Last May 13, the Ville de Montreal's very first Prix de l'Action Culturelle was awarded to the RIDM, the Montreal International Documentary Festival, for its « In prison» program.
With 27 candidates in contention for the first edition of the Prix, it was quite a task to pick a winner. A finalist along with Lire Montréal and Fanfare Pourpour, the RIDM’s entry, its “In Prison” program, gained the favour of the jury due to the boldness and originality of its approach, as well as the high quality of the documentaries presented.
The RIDM has run the program, which screens Québec documentary films with their filmmakers in attendance, in correctional settings since 2010. First held at the Tanguay women’s detention centre, it has expanded to reach inmates at the Bordeaux, Rivière-des-Prairies and Joliette detention centres, as well as the Thérèse-Casgrain Halfway House. Presenting these films creates personal areas of mental freedom and cultural expression that are greatly appreciated by both filmmakers and a keenly involved inmate audience.
Created by the Ville de Montréal as a way of recognizing the cultural sector, the Prix de l’Action culturelle honours a cultural initiative that succeeds in reaching Montréal-based audiences that traditionally have limited access to professional cultural productions.