RIDM Announces Complete Line-up for 2020 Festival

Les libres is among the Canadian films premiering at RIDM


By Pat Mullen

RIDM is doing things a little differently this year. The Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) unveiled the complete line-up for its 2020 festival today. As announced previously, the programming appears across three weeks divided into sections curated by themes. This year’s line-up represents 45 countries and exceeds gender parity with women directors comprising 52% of the programming. Selections will be available online to audiences across Quebec.

The first week of films, running November 12 to 18, features docs grouped under the themes “Disrupting History,” “Exploring Nature,” and “Seeking Community.” Films in the “Disrupting History” section challenge previously recorded narratives and offer lesser unknown tales from the past. Selections in the group include Ariel Nasr’s The Forbidden Reel and Michelle Latimer’s TIFF People’s Choice Award winner for Documentary and winner for Best Canadian Feature, Inconvenient Indian. Docs in the “Exploring Nature” section focus on climate change and the natural environment with Elizabeth Lo’s Hot Docs winner for Best International Feature, Stray, joining Jennifer Abbott’s The Magnitude of All Things, among other titles. The “Seeking Community” roster looks at films with an emphasis on issues of identity and community engagement. Docs in this section include the premiere of Les libres by Nicolas Lévesque and the Quebec debut of veteran Fred Wiseman’s latest four-hour opus, City Hall.

From November 19 to 25, the RIDM will focus on “Contemplating Dystopia” with films about the absurdities of the world, as well as profile docs in the series “Becoming Oneself,” and activist films in “Challenging Power.” A Shape of Things to Come by Lisa Malloy and J.P. Sniadecki and Signal 8 by Simon Liu appear among the selections in “Contemplating Dystopia.” Jean-François Lesage’s Prayer for a Lost Mitten brings its portrait of Montrealers lost and found through the city metro to “Becoming Oneself” after winning Best Canadian Feature at Hot Docs. The section also includes Aisling Chin-Yee and Chase Joynt’s groundbreaking portrait of transgender musician Billy Tipton, No Ordinary Man, and a homecoming for Montreal filmmaker Mira Burt-Wintonick and her doc Wintopia about her filmmaker father, Peter. “Challenging Power” features acclaimed international stories such as Michèle Stephenson’s Stateless and Dieudo Hamadi’s Downstream to Kinshasa with the debut of Anjali Nayar’s Oil & Water among the section’s premieres.

RIDM invites audiences to snuggle closer as winter sets in with “Redefining Intimacy” among the curated programmes running November 26 to December 2. This section features docs including Life of a Dog by Danae Elon and Rosana Matecki and Thanadoula by Robin McKenna. The final chapter of curated picks tackles the violence and polarization of the day with the section “Surviving Violence,” which includes Alyx Ayn Arumpac’s acclaimed Aswang and Iryna Tsilyk’s The Earth Is Blue as an Orange.

RIDM will again feature awards for Best National Feature and Best International Feature among other juried prizes. Industry sections will include discussions on production during the pandemic and diversity in French language production.

The festival says it’s still holding out hope for in-person screenings and will announce ticket availability closer to the festival if health guidelines permit theatrical screenings.

Visit RIDM.ca for the complete line-up. RIDM runs November 12 to December 2.


RIDM 2020 | Bande-annonce officielle / Official trailer from RIDM on Vimeo.