Here is the list of prize-winning documentary films from RIDM 2018

During World War II, some Polish people found refuge in Africa. The documentary film Memory is Our Homeland tells their story.

 

Below are the names of all the films which won awards at the 2018 edition of RIDM. (Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal). I copied them directly from the press release.

To my surprise, I did not see any of the winning films. I certainly intended to see Memory is Our Homeland, a 90-minute feature about Polish refugees who found a warm welcome, in both senses of the word, in Africa during World War II. Both screenings were sold out, though, so I could not get in. (The subject is intriguing enough in itself, but I am relatively certain that director Jonathan Durand told me about the film at an earlier edition of RIDM, when he was doing research for it.

I had hoped to see Zagros, a 58-minute film about natural yarn dyeing and carpet weaving in Iran, but its two screenings conflicted with my other choices. Now that these films have won prizes, I hope that they will be shown again in Montreal. The filmmakers are Québecois, which should help, too!

This still from the film Zagros features some of my favourite colours!

Award winners at the 21st annual Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM)

Montreal, Saturday, November 17, 2018 – The Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) ends tomorrow, November 18. The award winners for this 21st edition were announced during the closing ceremony that took place this evening at the Concordia University’s Alumni Auditorium.

GRAND PRIZE FOR BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE presented by Bell Media.

Hale County This Morning, This Evening by RaMell Ross

SPECIAL JURY PRIZE – INTERNATIONAL FEATURE

Extinction (Extinção) by Salomé Lamas

The jury for the international feature competition was composed of Mads Mikkelsen, Maria Augusta Ramos, Daniel Sponsel and Barbara Visser.

GRAND PRIZE FOR BEST CANADIAN FEATURE presented by Studios Saint-Antoine

Dark Suns by Julien Elie

SPECIAL JURY PRIZE – CANADIAN FEATURE

Symphony in Aquamarine by Dan Popa

BEST NEW TALENT FROM QUÉBEC / CANADA presented by Post-Moderne

Symphony in Aquamarine by Dan Popa

The Canadian feature competition jury was composed of Carlos Bonfil, Rosalie Lavoie and Fabienne Moris.

BEST INTERNATIONAL SHORT OR MEDIUM-LENGTH FILM

The Disappearance of Goya by Toni Geitani

Special mention

Gulyabani by Gürcan Keltek

BEST CANADIAN SHORT OR MEDIUM-LENGTH FILM presented by Télé-Québec

Zagros by Ariane Lorrain and Shahab Mihandoust

The jury for the Canadian and International short and medium-length competitions was composed of Kalina Bertin, Tijana Djukic and Eric Hynes.

PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD, presented by TV5

Memory is Our Homeland by Jonathan Durand

MAGNUS ISACSSON AWARD

And with a Smile, the Revolution by Alexandre Chartrand

The jury for the Magnus Isacsson Award was composed of Jocelyne Clarke, Martin Frigon (ARRQ), Viviane Saglier (Cinema Politica), Frederic Bohbot (DOC Québec) and Richard Brouillette (Main Film).

STUDENTS’ AWARD presented by Desjardins

20-22 OMEGA by Thierry Loa

The jury for the Students’ Award was composed of Loïc Piché (Collège de Maisonneuve), Florence Frigon-Morin (Cégep Marie-Victorin), Julia Bonis Charancle (Collège Dawson), Maika Hearson (Cégep André-Laurendeau), Solène Côté (Collège de Maisonneuve) and Roxana Baloiu (Collège Dawson).

WOMEN INMATES’ AWARD

A Delicate Balance by Christine Chevarie-Lessard

The Women Inmates’ jury is composed of five inmates of the Joliette Institution. Claudia, Isabelle, Marie-Ève, Nicole and Roseline chose a winner from a selection of eight films from the official competition and Panorama. This initiative, implemented for the first time in Québec for the RIDM 2011 edition, is made in partnership with the Société Elizabeth Fry du Québec, the Entente sur le développement culturel de Montréal – project supported by the ministère de la Culture et des communications and Ville de Montréal.

Additional screening!

The RIDM is pleased to announce that there will be an additional screening of Hale County This Morning, This Evening by RaMell Ross. The film, which just won the Grand Prize for best international feature, will be screened this Sunday, November 18 at 9 p.m. in the Salle Canal D of the Cinémathèque québécoise.

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FFM 2017: My prediction for best film – Y de Pronto el Amanecer

Chilean director Silvio Caiozzi, right, instructs child actors in his film Y de Pronto el Amanecer (And The the Dawn.) The film ran in competition at the 2017 Montreal World Film Festival / Festival des film du monde. The winner will be announced tonight, Monday, Sept. 4, 2017.

UPDATE: Y de Pronto el Amanecer did indeed win the Grand Prix of the Americas, for Best Film.

I predict that Y de Pronto el Amanecer (And Then the Dawn) will win the competition for best film at the 2017 Montreal World Film Festival / Festival des film du monde tonight.

I did not even see all the films in competition, but I really liked The Hidden Sword, from China; Upstream, from Taiwan, was very well done, and friends who saw it told me Anna Karenina: Vronsky’s story was spectacular.

Given all that, it might be rash to predict a win for Y de Pronto el Amanecer, but the story, the acting and the scenery in this Chilean film from director Silvio Caiozzi were all so very impressive. The film is 195 minutes long, but I was never bored for even one second.

A few hours from now I’ll either be saying “Ooops!” or “I told you so!”

The awards ceremony will be at 7 p.m., at the Imperial Cinema, 1430 Bleury St. When it is over, at approximately 7:30 (so I am told) there will be a free, closing film. The name of the closing film will only be announced at the ceremony.

These are the films in competition:

41ST MONTREAL WORLD FILM FESTIVAL
18 films in WORLD COMPETITION

A PROMINENT PATIENT / MASARYK by Julius Ševcík (Czech Republic / Slovakia)
100min; anglais s.t.f & s.t.a

AND SUDDENLY THE DAWN / Y DE PRONTO EL AMANECER by Silvio Caiozzi (Chile)
195min; espagnol s.t.f & s.t.a

ANNA KARENINA. VRONSKY’S STORY / ANNA KARENINA. ISTORIYA VRONSKOGO by Karen Shakhnazarov (Russia)
138min; russe s.t.f & s.t.a

APPENDIX by Hossein Namazi (Iran)
83min; farsi s.t.f & s.t.a

CARDINAL X by Angie Wang (USA)
98 min; anglais s.t.f

DEAR ETRANGER / OSANAGO WARERA NI UMARE by Yukiko Mishima (Japan)
127min; japonais s.t.f & s.t.a

ELVIS WALKS HOME by Fatmir Koçi (Albania / UK)
94min; anglais s.t.f

FALLING IN /OUT OF LOVE by Dominic Bachy (France)
95min; français s.t.a

FOOTPRINTS by Wong Wai (Hong Kong, China)
120min; mandarin s.t.f & s.t.a

FROZEN IGNAT / CINE A UCIS CRACIUNUL? by Dinu Tãnase (Romania)
81min; roumain s.t.f & s.t.a

PATH OF MARYAM by Atia Aldaraji (Iraq / Germany)
76min; arabe s.t.f & s.t.a

RECONCILIATION / ZGODA by Maciej Sobieszczanski (Poland)
87min; polonais s.t.f & s.t.a

SAYAKBAY – HOMER OF 20TH CENTURY by Ernest Abdyjaparov (Kyrgyzstan)
82min; kyrgyz s.t.f & s.t.a

THE BASICS OF KILLING / DRUŽINICA by Jan Cvitkovic (Slovenia / Serbia)
99min; slovène s.t.f & s.t.a

THE HIDDEN SWORD by Xu Haofeng (China)
137min; chinois s.t.f & s.t.a

UNAWARE CONTROL / HUA SE by Xiaoyan Xu (China)
94min; chinois s.t.f & s.t.a

UNSUNG HEROES / NOI ERAVAMO by Leonardo Tiberi (Italy)
90min; italien s.t.f & s.t.a

UPSTREAM by David Chuang (Taiwan)
80min; mandarin s.t.f & s.t.a

The Awards Ceremony for the Montreal World Film Festival / Festival des film du monde will be at 7 pm. Monday, Sept 4, 2017, at the Imperial Cinema, 1430 Bleury St. When the ceremony is over, around 7:30, there will be a free closing film.

Fantasia 2015: Review of Hong Kong badminton film Full Strike

Badminton training in the Hong Kong sports comedy Full Strike, one of the films being shown at the 2015 Fantasia International Film Festival.
Badminton training in the Hong Kong sports comedy Full Strike, one of the films being shown at the 2015 Fantasia International Film Festival.

Full Strike is a Hong Kong badminton comedy. There are many laughs in it, but for the first 30 minutes or so, the colour palette is a dark and depressing blue-green, here are some miserable moments and lots of yelling. Don’t be discouraged, things do get brighter!

Josie Ho plays Ng Kau Sau, also known as “Beast Ng” a former badminton champion who lost her status because of her bad temper. Now she’s miserable and constantly being criticized by her family members, who call her lazy and useless.

One dark and stormy night she sees a meteor (or something) shaped like a badminton birdie. An alien (or possibly a homeless man dressed in plastic bags) chases her onto an abandoned badminton court. There are some scary guys lurking in the shadows, too.

She phones her brother for help. Next thing you know, we’re at the police station. Turns out the building she was in belongs to her brother and uncle and they’ve rented it to three vicious criminals, who have just finished 10-year sentences for robbing a jewelry store. They will open the One Spirit Badminton Club. Their leader is Lau Dan (Ekin Cheng).

The criminals swear they are turning over a new leaf. Beast’s cousin, Suck Nipple Ng, who also plays badminton, and has returned to Hong Kong after 30 years in North America, thinks that’s just a story and that they plan to steal antiques from his nearby home. He wants Ng to sign up for lessons at the club so she can spy on them. This puts her in an awkward spot. She wants to take up the sport again, because the birdie meteor and the alien feel like a message from above that she should do so. But are those crooks still dangerous, or are they sincere about reforming? There’s no doubt that her cousin and his badminton-team minions are totally obnoxious people. Whose side should she be on?

Saying too much more about the plot would be going into spoiler territory, but you can expect slow-mo walking, training montages that include using knives, cleavers and meat, besides the usual racquets, to increase strength and achieve good form, philosophical speeches about “ebb and flow,” the declaration that “if you’re not good at something, the more people laugh at you the more you have to do it,” AND prodigious projectile vomiting from the drunken-master Champion Chik.

All that training has a purpose – to win the Fantastic 5-Asia Badminton Tournament, to prove to everyone (including themselves) that the former crooks have now become athletes.

Anyone who watched Robbery and Kung Fu Killer at Fantasia might recognize a face and a place in Full Strike. Eric Kwok, who played the Big Boss in Robbery, is Suck Nipple Ng’s badminton coach. Suck Nipple Ng has a garden full of large, antique statues. (I think some of the statues represent the animals of the Chinese zodiac.) That same garden appears as a meeting place in Kung Fu Killer.

FULL STRIKE
Hong Kong, 2015, 108 min., DCP, Cantonese, with English and Chinese subtitles
Director: Derek Kwok, Henri Wong
Screenplay: Derek Kwok, Story Joe Chien, Yim Ka-Yee, Yan Pak-Wing
Cast: Josie Ho, Ekin Cheng, Ronald Cheng, Andew Lam, Susan Shaw
Company: Distribution Workshop

Friday, July 24, 2015, 6:20 p.m.
Concordia Hall Theatre, 1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd. W.

 

The Fantasia International Film Festival runs from July 14-Aug. 4, 2015. Read more about the festival at fantasiafestival.com