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Over 2000 Guests at 2010 IDFA

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 producing, distributing and marketing documentaries in an austere economic climate where many audiences prefer escapism will be a central theme of this year’s event. Around 2000 national and international guests will be attending IDFA over the coming week and a half. As well as being the place where documentary directors come together, IDFA’s FORUM and Docs for Sale marketplaces also make the festival a meeting place for film buyers, festival programmers, producers, commissioning editors and other documentary professionals from home and abroad.

Starting this evening, the Festival hosts the daily IDFA Talk Show, which will take place nightly in the Escape club. Daphne Bunskoek will lead the discussions for a wide variety of festival guests, including directors Leonard Retel Helmrich (POSITION OF THE STARS), Janus Metz (ARMADILLO), Pirjo Honkasalo (TOP 10), George Sluizer (HOMELAND), Jeff Prosserman (FOXHOUNDS: THE PURSUIT OF BERNIE MADOFF), Jan Tenhaven (AUTUMN GOLD), Barry Stevens (PROSECUTOR) and Luc Cote and Patricio Hernandez (YOU DON’T LIKE THE TRUTH: FOUR DAYS INSIDE GUANTANAMO). Several of the subjects of the films above will also join the directors for lively evening chats. The Festival is hosting three debates in which documentary makers, scientists, politicians and the audience will discuss subjects raised by documentaries screened at IDFA.

On Monday 22 November, Bjorn Lomborg, the Danish political scientist, author of The Skeptical Environmentalist and key figure in the environmental film COOL IT will join the Green Screen climate debate. He will discuss approaches to climate problems and the role of filmmakers in that context with climate scientists, directors and the audience. The ‘What do we still believe in?’ debate on Wednesday 24 November takes several films showing at IDFA as inspiration for a discussion about trust in the media and abuse of power. On Thursday 25 November, the closing debate ‘Combating suffering in the 21st century’ tackles the issue of what role documentary makers might play in effecting social change in the 21st century. Much to do, see and hear as IDFA gets into gear.
Sandy Mandelberger, IDFA Dailies Editor

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