Yesterday’s post explored the competitive sections of the 29th edition of IDFA. Industry heading to Amsterdam for the festival tomorrow also have scores of titles to check out which are screening outside of competition, the focus of today’s follow-up:
The festival annually showcases the newest work by established creators in its Masters section. This year offers 17 recent titles that have been making the rounds on the circuit, from the likes of Steve James, Errol Morris, Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady, and Alex Gibney, as well as several that may be lesser known, such as: Marcus Vetter and Karin Steinberger’s DOC NYC entry THE PROMISE (pictured), about a sensationalized double homicide in the 1980s; Daniel Gordon’s HILLSBOROUGH, on the tragic deaths at a Sheffield soccer match; Dylan Williams and Erik Pauser’s THE BORNEO CASE, an exposé of environmental crimes by a Malaysian official; Nima Sarvestani’s PRISON SISTERS, which follows a former Afghan prisoner as she gains asylum; and Raymond Depardon’s FRANCE, a portrait of the country’s provincial life.
Similarly, Best of Fests brings to Dutch audiences 40 standout titles that have appeared at other notable festivals, including DOC NYC offerings: SANTOALLA (pictured), GOD KNOWS WHERE I AM, and FOREVER PURE, as well as Anna Zamecka’s COMMUNION, about a teenager who cares for her autistic brother; Jean Carper’s MONSTER IN THE MIND, a personal investigation into Alzheimer’s; and Tomas Koolhaas’ REM, a portrait of the filmmaker’s acclaimed architect.
The wide-ranging Panorama section offers 37 features hailing from around the world. European projects include: Mathijs Vleugels’ SILENT WILDERNESS, about a Belgian family’s search for their lost son; Mina Mileva and Vesela Kazakova’s THE BEAST IS STILL ALIVE, the Bulgarian filmmaker’s confrontation with Communism; Judith de Leeuw’s WELCOME TO THE HEAVENLY EARTH, a portrait of life in the remote North Sea region; Rehad Desai’s THE GIANT IS FALLING, a critical look at South Africa’s African National Congress; Lola Jia Liu’s ON THE BRIDGE OF DEATH AND LIFE, about a man who tries to stop suicides on the Yangtze River; Emil Langballe’s THE WAIT, about a high school student whose refugee status is threatened; Olga Delane’s SIBERIAN LOVE (pictured), about the filmmaker’s traditional family’s thoughts on love and marriage; Haibo Yu and Kiki Tianqi Yu’s CHINA’S VAN GOGHS, following a Chinese knock-off painter to Amsterdam; Gilles Laurent’s ABANDONED LAND, about residents who have braved radiation warnings to return to homes near Fukushima; and David Fernandez de Castro’s PRIORAT, detailing how a poor Catalonian area was developed into a leading wine region.
Panorama titles from outside of Europe include: Kesang Tseten’s TREMBLING MOUNTAIN, about the aftermath of last year’s earthquake in Nepal; Chairun Nissa’s CUTS, an inside look at Indonesian film censorship; Edward Ellis, Flor Salcedo, and Aaron Woolf’s TO BE A MISS, about the Venezuelan beauty contest world; Vincent Moloi’s SKULLS, OF MY PEOPLE, on the lingering impact of German colonial rule on Namibia; Hyewon Jee’s SINGING WITH ANGRY BIRD, which follows a Korean opera singer’s efforts to teach Indian slum children; Nada Riyadh and Ayman El Amir’s HAPPILY EVER AFTER, about a personal relationship set against Egypt’s Arab Spring; Bo Jiao’s MY FATHER AND MY MOTHER (pictured), the filmmaker’s 30-year chronicle of his parents’ lives; and DOC NYC title SACRED, Thomas Lennon’s look at ritual around the world, as captured by 40 filmmaking teams.
Other non-competitive strands include Music Documentaries, which offers Morten Traavik and Ugis Olte’s LIBERATION DAY (pictured), which follows a cult band from for the former Yugoslavia as they prepare to play in North Korea; experimental strand Paradocs, which includes Samira Elagoz’s CRAIGSLIST ALLSTARS, following the performance artist as she encounters men on the site; Rikun Zhu’s WELCOME, a landscape film voiced by censoring authorities; and Melanie Bonajo’s PROGRESS VS REGRESS, which questions senior citizens about modern technology.