from November 15 to 19 for a retrospective featuring seven of his films. He will be in attendance at the screenings of Close Relations, Pipeline, Putin’s Witnesses, Under the Sun, and his most recent piece, Gorbachev. Heaven, for post-screening discussions with the audience. Festivalgoers also have the chance to attend a masterclass with the filmmaker. This free event (reservation required) will take place on Wednesday, November 17 at 5 p.m. at the Cinémathèque québécoise.

Quebec filmmakers in attendance

This first week of the festival includes several highly anticipated Quebec-made films. Furthermore, the filmmakers will be in attendance for discussions with the audience following the screenings.

On Thursday, November 11, festivalgoers can discover Henri Pardo’s film Dear Jackie, a cinematic letter to Jackie Robinson that draws an eloquent parallel between time periods, shedding light on the existence of racism and racial inequalities. Meanwhile, The Gig is Up by Shannon Walsh investigates the trickery inherent in what is often, erroneously, called the “collaborative economy.”

Friday, November 12 brings Under Silence and Earth, the first feature from Gisela Restrepo, in which she goes to her parents’ native Colombia to search for the body of her aunt, who took part in armed conflict; along with Alone by Paul Tom, which brings together three very different stories from people who fled their homeland as children to seek refugee status in Canada, leaving their parents behind. The filmmaker and the film’s protagonists will be in attendance to meet with the audience. This event is presented by Télé-Québec.

Three Quebec-made films will be shown on Saturday, November 13Pier-Luc Latulippe and Martin Fournier address a sensitive subject and find a ray of light in the darkness in UpstairsFar Beyond the Pasturelands by Maxime Lacoste-Lebuis and Maude Plante-Husuruk follows a young mother who hopes to improve her situation by taking part in a traditional expedition to the Himalayan mountains, in search of a priceless mushroom; and Resources, a sobering and thought-provoking film, gives a voice to the migrant workers at the heart of the food system that sustains this country.

On Sunday, November 14Yasmine Mathurin’s One of Ours depicts a young man forced to question his identity: adopted in Haiti by a Calgary couple, he finds his Indigenous status, inherited from his adoptive father, denied by the authorities of the All Native basketball tournament.

International films not to be missed

The RIDM is pleased to present the best of international documentary filmmaking. Thursday, November 11 is a chance to see Zuhur’s Daughters by Laurentia Genske and Robin Humboldt, which follows Lohan and Samar as they start a new life in Germany with their family after escaping war in Syria, and the newfound freedom that allows them to express themselves as young trans women. On Friday, November 12Vincent Meessen’s Just a Movement takes an original perspective on the story of Omar Blondin Diop, a Senegalese Marxist activist also known for “acting” his own part in Jean-Luc Godard’s film La Chinoise.

Four years after winning the RIDM People’s Choice award for her powerful documentary Speak UpAmandine Gay returns with A Story of One’s Own, which explores international adoption through five intertwining stories. The filmmaker, alongside producer Enrico Bartolucci, will be present for a discussion with the audience on Saturday, November 13.

Also followed by a discussion with the filmmaker is The Hill by Julien Chauzit, a hybrid feature film that witnesses a dawning ecological awareness among four young people. The film will be shown on Sunday, November 14. The same day, audiences can see Little Palestine, Diary of a Siegedirected by Abdallah Al-Khatib, a highly charged documentary in which the filmmaker, a political activist, turns his camera on the plight of the Palestinian refugees living in the Yarmouk camp. Filmed between 2011 and 2015, this is a record of a brutal siege imposed by the Syrian regime.

The Soirée de la relève is back

The Soirée de la relève, presented by Radio-Canada, is back for its seventh year. The selected films by emerging filmmakers will be shown on Sunday, November 14 at 7 p.m. at the Cinéma du Musée. This year’s films are 5:1 by Sara Ben-Saud, a personal yet universally relatable short exploring family dynamics during the pandemic; Casting Nelly by Jérémie Picard, a tribute to Nelly Arcand in the words of the actresses auditioning to play her role; The Future Innu by Stéphane Nepton, a poetic film that sees him walking through the streets of Montreal, his mind a portal to the far-off land where his roots lie; Sœurs by Julia Zahar, a touching and intimate piece that looks at the liberating power of creation; Le Vendeur de Broadway by Simon Larochelle, which follows a charismatic Québécois man selling Christmas trees in Manhattan; and The Southern Wind directed by Aucéane Roux, which examines the surprising transformation of a francophone village in northern Ontario.

INIS: 25 years of documentaries

To celebrate its 25th birthday, INIS presents a screening of some of its best documentaries on Thursday, November 11 at 7 p.m. at the Cinémathèque québécoise, followed by a discussion with INIS directors exploring their films and stories and how documentary cinema has evolved over time. The screening will comprise L’absence qu’il reste (Tobie Fraser), Chevette 83 (Luis Oliva), Of Insects and Men (Helgi Piccinin), Fissure (Eli Jean Tahchi), Floyd (Pierre-Yves Beaulieu), Jo (Carmen Rachiteanu), Le poids de la ressemblance (Marie-Claude Fournier), and Salomé & Joseph (Laurence Dompierre-Major).

Box office

To ensure that access to the program is simple and affordable, several ticketing options are available. Tickets for theatre screenings are $13 each; a $2 discount per ticket applies to purchases of five or more tickets. These tickets can be purchased via the online box office or at the festival’s physical box office at the Cinémathèque québécoise.

For online-only viewing, the RIDM Passport at $85 allows audiences to watch the vast majority of the festival’s films via the platform from November 14 to 25. Subscriptions for a single block, which covers one third of the online program, are also available at $30. All the details are available on the festival website.

The RIDM’s 24th edition will be held in theatres from November 10 to 21

at the Cinémathèque québécoise, Cinéma du Parc, Cinéma du Musée,

Centre Pierre-Péladeau, and Cineplex Odeon Quartier Latin,

and online everywhere in Canada from November 14 to 25, 2021

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