The Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) will return for its 21st annual edition this November 8 to 18. With 157 films from 47 countries and an extensive program of discussions and free activities, the RIDM is more committed than ever to its mission of democratizing and promoting auteur documentary cinema.

The festival will present 25 world premieres, 17 North American premieres, 30 Canadian premieres and 51 Quebec premieres. With 71 films from Quebec and the rest of Canada, the RIDM stands out as an essential event for local artists. The festival is also reaffirming its goal of promoting works by women, with 81 women filmmakers (along with 77 men) in this year’s selection. 11 awards will be presented to the makers of the best films at RIDM 2018.

Selected Highlights:

The winner of the Special Jury Prize – Canadian Feature Documentary at the most recent Hot Docs festival, What Walaa Wants (Le rêve de Walaa) takes us inside the far-from-mundane daily life of a strong-willed young Palestinian woman with a dream: to join the Palestinian Security Forces. While her strong personality and dynamism make Walaa an ideal recruit, her impulsiveness and lack of respect for authority clash with her training regimen. Christy Garland focuses not only on Waala but also her surroundings, crafting a coming-of-age narrative about a complex, highly likeable young woman while capturing constant tension in Palestinian families and the community at large.

Screened at the Cannes Festival earlier this year, Dead Souls by Wang Bing is an epic film centered on the recollections of Chinese death camp survivors. In this monumental work, the filmmaker continues his indefatigable historical investigations, and once again demonstrates the immense power of his stripped-down approach.

Some of the leading lights of France’s documentary industry will also be featured this year. In Young Solitude (Premières solitudes), Claire Simon takes a lucid, empathetic look at the hopes and fears of teenagers in a school in a Paris banlieue; and Each and Every Moment (De chaque instant) by Nicolas Philibert invites us inside a nursing school for a deeply human exploration of the students’ training, from theory to practice, from passion to doubt.

Presented at the Berlin Film Festival, The Waldheim Waltz (Waldheims Walzer) by Ruth Beckermann documents the career and contested election of Kurt Waldheim, the former Secretary General of the United Nations, to the Austrian presidency in the 1980s. Brilliantly combining a variety of archival materials (from news clips to sequences she herself filmed among the opposition), Beckermann reminds us starkly that the manipulation of facts to populist and nationalist ends did not start with Trump.

Of course, Quebec will also be well represented at this year’s festival. The RIDM is proud to introduce audiences to Imaginary Tales (Des histoires inventées), with its Montreal premiere. This creative, dreamlike documentary by Jean-Marc E.Roy looks into the life and times of André Forcier. There will also be a special screening of New Memories, a posthumous film by Michka Saäl about a Toronto street photographer.

A portrait of a maverick athlete, a reflection on the relationship between sports and film, and a look back at a legendary tennis match: John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection is a brilliant, genre-defying film by Julien Faraut. It is nothing less than a reinvention of the sports documentary. With erudite narration by Mathieu Amalric and a number of dazzling aesthetic choices, the film uses previously unseen 16mm footage shot during the Roland-Garros tournament in 1984. A bold attempt to unravel the mystery of an athlete obsessed with perfection and disdainful of cameras.

For tickets and the full list of films visit: www.ridm.ca

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