The lineup for the upcoming 29th IDFA International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam taking place from November 16 to 27, will feature 297 titles (from 3,495 submissions), of which 102 documentaries will have their world premieres during the festival.
The Top 10 was compiled by Ukrainian filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa, and a retrospective of his work will be screened. IDFA will also present a number of special programs, such as Shifting Perspectives in the Kleine Komedie theatre and The Quiet Eye, focusing on the slow documentary.
IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary
Fifteen films are included in the competition program for feature-length documentary. Two of the documentaries in this competition are Dutch productions: How to Meet a Mermaid by Coco Schrijber and Miss Kiet’s Children by Petra Lataster-Czisch and Peter Lataster. The Grown Ups by Chilean director Maite Alberdi was made with financial support from the IDFA Bertha Fund (IBF).
The jury, made up of Yuri Ancarani (Italy), Jordana Berg (Brazil), Tom Paul (USA), Ingrid van Tol (the Netherlands) and Debra Zimmerman (USA) will present the IDFA Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary, with a cash prize of € 12,500, and the IDFA Special Jury Award for Feature-Length Documentary worth € 2,500.
Amateurs in Space (Denmark/Croatia) by Max Kestner
A real Boy’s Own story about two Danes who dream of building a rocket and making the first ever manned amateur flight to the moon.
Burning Out (Switzerland/Belgium/France) by Jérôme le Maire
Doctors in a Parisian hospital are fighting a life-and-death battle. Everything’s got to be cheaper, quicker and more efficient. A glimpse of imminent burnout in the healthcare system.
Gogita’s New Life (Georgia) by Levan Koguashvili
Following a lengthy term in prison, all Gogita wants is to be married. His mother lobbies for a pretty, slim girl in this tragicomic quest for love and happiness.
The Good Postman (Finland) by Tonislav Hristov
Tragicomic portrait of a Bulgarian border village where an ambitious postman looks for solutions to depopulation and the refugee crisis.
The Grown Ups (Chili/the Netherlands/France) van Maite Alberdi
A moving, confrontational portrait of four Chilean adults with Down’s syndrome. Although they feel ready for adult life, society doesn’t agree.
How to Meet a Mermaid (the Netherlands/Denmark/Belgium) by Coco Schrijber
The beauty and devastating power of the ocean has fascinated many people. Including the filmmaker’s missing brother.
In Place of the Parents (Ireland/Spain) by Neasa Ni Chianain
A year in the life of two dedicated and passionate teachers at an Irish boarding school for young children, captured in affectionate observational scenes.
Like Dew in the Sun (Switzerland) by Peter Entell
Through the eyes of a compassionate outsider, documentary maker Peter Entell investigates why the Ukraine, where his ancestors lived, is so often at war.
Machines (India/Germany/Finland) by Rahul Jain
A mesmerizing, rhythmic portrait of everyday life for workers at a textile factory in India. There is enchanting beauty here, but the film also reveals deplorable conditions.
Miss Kiet’s Children (the Netherlands) by Petra Lataster-Czisch and Peter Lataster
The turbulent first year for a class of migrant children at a Dutch primary school; they learn Dutch, make friends and overcome traumas with inspirational help from Miss Kiets.
Mogadishu Soldier (Norway/Finland/Denmark) by Torstein Grude
Filmed by soldiers, an honest and revealing look behind the scenes of the UN peace mission in Somalia.
Nowhere to Hide (Norway/Sweden) by Zaradasht Ahmed
Oppressive war report by Iraqi father and male nurse who is forced to flee when his home city is occupied by IS.
Still Tomorrow (China) by Jian Fan
The painfully frank Xiuhua Yu – a farmer, disabled by cerebral palsy, unhappily married – makes a dramatic breakthrough as a poet. Will fame solve her problems?
What We Have Made (France) by Fanny Tondre
Beautiful, warm portrait of a huge construction site where thousands of men work long days among the scaffolding, concrete mixers and their colleagues, sharing good times and bad.
You Have No Idea How Much I Love You (Poland) by Pawel Lozinski
Painful, tense psychotherapy sessions, filmed up close. A mother and daughter gradually become closer through accusations, sorrow and rage.
Other Competitions and Awards
IDFA Competition for First Appearance
In the IDFA Competition for First Appearance, 15 debut films compete for the IDFA Award for Best First Appearance and the Special Jury Award for First Appearance.
Stranger in Paradise by Guido Hendrikx is the only Dutch documentary in the selection; three films from the IDFA Competition for First Appearance were made with financial support from the IBF: Amazona; A Memory In Three Acts and Plastic China.
The jury is made up of Marjoleine Boonstra (the Netherlands), Uldis Cekulis (Latvia), Kahane Cooperman (Canada), Samir Mehanovic (the Netherlands) and David Wilson (USA). The jury will present the IDFA Award for Best First Appearance (€ 7,500) and the Special Jury Award for First Appearance (€ 2,500).
IDFA Competition for Mid-Length Documentary
In the IDFA Competition for Mid-Length Documentary, 15 documentaries between 30 and 60 minutes in length compete for the IDFA Award for Best Mid-Length Documentary (€ 10,000) and the IDFA Special Jury Award for Mid-Length Documentary (€ 2,500). One Dutch production is included in the competition: To Stay Alive – A Method by Reinier van Brummelen and Arno Hagers.
The jury consists of Ryan Harrington (USA), Noe Mendelle (Scotland), Jake Perlin (USA), Andrea Prenghyová (Czech Republic) and Digna Sinke (the Netherlands).
IDFA DocLab Competition for Digital Storytelling
DocLab projects that use digital technology in the most creative, effective way to tell a documentary story are eligible for the IDFA DocLab Award for Digital Storytelling (€ 5,000). The jury also presents the Scenic IDFA DocLab Immersive Non-Fiction Award (€ 2,500).
The jury is made up of Brett Gaylor (Canada), Anna Higgs (UK) and Jan Rothuizen (the Netherlands).
IDFA Competition for Dutch Documentary
Fifteen Dutch documentaries compete for the Beeld en Geluid IDFA Award for Dutch Documentary worth € 7,500. In addition, the jury will present the IDFA Special Jury Award for Dutch Documentary (€ 2,500).
The jury is made up of Tine Fischer (Denmark), Maureen Gosling (USA), Ester Gould (the Netherlands), Nilotpal Majumdar (India) and Qi Zhao (China).
IDFA Competition for Student Documentary
In the IDFA Competition for Student Documentary, 14 student films from international film academies compete for the ARRI IDFA Award for Best Student Documentary worth € 5,000 and an Amira camera, provided on loan by ARRI, and the IDFA Special Jury Award for Student Documentary (€ 2,500) with an Amira camera, provided on loan by ARRI. One Dutch production is competing for this award: Coco Cabasa by Klaartje Til.
The jury is made up of Judy Kibinge (Kenya), Salome Machaidze (Georgia) and Daan Veldhuizen (the Netherlands).
IDFA Competition for Kids & Docs
In the IDFA Competition for Kids & Docs, 13 international youth documentaries compete for the IDFA Award for Best Children’s Documentary (€ 2,500). In addition, the jury made up of Monica Hellström (Denmark), Ollie Huddleston (UK) and Niki Padidar (the Netherlands) will present the IDFA Special Jury Award for Children’s Documentary (€1,000).
IDFA Alliance of Women Film Journalists’ EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Documentary
Ten new documentaries screening in the program and directed by female filmmakers are eligible for the IDFA Alliance of Women Film Journalists’ EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Documentary (€ 2,500), to be presented by an international jury of female journalists.
VPRO IDFA Audience Award
All of the films screening in competition and the films made this year screening in other program sections compete for the VPRO IDFA Audience Award worth € 5,000.