Seven Canadian films will vie for top prize in the National Feature Competition at the Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM). The festival announced the full line-up for its 2022 edition today. Appearing in the National Feature Competition is Antoine Bourges’ hybrid drama Concrete Valley. The film features residents of Toronto’s Thorncliffe Park in a story about the experiences of immigrants in the concrete jungle. Joële Walinga’s Self-Portrait, meanwhile, brings an experimental study in surveillance and found footage to the competition. In J’ai place ma mère, Denys Desjardins offers a personal exploration of the end of life process by observing his mother as she loses her independence. Stories of migration fuel competition titles The Dependants, directed by Sofia Brockenshire, and Mis dos voces, directed by Lina Rodriguez. The former focuses on mobility rights while the latter explores the politics of displacement.
Rounding out the national competition are the two Canadian winners from Hot Docs: Geographies of Solitude and Rojek, directed by Jacquelyn Mills and Zaynê Akyol, respectively. Geographies of Solitude is an experimental portrait of researcher Zoe Lucas. Rojek features gripping interviews with members of ISIS in Syrian Kurdistan. Both films were among the selections announced previously by RIDM.
The International Competition at RIDM, meanwhile, features eleven films. The docs in competition are 5 Dreamers and a Horse by Vahagn Khachatryan and Aren Malakyan, Anhell69 by Theo Montoya, Day After… by Kamar Ahmad Simon, Dry Ground Burning by Adirley Queirós and Joana Pimenta, Eami by Paz Encina, The Eclipse by Patar Mitric, Excess Will Save Us by Morgane Dziurla-Petit, Foragers by Jumana Manna, Herbaria by Leandro Listorti, One Take Grace by Lindiwe Matshikiza, and Way Out Ahead of Us by Rob Rice.
Other Canadian films elsewhere in the festival include docs continuing their festival runs. Nisha Platzer’s back home screes in the New Visions section at RIDM after premiering at VIFF. The film offers a personal study of loss and healing. Also screening in new Visions is Dominique Chaumont’s Veranda. The doc delivers a meditate portrait of shepherds in the Argentinian town of Malargüe. Karen Cho’s Big Fight in Little Chinatown, meanwhile, makes its Montreal debut after stops at DOC NYC and Toronto’s Reel Asian. Amy Miller’s Muôi brings a portrait of a single mother with a passion for motorcycles and photography.
Top Docs and Filmmaker Conversations
Big names in the doc field headline the Essentials sidebar at RIDM. The fest adds another set of laurels to Laura Poitras’ All the Beauty and the Bloodshed after its Venice win. Trinh T. Minh-ha brings an experimental essay to the fest with What About China?, while Diana El Jeiroudi’s What About Silence studies the conflict in Syria. Stories from Ukraine, finally, fuel Volodymyr Tykhyy’s One Day in Ukraine and Simon Lereng Wilmont’s Sundance winner A House Made of Splinters.
This year’s festival, RIDM’s 25th anniversary, celebrates a milestone with the Doc-to-Doc program. The series invites five filmmakers at the festival to present a documentary that has been influential on their careers. The screenings will be followed by conversations between the two filmmakers. Sofía Brockenshire will present Andrea Bussmann’s Fausto, while Zaynê Akyol will engage with François Jacob following a screening of his doc A Moon of Nickel and Ice. Dominique Chaumont will sit down with Jean-François Caissy after a screening of La Belle Visite and Carlos Ferrand’s selection is Sylvain L’Espérance’s Le chant d’Empédocle. Finally, Simon Plouffe will share a conversation with Robert Morin after a screening of Quiconque meurt, meurt à douleur. The Doc-to-Doc screenings are free to the public.
The full line-up is available at RIDM.ca. This year’s festival runs November 17 to 27.