RIDM Appoints Sofia Laroussi as Executive Director

Sofia Laroussi is RIDM’s new executive director
Photo courtesy of RIDM

By Pat Mullen

The Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) announced today the appointment of Sofia Laroussi as executive director. Laroussi assumes the position for both the festival and the Forum RIDM, which focuses on complementary industry programming for film professionals. She begins her transition with outgoing director Mara Gourd-Mercado remotely through April 3 as the festival takes precautionary measures amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The appointment is a welcome note of optimism for the festival circuit as the pandemic has significantly altered operations for the spring and summer.

“I am very excited to be joining the RIDM as executive director, and delighted to be part of such an experienced and dynamic team,” said Laroussi in a statement from the festival. “I know that together, we will meet all the challenges facing this 23rd edition and keep fulfilling the RIDM’s unique mission.”

Laroussi brings several years’ experience working in political communications and social justice issues. She also brings to RIDM a background in funding and supporting film festivals through her work with the Montreal International Black Film Festival. Laroussi will work in her new position to continue RIDM’s role as one of Canada’s premiere documentary events and Quebec’s only festival devoted to the art form. Recent years have seen the festival assert its place as a go-to hub for docs that advance the art form and explore non-fiction in unconventional and experimental aesthetics. RIDM’s board notes that Laroussi will continue this mandate while working with Bruno Dequen, the festival’s artistic director since 2015, and Selin Murat, programming director for Forum RIDM since 2017, as they remain in charge of their respective divisions.

“Sofia is a passionate advocate of documentary films and the art form’s ability to unite, educate, and effect change,” added RIDM board chair Sarah Spring via a statement. “She has spent years working towards inclusivity in the film industry and is a tireless champion of this country’s under-represented talent. We are excited to bring Sofia’s commitment to filmmakers and the power of documentary into the heart of the festival. Sofia will be a dynamic and inspiring ambassador of the RIDM’s ever-growing role at home and abroad.”

RIDM 2020 takes place November 12 to 22.