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International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam

IDFA Films: Inform And Engage

  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

  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

  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...


  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

Consider it one documentary festival honoring its sister documentary festival across the 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 Director Blasts Arts Budget Cuts

  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

  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...

Asian and European Films Top IDFA Awards

  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)

  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

  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...

Music, Music, Music At IDFA

    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...

IDFA Forum Gathers Doc Pros

  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 Feature Films In Competition

  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

  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

  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

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...

Polish Spy Thriller To Open 2009 IDFA

    The world of documentary film has descended on the city of Amsterdam for IDFA, the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, the world's largest and most diverse showcase of non-fiction film from around the world. With documentaries showing muscle at the theatrical box office, as well as providing a well of programming for new electronic distribution formats, the hunger for the real is greater than ever. By offering a diverse program of film premieres, special...


 Tuesday, December 4--------IDFA, the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, concluded its 10-day marathon of films this past weekend with the announcement of its major awards. The Festival, which celebrated its twentienth anniversary this year amid an explosion of film attendance and a major change in screening venues, has emerged as one of the hallmark events on the documentary film calendar. Films from all over the world not only get screened at IDFA, but sales are made and developme...

IDFA Focuses On International Documentary Renaissance

Amsterdam At Night Monday, October 30----The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, one of the most prestigious film events devoted to the non-fiction form, will take place this year from November 23 to December 3, 2006 in the beautiful city of Amsterdam in The Netherlands. Known for its acronym of IDFA, the Festival brings together filmmakers, buyers, programmers, critics and the general public in a mix of professional and audience events that highlight the trends and accomplishme...


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