Frequent festival filmmakers feature in Masters, which this year includes such titles as: Pekka Lehto’s EMERGENCY CALL, about a strange case of murder in Finland; Jean Michel Carré’s PUTIN IS BACK (pictured), on the Russian ruler’s maintenance of power; Alexander Gentelev’s RAIDERS, which explores the victims of the Russian oligarchy; and Marcelo Masagão’s ACT AND WIND, a revisitation of classic film images.
Best of Fests spotlights some of the popular films from this year’s circuit, including: Mikael Wiström’s STORM IN THE ANDES, which uncovers a personal connection to Peru’s Shining Path guerrilla movement; Nicolas Rossier’s THE OTHER MAN: FW DE KLERK AND THE END OF APARTHEID, an exploration of the contradictory sides of the controversial South African leader; Roman Bondarchuk’s EUROMAIDAN. ROUGH CUT, an up-close chronicle of the Kiev protests; and Rüdiger Suchsland’s FROM CALIGARI TO HITLER (pictured), an essay adaptation of the Siegfried Kracauer book.
IDFA’s perennial Panorama section offers nearly three dozen films from around the world, including: Arturo Gonzalez Villaseñor’s ALL OF ME, about Mexican women who provide food to migrants traveling north for work; Abner Benaim’s INVASION, on the US invasion of Panama; Lotje Sodderland and Sophie Robinson’s MY BEAUTIFUL BROKEN BRAIN, which follows a woman as she recovers from a debilitating stroke; Roel Nollet’s NATHAN – FREE AS A BIRD, about an FTM man whose disappointment over life led to euthanasia; Heidi Specogna’s PEPE MUJICA – LESSONS FROM THE FLOWERBED (pictured), an intimate portrait of Uruguay’s charismatic president; and Anja Pohl and Jörg Adolph’s MAKING OF HEIMAT, a behind-the-scenes of Edgar Reitz’s masterwork.
Additional titles in Panorama include: Tomas Kaan’s WE ARE 18 (pictured), which follows a group of teens in an unfamiliar setting; Sunny Bergman’s OUR COLONIAL HANGOVER, examining the Black Pete debate in Dutch Christmas iconography; Nelleke Koop’s FLOATING BODIES, about forensic scientists and their relationship to the victims with whom they deal; Sandra Madi’s SAKEN, a profile of friendship between a man and his caretaker in a Jordanian hospital; Mazyar Moshtagh Gohari’s CECHANOK, an observational film about Middle Eastern falconry; Zhou Hao’s COTTON, which explores the cotton industry in China.
The fest screens a number of music documentaries, including Katarzyna Kasica’s THE BREATH OF THE ORCHESTRA, a profile of an orchestra that utilizes period 18th century instruments; and Andrew Horn’s WE ARE TWISTED FUCKING SISTER!, a raucous history of the long-running titular band; while hybrid projects appear in Paradocs – primarily shorter form, as well as Phillip Warnell’s feature MING OF HARLEM – TWENTY ONE STOREYS IN THE AIR, about the man who kept an alligator and tiger in his apartment; and Kids & Docs focuses on youth, including Kenneth Elvebakk’s BALLET BOYS, which profiles three teenage boys aspiring to be professional dancers.
Finally, IDFA’s Special Focus includes various recent films and retrospectives around different themes, including guest curator Heddy Honigmann’s specially-picked Top 10 and selections of her own work.