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IDFA International Documentary Festival Amsterdam


The 23rd edition of the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), the world's largest and most prestigious film event devoted exclusively to non-fiction film and media, will run from 17 - 28 November in the city of Amsterdam.


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IDFA Films: Inform And Engage

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  As someone who appreciates attending documentary-only film festivals, I must admit that after a few days, it can become a bit of a slog. This is not due to the excellence of the films, particularly at a high-end event like IDFA, the acclaimed International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, which ends its 11 day run today. If anything, it is the opposite. The films presented are so visceral, so challenging, so disturbing, so awakening, that it truly is a shock to the system to see th...

IDFA Opener Is Festival's Big Prize Winner

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  POSITION AMONG THE STARS (Stand van de Sterren) by Dutch/Indonesian filmmaker Leonard Retel Helmrich was the big winner at the awards ceremony of IDFA: International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. The film won both the VPRO IDFA Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary (the Festival’s top honor and winner of a cash prize of 12,500 euros) and the Dioraphte IDFA Award for Best Dutch Documentary. The director won the same top prize at the 2004 IDFA for the second film in his trilo...

Strong Sales Noted At IDFA

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  Despite the lingering economic doldrums that have hit the film industry (and the world at large) in the past few years, the sales environment at IDFA: the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, has been remarkably strong. That is the assessment of the market sidebar here, Docs For Sale, which ran until yesterday.  The sidebar hosts the screenings of market-invitation films, including those screening in the Festival and others presented by their sales agents, producers or go...

IDFA Film In Focus: THE GREEN WAVE

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  One of the things that a documentary film can do best is to provide a much deeper analysis and background to stories that one first encounters on the daily news or in the newspapers. A case in point is THE GREEN WAVE, a bracing and inventive look at the “green uprising” that spontaneously grew following the fixed Iran elections of 2009. Famous for being the first “televised uprising” that was broadcast to the world by Twitter, the film uses a range of cinematic technique, incl...

IDFA Head Ally Derks To Be Honored at HOT DOCS

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Consider it one documentary festival honoring its sister documentary festival across the seas.....it was announced today that Hot Docs, Canada's leading documentary film event, will present IDFA director Ally Derks with the 2011 Doc Mogul Award, recognizing an individual who, over the course of her or his career, has made an essential contribution to the creative vitality of the documentary industry, both at home and abroad. Founder and director of the International Documentary Film Fe...

IDFA Programs Focus On Emerging Talents

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  While IDFA, the world's larget and most prestigious documentary film festival, brings back veteran directors year after year, this year there are some special programs focusing on emerging talents, both students and fledgling documentary filmmakers. More than 150 people – film students as well as starting filmmakers – from more than 25 countries will be taking part in the IDFAcademy. The emphasis of the program is to introduce the complexities of the documentary industry to those...

Films Transit Has Record Year At IDFA

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  Films Transit International, the premiere distributor of international documentaries with offices in Montreal and New York, is having a record year at this year's IDFA, the world's largest and most prestigious documentary film festival. The company, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, has an impressive 11 films represented in both the Festival and the  parallel Docs For Sale market, including 5 films that are competing in the main Features Competition. The high number of fi...

Barbara Visser Wins Dutch Cultural Media Fund Documentary Award

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  Dutch documentarian Barbara Visser has won the 2010 Dutch Cultural Media Fund Documentary Award, announced by the fund’s chair Jacob Kohnstamm at the opening ceremonies of IDFA, the largest documentary film festival in the world. The prize of € 125,000 was awarded for the realization of her plan for the film C.K. The film concerns an accountant for a large art fund who suddenly disappears from the face of the earth along with his family and millions of euros of public money. Bewi...

Over 2000 Guests Expected At 2010 IDFA

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  Over 2000 national and international guests are descending on the historic city of Amsterdam as the 23rd edition of IDFA: the International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam begins its 11-day marathon of film premieres, professional activities and special events. Showcasing more than 300 films and with evening “talk shows” and a full series of conferences and market social networking, this year’s event is a must for makers and lovers of non-fiction film. The unique challenges of ...

IDFA Director Blasts Arts Budget Cuts

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  Ally Derks, the long-time director of IDFA: the International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam, gave the opening address on Wednesday evening for filmmakers, professionals and attending guests assembled for the official opening of the 23rd edition of the much-respected documentary festival. She used her remarks to offer a focus on the challenges facing both documentary filmmakers and supporters of the arts in these austere economic times. What follows are excerpts from her speech: ...

Dutch Documentary Opens 23rd IDFA

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  All eyes are turning to Amsterdam starting today when the the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), the largest and most prestigious non-fiction media event in the world, kicks off its 23rd edition. The Festival, which will show nearly 250 films over 11 days, opens with the Dutch documentary POSITION AMONG THE STARS by veteran director Leonard Retel Helmrich. The film, which also competes in the IDFA Competition for Feature Length Documentary, will have its premi...

A Cast of Characters In Amsterdam

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  While Amsterdam certainly boasts its own unique cast of characters that one can observe on the streets, in the stores and the coffee shops, some of the most intriguing people I met during my stay at IDFA were on the film screen. When you immerse yourself in as many films as I did (an average of four per day), one comes away with a contact high from the encounters with unique individuals with unique stories and circumstances that stay with you (with me, at least). And while I am already...

Asian and European Films Top IDFA Awards

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  Asian and European films dominated the top awards at IDFA, the International Documentary Film Festival, which held its awards gala yesterday afternoon at the historic art nouveau movie palace, the Tuschinski. The audience, made up of filmmakers, professionals and doc film buffs, loudly applauded the winners and the overall excellence of this year's program. The VPRO IDFA Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary (with a cash prize of €12,500) went to Lixin Fan for Last Train Ho...

Shuttling Between Hopefulness To Desperation (And Back Again)

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  At a film festival such as IDFA that is exclusively devoted to documentary film, a dedicated viewer (which, at a minimum of 4 films per day, qualifies me) cannot help but be constantly batted from feelings of outrage and anger to feelings of optimism and hope. Documentaries, unlike any other art form, really get under your skin with real lives, some of them quite desperate and terribly sad, that break down the tenuous barrier of us versus them. To really appreciate a documentary, it ...

IDFA Juries Announce Their Nominees

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  At a typically informal gathering at the Festival's resident club on Wednesday evening, the jurors in various categories in the IDFA Awards competitions announced the three-film nominees before a packed house of anxious filmmakers and guests. The Awards themselves will be annnounced on Friday afternoon at the official awards ceremony held at the art nouveau palace, the Tuschinksi. Film screenings of the winners and other titles continues through Sunday. IDFA Competition for Fe...

Finding The Normal In Amsterdam???

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    Amsterdam has a rather valid reputation as a refuge for the not completely normal. Misfits from across the continent and across the seas find the city's open nature and history of tolerance a welcoming invitation. So, when an Amsterdam institution like IDFA, the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, announces a program entitled "Not Normal", the mind only boggles. In fact, one of the key themes at this year's Festival is the theme of unconventionality ...

Music, Music, Music At IDFA

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    The subject of music, its influences, its artists and its role in cultural life, are examined in the 18 music-themed documentaries that are being showcased this week at IDFA, the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, the largest gathering of docu-files in the world. Aside from the films themselves, IDFA is sponsoring Dance Nights in the festival center Escape every evening, with performances by an eclectic array of DJs and bands. The film program embrac...

Focus On Middle East At IDFA

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  The on-going conflict in the Middle East provides a tableau for a diverse group of films at IDFA, the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, the largest documentary film event on the planet. The films range from classic reportage to more intimate explorations of the passions, terrors and conflicts that are generated in this turbulent part of the world. Spanish filmmaker Alberto Arce has teamed up with a Palestinian colleague Gazan Mohammad Rujailah for the film TO SHOOT AN...

Eyal Silvan's Top Ten List

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    Israeli filmmaker Eyal Sivan has been asked by IDFA to program a personal Top Ten List of his favorite films for this year's event. Sivan is in Amsterdam for the premiere of his latest film Jaffa, The Orange Clockwork, which screens in the IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentaries. During the festival, Sivan will also present a masterclass in which he will explain his choices for his list.   Eyal Sivan grew up in Jerusalem and worked as a photograp...

IDFA Forum Gathers Doc Pros

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  If you are an industry professional who works in the world of documentaries, it is a pretty sure bet that you are spending this week in Amsterdam at the IDFA International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. Aside from the hundreds of completed films on display, the Festival sponsors a co-production market for filmmakers to network with potential financiers and distributors for new projects (that will most probably come to IDFA next year as completed films).  IDFA’s annual c...

IDFA News: Pathe Launches Documentary Label

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  Dutch cinema circuit Pathé Netherlands, a long-time collaborator with IDFA through its Tuschinski and Munt theaters which host many of the festival’s  events and screenings, is launching a new documentary label called Pathé Docs, aimed at bringing documentaries to a wider audience.  The label, which has been devised in close collaboration with IDFA, will go live during the festival with the screening of three IDFA titles – Icelandic eco-doc Dreamland, Michael Moore’s C...

IDFA Feature Films In Competition

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  Getting a prize at IDFA, the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, can be of major significance to a documentary film at the start of its long journey through the Festival circuit and, hopefully, to theatrical, television and ancillary distribution. The Festival's imprimatur is highly regarded and respected in the world of programmers and festival directors, who are here in Amsterdam scouring for the best in non-fiction film. Here is the first part of the films compet...

IDFA Film In Focus: U.N. ME

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  The American documentary U.N. ME, a lacerating look at the inefficiencies of the United Nations, has its word premiere at the IDFA International Documentary Festival Amsterdam this week. In a film that exposes the incompetence and corruption at the heart of the United Nations, filmmakers Ami Horowitz and Matthew Groff show how an organization created to ennoble mankind now actually enables evil and sows global chaos. When the United Nations was founded more than sixty yea...

Frederick Wiseman Receives Award at IDFA

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  Veteran documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman was honored at IDFA's Opening Night ceremonies last evening with a Living Legends Award. There is much truth in the name of the award......Wiseman is a true living legend who continues his 50-year streak of creating intriguing, involving and sometimes shocking documentaries at the tender age of 79. He shows no signs of slowing down. His lastest project, LA DANSE, a portrait of the Ballet Company of the French National Opera. Freder...

Documentary Deluge In Amsterdam for IDFA

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One could call it a documentary deluge.......IDFA, the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, the world's largest event devoted to the non-fiction form, is expecting over 2000 international guests over the next 10 days. If you are in and into docs, Amsterdam is ground zero for film premieres, special events, chic parties and industry seminars and networking sessions. The Festival has clocked in some 2200 accredited guests from The Netherlands and around the world to at...

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