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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.


IDFA Programs Focus On Emerging Talents


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 looking to make careers in the medium. Most of the meetings take a practical approach and deal with topics such as distribution, finance and presentation. The master classes cover the more creative aspects of documentary work. This mix of pragmatic knowledge and an appreciate of the documentary aesthetic is intended to encourage innovation, while also providing young filmmakers with the tools they need in order to have careers in the industry.

The IDFAcademy has already hosted two masters classes this past weekend. In the first, director and cinemotographer Leonard Retel Helmrich focused on the unique challenges of mounting documentary production and how to work with the subjects of one's film to gain their trust. The filmmaker and curator Pirjo Honkasalo, who has compiled this year’s Top 10 section in the Festival, presented her master class on Sunday, also surveying the trends and opportunities now open to emerging filmmakers, including the potential for digital distribution and marketing via the internet. Janus Metz, the director of the acclaimed Danish war documentary ARMADILLO, is  one of the film professionals who will be holding industry meetings with the new filmmmakers. Most of the programs are open only to IDFAcademy participants and are centered in Brakke Grond, one of the new locations this year.

Also this past weekend, in cooperation with the European Cultural Foundation, IDFA organized the first ever Doc Next. The goal of the program was to bring the ideas and vision of a new generation of European media-makers to the attention of a wide audience. Twelve short ilms by young European filmmakers are being screeened in advance of full-length films during the entire IDFA schedule. The commitment to working with young filmmakers is not restricted to the IDFA dates. Throughout the year, IDFA organizes the IDFA Documentary Workshop for emerging filmmakers. In the workshop, which started in May, eight participants developed an initial idea for a documentary into a documentary plan. Veteran documentary filmmaker Coco Schrijber,served as the regular supervisor of this year’s workshop. At the opening night of IDFA on 17 November, the winner of the Dutch Cultural Media Fund Award for Documentary, consisting of €125,000 for the realization of the best film plan, was awarded to Barbara Visser.

For complete information on IDFA, which runs through next Sunday, visit:

Sandy Mandelberger, IDFA 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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