The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) is the world’s largest documentary film festival held annually since 1988 in Amsterdam.
The objective of the IDFA is to promote creative documentaries to as wide an audience as possible. The festival has grown to an eleven-day event, screening more than 200 documentaries and attracting nearly 120,000 visitors.
Rajai, a Palestinian “service” taxi driver ferries his passengers between East Jerusalem and Ramallah for 3 shekels a ride. En route, he either gives you insight into the daily challenges faced by Palestinians under Israeli occupation, or he drives you crazy. Or both. His take on the Intifada, suicide bombings and life in general is mirrored in his passengers—which include prominent Palestinian political and cultural figures, and more than one delightful cameo appearance in this blurry document of fact and fiction.
The intricate tale of Andy and Cherry looking for love and happiness in Shanghai. They are homosexual but their families demand a (heterosexual) marriage and a baby from them. Because being single and childless would mean an unacceptable loss of face for their rural families in the remote countryside where they live. Will Andy and Cherry deny their happiness and sexual orientation to satisfy their parents’ wishes? Their stories mirror the legal and cultural progress that is happening in China against the backdrop of a nation coming to terms with new moral values.
The world is increasingly divided by walls, physically separating the human beings living on either side of them. Brilliant editing connects people living and working on both sides of the controversial barriers between Mexico and the U.S., Spain and Morocco, and South Africa and Zimbabwe. This cinematic investigation explores the building and maintenance of these WALLS as a growing global phenomenon.
War of Lies is the story of an Iraqi refugee, whose information about portable weapons of mass destruction passed through the hands of the BND, MI6 and CIA. This information was ultimately used by the US government to legitimize the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Today we know the war was based on a lie. The press blamed Rafed Aljanab. He, however, proudly presents himself as the man who helped remove Saddam Hussein. Was Aljanabi really able to walk all over the world’s intelligence services and how did this lie become a convenient truth?
While the most prominent members of the controversial organisation Hammas are men, most of its field work is carried out by cadres of women supporters. These women of Hammas are the most powerful women in the Palestinian territories. Focusing on three such women, this film probes at their ideological commitment to the movement and gives us an insight into the work of those who remain in the shadows.
War and violence leave behind the dead, the wounded, the maimed, the victims and the witnesses. “Echoes of War” is a documentary with animated sequences about child survivors of wars and violent conflicts in Afghanistan, New York, Columbia and Sierra Leone. Children who have lost their parents through such tragedies take us into their lives and share their memories, nightmares and dreams. Through intertwining the children’s life stories with the animated sequences, the film offers a sensitive and moving portrayal about the consequences of war.
Belgian choreographer Alain Platel asked a number of older drag queens and trans cabaret artists to perform onstage one last time in his piece Gardenia, which became a global success.
The film intercuts shots from Gardenia with interviews in which these performers talk about the choices they made, going against the grain of conventions in order to become themselves. The contrast between their outrageous performances and their vulnerability offers unsettling but multifaceted insight into these remarkable individuals.
An acclaimed insight into the revolutionary potentials and personal dangers involved in video reportage. Filmmaker Anders Østergaard takes us behind the official headlines in Burma to brings us close to the country’s video journalists who keeping up the flow of news from within the borders despite risking torture and life in jail. Armed with small handycams they make their undercover reports, and smuggle the material out of the country to be broadcast back into Burma via satellite or offered to the international media for free.
The footage shot by these brave activists keeps the revolution alive.
Niels is 79 years old and one of the last idealistic farmers in the agricultural country of Denmark. He makes some of the world’s finest products, praised by the consumers, prized by the world’s best restaurant, NOMA in Copenhagen, and nursed in harmony with the universe. But Niels’ ways of farming in accordance with the planets and the primal instincts of the animals are not too popular with the authorities. They are threatening to withdraw his license to keep cattle, the buildings are deteriorating, and with no successor to take over, Niels risks seeing his life fall apart.
A native of Pirot in Serbia, Zoran has had an extraordinary career, coaching in countries such as Bangladesh, Phillipines, Sudan and Yemen. But nothing could prepare him for attempting to build a team from scratch in a nation rated as amongst the most undeveloped in the world. The film follows Zoran’s team over its first year.
Under intense pressure, the football team compete in their first ever major international tournament, overcoming malaria, death and poverty. Amidst the chaos a fascinating portrait emerges of the birth of a nation.