Extra: “Room for a Man,” “Taste of Cement” win at RIDM; Thomas Ebeling to depart ProSiebenSat.1

Montreal International Documentary Festival award winners announced Anthony Chidiac’s Room for a Man (pictured) won the best international feature prize at the  Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM), which wrapped its 20th edition on Sunday. The ...
November 20, 2017

Montreal International Documentary Festival award winners announced

Anthony Chidiac’s Room for a Man (pictured) won the best international feature prize at the  Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM), which wrapped its 20th edition on Sunday.

The doc follows Chidiac as he renovates his room, inviting a construction worker into his home to fix everything.

“The film opens doors and windows to an inner world that contains an entire private universe of deep meaning, broaching serious issues with wry humor and an irresistible rebellious spirit,” said the judges.

Tao Gu’s Taming the Horse, produced by Montreal’s GreenGround Productions, won the best Canadian feature prize at the festival. Another GreenGround-produced feature, In the Waves, from director Jacquelyn Mills, won the prize for the best short or medium-length Canadian film. The 59-minute doc follows Mills’ grandmother as she ponders the meaning of life and her looming death.

Some of the festival’s other winners included Jean-François Lesage’s La rivière cachée, which won the special jury prize for a Canadian feature. Lesage is no stranger to RIDM. In 2015, he won best Canadian feature for Un amour d’été. His most recent doc was awarded for “making a natural phenomenon a protagonist, and for the precision and elegance with which the film describes even ordinary existential issues.”  

Meanwhile, the prize for the best new Canadian talent went to Emilie B. Guérette for her doc L’autre Rio. Produced by Montreal’s Colonelle Films, the doc follows families who live in a ruined federal building controlled by drug lords.

The Canadian feature competition jury was composed of Emilie Bujès, Pablo Alvarez Mesa and Robert Gray.

In the other categories, Syrian director Ziad Kalthoum’s Taste of Cement picked up the special jury prize for an international project and Ico Costa’s Nyo Vweta Nafta took home the award for best international short or medium-length film.

Elsewhere, the Magnus Isacsson award, which is given to an emerging Canadian director who demonstrates a social conscience in their work, went to Toronto-based Jason O’Hara for State of Exception.

The people’s choice award went to French filmmaker Amandine Gay for the project Ouvrir La Voix.

Thomas Ebeling to depart ProSiebenSat.1

German broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 has announced that its CEO, Thomas Ebeling, will be leaving the company at the end of February 2018.

While Ebeling’s employment contract runs until mid-2019, he informed the company that he would not be available to renew.

ProSiebenSat.1 has already begun the search for Ebeling’s replacement.

In the interim, Conrad Albert, who has been with the company since 2005, has been appointed as deputy chairman of the executive board.

“With its strong TV business, access to data and technology and the dynamically growing commerce business, ProSiebenSat.1 has all the prerequisites to proceed in a successful manner going forward,” said Ebeling in a statement. “Already today, I wish the company, the management team and its passionate and dedicated employees all the best and continued success in this way. My successor will find a motivated and experienced team that is well equipped to continue the success story of ProSiebenSat.1.”

A+E Networks, Jiangsu Broadcasting corp partner on docu drama

A+E Networks has signed a deal with China’s Jiangsu Broadcasting Corporation to co-produce the docudrama Scars of Nanking.

Marking the 80th anniversary of the massacre by Japanese invaders during World War II, the one-hour docudrama will premiere Dec. 13 on History in the U.S., History Asia and simultaneously on Jiangsu Satellite TV in China.

The project will be supported with a feature-length documentary called Scars of Nanjing: 80 Years After. In this 90-minute special, the events of Nanjing are remembered through Chinese students, massacre survivors and their descendants. It will also include insight from experts and renowned historians Ian Buruma, Daqing Yang, Alexis Dudden and Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Christine Choy.

“Over the past few years, Jiangsu Broadcasting Corporation has built strong awareness of these horrible events with a number of impactful documentaries. Now, as we approach the 80th anniversary, we are honored to be joining the effort to create a production that tells the story with a western perspective and narrative to be shared with a much broader audience,” said Alan Hodges, MD of Asia Pacific for A+E Networks, in a statement.

With files from Playback

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.