Six documentaries are among the first titles announced for this year’s Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM). The festival unveiled a half dozen films for this year’s festival, including Jacquelyn Mills’ Geographies of Solitude, which won the award for Best Canadian Feature at Hot Docs earlier this year. This film is an experimental and textural portrait of researcher Zoe Lucas and her work on Sable Island. While reviewing the film, POV editor Marc Glassman called it “a visual and aural treat in which every shot has been created to maximize its impact.” Read more about Geographies of Solitude in this interview with Mills.
Making its North American premiere at the festival is the Quebecois documentary Jouvencelles (Bloom) directed by Fanie Pelletier. The film is a portrait of teenage girls and their engagement with social media and self-expression. Rounding out the trio of homegrown films directed by women is Rojek, directed by Zaynê Akyol. Rojek is a gripping study of ISIS’s devastation of Syrian Kurdistan told through direct addresses by people who enacted the violence, while also observing the efforts of survivors in the aftermath. The film won the DGC Special Jury Prize for Canadian Feature Documentary at Hot Docs where POV called remarked, “As fires burn in all directions, eating the landscape like an encroaching battlefront, Rojek hauntingly sees a world aflame.”
International Docs at RIDM
A trio of international films join the three Quebec titles at RIDM in the festival’s 25th edition. The announcements include Simon Lereng Wilmont’s A House Made of Splinters, which won the directing prize at Sundance. The film is an intimate observation of Ukrainian children “orphaned” by war as their parents struggle with PTSD.
RIDM welcomes back filmmaker Pierre-Yves Vandeweerd following the 2016 retrospective of his work. Vandeweerd will bring his new film Inner Lives to RIDM for its Canadian premiere. The film is a portrait of messengers and carrier pigeons in conflict zones.
Rounding out the titles is the hybrid film Dry Ground Burning (Mato seco em chamas) directed by Joana Pimenta and Adirley Queirós. The film has its North American premiere at TIFF’s Wavelengths programme, following its win of the Grand Prize at Cinéma du Réel, prior to its debut in Montreal.
RIDM will reveal its complete line-up on October 26. This year’s festival runs Nov. 17 to 27.