Realscreen » Archive » Sundance, Hot Docs award winners among first titles announced for RIDM ’22

The Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) has unveiled the first six titles for its 25th edition, which runs from November 17 to 27.

Notable among the announced titles is Geographies of Solitude from Canadian filmmaker Jacquelyn Mills, which has picked up numerous awards on the international festival circuit, including two prizes at Toronto’s Hot Docs last May.

Also included in RIDM’s initial lineup is A House Made of Splinters (pictured) from Danish director Simon Leerg Wilmont, which follows the inhabitants of a home for displaced children in Ukraine’s disputed Donbas region. The film received the directing award in this year’s Sundance Film Festival world cinema documentary competition.

The first six films of the 2022 RIDM lineup are listed below, with synopses provided by the festival. The full program will be announced on October 26.

Bloom (Canada)
Director: Fanie Pelletier
Producers: Audrey D. Laroche, Fanie Pelletier
Distribution: La Distributrice de films

The first feature by Fanie Pelletier delves into the lives of three groups of teenage girls who experience mixed emotions about their self-image, their friendship and the future. At once intimate and unsettling, this cinematic mosaic perfectly captures the spirit of a hyper-connected generation, offering us a rare chance to shed light on the anxieties and ambitions of these youths.

Dry Ground Burning (Brazil/Portugal)
Directors: Joana Pimenta, Adirley Queiros
Production companies: Cinco da Norte, Terratreme Filmes
Distribution: Terratreme Filmes

After its premiere at the Berlinale, Dry Ground Burning took home the Cinema du Reel Grand Prize. Co-directed by Portuguese filmmaker Joana Pimenta and Brazilian director Adirley Queirós, the film follows a group of women who run a clandestine gasoline market in a Brazilian slum who decide to form a political party to defend the interests of a neglected segment of the population. At once cathartic and subversive, the film shifts the boundary between reality and dystopia, pushing back against the conservative tide sweeping the country.

Geographies of Solitude (Canada)
Director: Jacquelyn Mills
Producers: Rosalie Chicoine Perreault, Jacquelyn Mills
Distribution: Movies We Like

Winner of the Best Canadian Feature Documentary Award at Hot Docs this year, Geographies of Solitude by Jacquelyn Mills immerses viewers in the breathtaking landscape of Sable Island, off the coast of Nova Scotia. For the past 40 years, Zoe Lucas, a self-taught conservationist and the island’s sole resident, has meticulously monitored and cataloged the region’s ecosystem, which is under threat due to human activity. This stunning, experimental documentary focuses both on the cycles of nature and the colossal archival work carried out by the island’s custodian.

A House Made of Splinters (Denmark/Sweden/Finland/Ukraine)
Director: Simon Leerg Wilmont
Production company: Final Cut for Real
Distribution: Cinephil

Award-winning Danish filmmaker Simon Leerg Wilmont delivers an intimate account of the emotional toll a never-ending war exacts on a group of East Ukrainian children living in a rehabilitation shelter in the Donbas region, a temporary refuge that serves as a haven for young people fleeing the violence and neglect of broken homes . Full of soul and compassion, this heartbreaking film was awarded the Best Director prize at Sundance this year.

Inner Lines (Belgium/France)
Director: Pierre-Yves Vandeweerd
Production company: Cobra Films
Distribution: Les Films d’Ici Méditerranée

Pierre-Yves Vandeweerd returns to the festival witha powerful film that’s both political and poetic. Around Mount Ararat, between Turkey and Armenia, messengers and their carrier pigeons travel along emergency routes — across paths that elude control, thus providing an escape from conflict zones. The film introduces us to communities burdened by multiple genocides, bearing witness to lives shattered by violence that seems everlasting and unrelenting.

Rojek (Canada)
Director: Zayne Akyol
Production company: Metafilms
Distribution: Maison 4:3

Kurdish-Canadian director Zaynê Akyol weaves together a series of candid testimonials with some of the most prominent members of the Islamic State, held in captivity in Syrian Kurdistan. Filmed with incredible intimacy, these unnerving interviews provide a window into jihadist thinking, confronting us with a slew of fundamentalist beliefs. This highly symbolic work contrasts suffocating prison-camp cells with wide shots that soar above a devastated landscape, thus providing an unprecedented snapshot of the region.


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