‘Taming the Horse’, ‘Room for a Man’ Lead RIDM Winners

Taming the Horse

By Pat Mullen

The Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) has announced the winners for its 2017 festival. Tao Gu’s Taming the Horse led the awards with the prize for Best Canadian Feature with the jury praising “the fluid and original structure the filmmaker created for his portrait of a complex protagonist.” On the international front, the Lebanese-American co-production Room for a Man by Anthony Chidiac won the Grand Prize for Best International Feature. “The film opens doors and windows to an inner world that contains an entire private universe of deep meaning, broaching serious issues with wry humour and an irresistible rebellious spirit,” remarked the jury in a statement from the festival.

Other Canadian winners included Jacquelyn Mills in the short/medium length category for In the Waves and Emilie B. Guérette in the emerging talent category for L’autre Rio. Jean-François Lesage’s La rivière cachée scooped a special jury prize for “making a natural phenomenon a protagonist, and for the precision and elegance with which the film describes even ordinary existential issues.”

Jason O’Hara’s State of Exception, one of the more popular Canadian films at Hot Docs this year, won the Magnus Isacsson Award. The prize recognizes an emerging Canadian talent whose work displays a commitment to social causes akin to those of the late filmmaker for whom it is named. O’Hara’s film chronicles the mass eviction of Rio de Janeiro residents in Brazil leading up to the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics and previously chronicled his tense production in the POV cover story Diary of a Guerrilla Filmmaker. Of State of Exception, the jury called it “a film that reveals its director’s exceptional commitment. An activist, passionate, necessary film, made entirely independently over many years.”

The complete list of RIDM award winners is as follows:

Grand Prize for Best Canadian Feature: Taming the Horse – Tao Gu
-Special mention: Primas – Laura Bari

Special Jury Prize – Canadian Feature: La rivière cachée – Jean-François Lesage

Grand Prize for Best International Feature: Room for a Man – Anthony Chidiac

Special Jury Prize – International Feature: Taste of Cement – Ziad Kalthoum

Best New Talent from Quebec/Canada: L’autre Rio – Emilie B. Guérette

Best International Short or Medium Length Film: Nyo Vweta Nafta – Ico Costa

Best Canadian Short or Medium Length Film: In the Waves – Jacquelyn Mills

People’s Choice Award: Ouvrir La Voix – Amandine Gay

Magnus Isacsson Award: State of Exception – Jason O’Hara

Student Prize: Birth of a Family – Tasha Hubbard

Visit the POV RIDM Hub for more coverage from this year’s festival.