The Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) has appointed Sofia Laroussi as executive director for both the festival event and Forum RIDM.
Laroussi (pictured) replaces outgoing executive director Mara Gourd-Mercado, who will exit on April 3 following a brief remote transition period.
“The RIDM and Forum RIDM will be in capable hands, thanks to Ms. Laroussi’s extensive experience in both film and funding,” the organization said in a statement. “She will bring a breath of fresh air, while also being an excellent fit for the RIDM’s artistic and political values.”
Throughout her career, Laroussi has previously worked in political communications, having most recently served as a funding and business development manager with the Fondation Fabienne Colas (Montreal International Black Film Festival), which promotes cultural diversity in film, over the last three years.
Prior to this, Laroussi was a program coordinator at Educonnexion and was a communications and public relations consultant for Hopscotch Groupe.
Gourd-Mercado, meanwhile, has held the position since April 2015, overseeing the diversification of RIDM and Forum RIDM’s activity while also helping to build solid financial foundations for both events. Under her leadership, the festival and market experienced exponential growth in attendance.
“The board has identified Sofia as a natural continuation of Mara Gourd-Mercado’s exemplary mandate, which earned her the respect and admiration not only of the board and her entire team but of the documentary industry as a whole,” said Sarah Spring, chair of the RIDM board, in a statement. “Mara’s leadership broadened filmmakers’ horizons and grew the festival while remaining true to the RIDM’s core mandate to be a creatively audacious encounter of documentary’s most innovative art and experimentation.”
Festival artistic director Bruno Dequen and Selin Murat, programming director for Forum RIDM, remain in charge of their respective divisions.