Founded in 1998, the Montreal International Documentary Festival (Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal – RIDM) presents a selection of the year’s best documentaries from Canada and around the world for general and professional audiences. Documentary film has a unique place in Quebec culture. The historic backbone of Quebec cinema, the documentary sector produced a large number of major filmmakers who embraced a demanding, innovative vision of reality-based cinema, and their influence is still being felt. Above all, RIDM’s mission is to carry on the vision of those pioneering filmmakers by promoting the best local productions and presenting the year’s most important and ambitious international works.
At a time when a large part of the world’s documentary output is constrained by the demands of television, shaping films into easily digested products, our exacting selection process is driven by a view of documentary that – while plural and seeking to address a wide spectrum of social, political and environmental themes – remains grounded in the idea of promoting truly artistic visions, by selecting productions that redefine our relationships with the world around us, and with the ever more tenuous line between fiction and documentary.
Conceived as a filmmakers’ event, RIDM relies on the presence of a large number of creators and organizes an impressive number of parallel events that promote local productions and documentary film in its many forms. Every year, master classes, roundtables and topical discussions are presented for both professionals and the general public. In addition, the close cooperation of broadcasters, distributors, programmers, festival directors and critics from around the world gives our local productions exceptional exposure. The desire to make the festival part of an organized professional promotion network inspired the creation of Doc Circuit Montreal, Quebec’s documentary market, designed specifically to support and stimulate independent documentary production and facilitate discussions among professionals, artists, producers, distributors and exhibitors of all stripes.