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RIDM welcomes Sofia Laroussi the new Executive Director

Despite the most exceptional circumstances, the board of directors of the Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal (RIDM) and the RIDM Forum is pleased to announce the appointment of Sofia Laroussi as the new executive director of the two organizations. Sofia Laroussi and outgoing General Manager Mara Gourd-Mercado have started the virtual handover this week and will continue until April 3, 2020, when Mara leaves. Thus, the stability of the RIDM and the memory of the organizations will be ensured. The RIDM and the RIDM Forum will be in good hands with Sofia Laroussi who has a varied background in the fields of cinema and financing. It will bring a breath of renewal while subscribing to the artistic and political values ​​of the RIDM.
Throughout her career, Sofia Laroussi has been able to demonstrate her keen interest in issues related to social justice. Moving from political communication to project management with social impact, she is interested in issues of education for citizen engagement and participation. With several years of experience as responsible for funding and development within the Fabienne Colas Foundation (Festival International du Film Black de Montréal) for the promotion of cultural diversity in cinema, she was able to develop very good knowledge of the realities and challenges related to the culture and ecosystem of film festivals.
"It is with great enthusiasm that I take the helm of the RIDMs. I am delighted to join this dynamic and experienced team. I am sure that together we will be able to face the challenges of the 23rd edition and continue the unique mission of the RIDMs, "said Sofia Laroussi.
She succeeds Mara Gourd-Mercado, who has held this position since April 2015. During her mandate, Mara has diversified the fields of action of the RIDM and the RIDM Forum, thereby guaranteeing solid funding for the two events. Under his leadership, the festival and the professional market have seen an exponential increase in attendance and have developed a clear and inclusive direction that now allows them to position themselves as leaders in terms of equity and representativeness.
"The Board of Directors is delighted to welcome Sofia Laroussi as the new Director General of the RIDM. Sofia passionately defends documentary cinema and its ability to unite, educate and promote change. She has worked for years to create a more inclusive film industry and tirelessly support under-represented artists in the country. We look forward to sharing the festival with Sofia’s commitment to filmmakers and the power of documentaries. Sofia will be a dynamic and inspiring ambassador for RIDMs and will contribute to their growth here and abroad.
The board identified Sofia as a natural continuation of the exemplary management of Mara Gourd-Mercado, who earned her respect and admiration not only from the board and the team, but from the entire documentary industry. Under the direction of Mara, the festival was able to grow and broaden the horizons of the filmmakers, while remaining faithful to its primary mission of being a daring meeting space for the most innovative and avant-garde works of the documentary genre, "says Sarah Spring, Chair of the RIDM Board of Directors.
Bruno Dequen, artistic director of the festival since 2015, and Selin Murat, director of programming at the RIDM Forum since 2017, remain at the helm of their divisions with renewed energy and are tackling the challenges of mounting an ever-high program level for this 23rd edition.
About RIDM
The only festival in Quebec entirely dedicated to documentaries, the Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal (RIDM) offers the public the best of real-world cinema by bringing together great filmmakers and new talents to discover.
About the RIDM Forum
The RIDM Forum aims to stimulate the production and national and international distribution of independent documentaries, in particular by promoting the exchange of information and meetings between the various actors in the documentary sector. Round tables, conferences and workshops on major current issues bring together over 300 filmmakers, producers, broadcasters and distributors for five days.
The 23rd edition of the RIDM will take place from November 12 to 22, 2020.
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