Just when you thought the film festival season was drawing to an end, one of Montreal’s favourite events, the RIDM (Rencontres internationals du documentaire de Montreal) is just beginning. The RIDM is one of Canada’s most important documentary events, a chance to screen films, meet filmmakers, and get inspired. And reaffirm the creed that, often, truth is indeed stranger than fiction: as evidenced by the 115 films they have in their programme this year…
This year, they’ve reorganized RIDM to group the films into several categories —there’s the International and Canadian Feature competitions and the International Short and Medium-length competitions, if you’re into voting for your favourite films. Then, in the non-competition section called Panorama, there are several subsections: Special Presentations, Horizons, Against The Grain and EcoCamera, as well as retrospectives on docu-greats Frederick Wiseman, Jørgen Leth and Helena Třeštíková.
Some of the big names at this year’s fest are pretty big: They’ll be showing a new edit of Alexander Sokurov’s Il nous faut du Bonheur, as well as The Look, an inventive self-portrait by onscreen cinema great Charlotte Rampling (pictured above). José et Pilar is a look at Portugese literary great José Saramago’s love affair with Pilar Del Rio, and will be the Portugese entry into the Oscars’ Best Foreign-Language film race.
Of interest to crime buffs will be El sicario, Room 164, which is an intriguing tell-all by a former hitman for a Mexican drug cartel (maybe it’ll get us Breaking Bad fans through the midseason hiatus). And finally, there’s Paradise Lost 3, the third installment of in the saga of the West Memphis 3, who the filmmakers have been following for the last 15 years.
The RIDM is always a great way to travel the world, cinematically speaking; with films from Indonesia, Colombia, China, Egypt, Iran, Mexico, and right here at home on this continent. The festival’s EcoCamera section will delve into the mystical old-growth rainforests of Vancouver Island, the American West and buffalo hunting, and the BP Gulf disaster of 2010. Don’t miss it for the world!
RIDM: Montreal International Documentary Festival, November 9-20, 2011