3 festivals for a big-screen November

November 6, 2019

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This month in the Quartier des Spectacles, film is in the spotlight with three festivals to delight every movie lover: the Montreal International Documentary Festival ( (RIDM), Cinemania et IMAGE + NATION. These major festivals will present everything from crowd-pleasers and obscure gems to heartbreaking tales and activist essays.

There’s no shortage of ways to see what’s new and exciting in the big world of film this month. Here are a few suggestions that will entice you to spend some evenings at the Impérial or the Cinémathèque québécoise to make the most of this amazing time of year!

Follow the Quartier des Spectacles Facebook page and have a chance to win an unlimited pass for one of the three film festivals.


November 7 to 17

With 51 feature films from 17 countries, many of them North American premieres, Cinemania presents an impressive panorama of the latest French-language movies. For its 25th edition, the festival will celebrate Nouvelle Aquitaine, a French region that has had close ties to Quebec for more than 300 years, and is also home to the famous Festival du film francophone d’Angoulême.

Among the films from Nouvelle Aquitaine in this year’s festival are Atlantique by Mati Diop, starring Mame Binta Sane, Amadou Mbow and Ibrahima Traoré. A gritty but rich portrait of a little-known social reality, this first effort won its Senegalese director the Grand Prix at the Cannes Festival this year.

In Convoi exceptionnel director Bertrand Blier teams up with Gérard Depardieu for the eighth time. He and co-star Christian Clavier play a pair of losers who come up with a movie idea while stuck in a traffic jam. The two anti-heroes’ unlikely adventures blossom into a delicious satire of today’s society.

Last but not least, incurable romantics will swoon at the return of the legendary pairing of Anouk Aimée and Jean-Louis Trintignant, together again in Les plus belles années d’une vie by Claude Lelouch. Fifty-three years after Un homme et une femme, their love story is as fresh as ever.


November 21 to December 1

Canada’s first LGBTQ film festival is still going strong, marking its 32nd anniversary this year with a panorama of complex and intense love stories from around the world. This annual event not only gives movie lovers the chance to see the world’s best queer films, it brings them together to explore and discuss a diverse group of worlds and stories.

Gay love meets ballet in Evan Akin’s And Then We Danced. By setting his drama backstage at the Georgian National Ballet, taking a documentary-like approach, the Swedish director, who has Georgian roots, exposes the conservative, homophobic character of a society that’s largely unknown to outsiders. Young actor Levan Gelbakhiani is particularly impressive.

The Dutch webseries Anne+ by Valérie Bisscheroux follows the amorous trials and tribulations of a young Amsterdam lesbian who wears her heart on her sleeve. Flirtations and great passions come and go in these short, lively episodes that capture the frenetic pace of 21st century city life.

Sexual tension hits a fever pitch in the Argentinian film Un rubio. Marco Berger follows the growing attraction between two workers, played by the excellent Alfonso Baron and Gaston Re. Closeted gay parenting, machismo, social pressures: the two men face a plethora of pitfalls.

Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM)

November 14 to 24

This prestigious documentary festival is back for another top-notch edition, its 20th. With 154 films from 47 countries and dozens of free events, it’s a platform for the best local and international documentaries.

Not only is this the perfect festival for those who like to stay informed, the RIDM presents a large selection of gatherings, public panel and, and a forum for discussing social, political and environmental issues. After the day’s screenings, head to RIDM headquarters for the Beat Dox Sessions and the irresistible music of Akpossoul, Annie Sama, Bibi Club, and parties featuring live music programmed by POP Montréal and the SOIR festival.

Cinephiles won’t want to miss the premiere of Wilcox by Denis Côté. The film, notable for its unusual visual and sound aesthetic, straddles the line between fiction and documentary as it follows a mysterious lone man walking in the forest.

The latest from activist filmmaker Will Prosper, KENBE LA – jusqu’à la victoire, is a portrait of a fascinating Quebecer of Haitian origin: artist, researcher and activist Alain Philoctète. A tribute to the power of community spirit, going strong despite exile and distance.

Is reconciliation possible after civil war? In La mer entre nous, Quebec filmmaker Marlene Edoyan, originally from Lebanon, follows two women of the same age. One is Muslim, one is Christian, and they live in Beirut, where tensions remain high 25 years after Lebanon’s brutal civil war.