Six films comprise the National Competition at this year’s Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM). The festival announced its full line-up today with Khoa Lê vibrant portrait of queer life in Vietnam, Mother Saigon, making its hometown debut in competition. Also in competition with a homecoming is Justine Harbonnier’s musical portrait Caiti Blues, a prizewinner at Hot Docs and a selection at Cannes’ ACID sidebar earlier this year. Meanwhile, Julien Elie debuts his latest work, La garde blanche, which examines organized crime and systemic corruption in Mexico that has an international reach. Farnaz Jurabchian and Mohammadreza Jurabchian’s Silent House offers a portrait of a family in Tehran that is both intimate and epic in scope.
Veteran filmmakers Peter Mettler and Claude Demers, finally, round out the Canadian competition with Journal d’un père and While the Green Grass Grows, respectively. The former is a personal study of fatherhood after the director examined his maternal relationship in 2020’s A Woman, My Mother. The latter is a seven-part film in which Mettler examines loss following the death of his mother and then losing his father shortly after.
Meanwhile, three Canadian features will screen in the New Visions Competition. Jean-Philippe Marquis’ environmental doc Silvicola brings its layered study of deforestation seen through the perspectives of workers in the logging industry. Meanwhile, Terra Jean Long’s essay film Feet in Water, Head on Fire offers a competitive edge with its essay film portrait of California’s Coachella Valley and the intersections of identity embedded in the land. Finally, Meezan by Shahab Mihandoust offers a portrait of Iranian labourers that reflects upon colonization, industry, war, and revolution.
On the world cinema front, the International Feature Competition includes Rosine Mbakam’s hybrid film Mambar Pierrette, Viera Čákanyová’s Notes from Eremocene, Ekiem Barbier and Guilhem Causse’s Knit’s Island, Hanna Badziaka and Alexander Mihalkovich’s Motherland, Tana Gilbert’s Malqueridas, Alan Zhang’s This Woman, Pablo Lago Dantas’ A House for Wandering Souls, by João Salaviza and Renée Nader Messora’s Crowrā (The Buriti Flower), and of Boubacar Sangaré‘s A Golden Life.
Docs screening at RIDM outside of the competition include Wang Bing’s Youth (Spring) and Tatiana Huezo’s The Echo in the Essentials program. Sarah Baril Gaudet’s Celles qui luttent, Nicolas Paquet’s Caches, Laurence Lévesque’s Perséides, and Romane Garant Chartrand’s Après-coup are among the Quebecois films in the Horizons stream, while Catherine Martin’s Éloge de l’ombre and Olivier Godin’s La suite Canadienne are among the titles in the Against the Grain series.
It was previously announced that Lina Soualem’s Bye Bye Tiberias, a touching portrait of her mother Hiam Abbas and her family in Palestine, would open this year’s RIDM. November by Karine van Ameringen and Iphigénie Marcoux will close the festival with a poetic vision of Montreal. This year’s festival runs November 15 to 26.