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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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Already Looking To The Future

Monday, December 4----With the 19th edition of the International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam (IDFA) just ending on Sunday night, the organizers have already begun to strategize for next year's 20th anniversary.

As reported by Geoffrey Macnab in the last edition of the IDFA Dagkrant Dailies, a clearer picture is beginning to emerge of what shape IDFA will take as it celebrates its 20th anniversary (a definite milestone for any festival event).

The main change will be that the Festival will lose its flagship venue, the 7-screen City Cinemas, which is about to undergo a major renovation. The main screenings therefore will be held at the Tuschinski, a famed movie palace, in Rembrandtplein, a 10 minute walk away. According to Cees Van 't Hullenaar, IDFA marketing and communications manager, "within 3 or 4 years, the whole Festival, including all industry activities, will move to the Rembrantplein."

The Festival has been centered in and around the Leidseplein, Amsterdam's version of Times Square, since its inception.For next few years, at any rate, the industry activities, as well as the press and guest centers, will be based at de Balie, the festival's main hub and hangout center.

IDFA is also planning to embrace the digital age, by digitizing the entire festival, including the professional events, like the Forum and Docs For Sale. For example, buyers will be able to access titles from Docs For Sale online during the Festival and even after the Festival is over.

A change in screening venues has become a necessity, due to the overwhelming crowds that often sell out films in the first few days. "We currently have two big theaters with 600 seats and a lot of very small theaters", Van 't Hullenaar explained. "If we had four or five theaters that could accomodate 500 or more people at a time, then we could grow even more and more tickets would be available to the public and the professionals".

At the Festival's close, organizers are predicting final admissions to be around 130,000, with over 10,000 tickets pre-sold online before the Festival even began. The box office is up over 20,000 Euros from last year's total. Now that the Festival is over, a Best of IDFA tour is being organized, in which this year's award-winning documentaries will be showcased at 23 venues throughout the Netherlands.

Some exciting ideas are on the drawing board for next year as the Festival celebrates goes into its third decade. A special program of award-winning documentaries from the Festival's first twenty years will be highlighted, as well as bringing back some of the illustrious jury members who have served the Festival in its beginning years. Historian Geert Mak, a longtime friend of IDFA, will compile a Top 20 list of his favorite films of the past 20 years. "It will be a travelling circus", declares veteran IDFA director Ally Derks. As for this IDFA newcomer, I am already looking forward to the festivities.


Sandy Mandelberger
Online Festival Dailies Editor

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About IDFA International Documentary Festival Amsterdam


Online Dailies of the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam 

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