The 29th edition of IDFA International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam opens on November 16, with Stranger in Paradise by Dutch director Guido Hendrikx, who explores the relationship between Europe and the refugees in a film on the boundary between documentary and drama. The film has been selected both for the Competition for First Appearance and the Competition for Dutch Documentary.
In Stranger in Paradise, director Guido Hendrikx explores the relationship between Europe and the refugees. In a classroom in Sicily, an actor personifies different European perspectives on asylum seekers as he addresses three separate groups of refugees. He first represents a negative public attitude towards asylum seekers, followed by one of empathy and goodwill, and finally adopts the role of a pragmatic official explaining the complexities of immigration policy.
‘IDFA has a reputation to maintain for strong, topical, controversial opening films,’ says festival director Ally Derks, explaining the choice of Stranger in Paradise as the opener for IDFA 2016. ‘Films that generate discussion on both form and content, by young, talented makers. Stranger in Paradise asks us to take a close look in the mirror regarding the refugee issue.’
Guido Hendrikx graduated in 2014 from the Netherlands Film Academy, where he directed the internationally acclaimed short films Escort and Onder Ons / Among Us. Stranger in Paradise is selected both for the IDFA Award for Best First Appearance and the IDFA Award for Best Dutch Documentary.