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FESTIVALS Netherlands

The IDFA kicks off with Guido Hendrikx’s Stranger in Paradise

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- Director Peter Triest won the 2016 Mediafonds Documentary Award on the opening night of the festival, which runs until 27 November

The IDFA kicks off with Guido Hendrikx’s Stranger in Paradise
Director Guido Hendrikx and the crew of Stranger in Paradise

The 29th International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) officially kicked off on 16 November with a screening of Stranger in Paradise [+see also:
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, a film by Dutch director Guido Hendrikx that explores the relationship between Europe and the current wave of refugees. The feature is one of the 15 documentaries selected to screen in both the festival’s Dutch Competition and the First Appearance Competition.

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Besides the screening of Hendrikx’s film, the IDFA’s opening evening was graced with the presence of director Peter Triest, who was granted the 2016 Mediafonds Documentary Award (worth €125,000) for the film plan that he prepared for Parked Lives at the IDFA-Mediafonds Workshop (a cooperative programme between the IDFA and the Mediafonds). Parked Lives centres on one of the more than two million Eastern European truck drivers who spend 46 weeks of the year criss-crossing Southern and Western Europe.

Around 200 titles will screen within the festival’s several sections, 15 of which in the main feature-length section, whose jury includes Yuri Ancarani (Italy), Jordana Berg (Brazil), Tom Paul (USA), Ingrid van Tol (the Netherlands) and Debra Zimmerman (USA).

Almost all of the titles competing hail from European co-production schemes: Burning Out [+see also:
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 by Jerôme le Maire (Belgium/France/Switzerland), Amateurs in Space by Max Kestner (Denmark), Gogita’s New Life [+see also:
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by Levan Koguashvili (Georgia/Croatia), The Good Postman by Tonislav Hristov (Finland/Bulgaria), How to Meet a Mermaid by Coco Schrijber (the Netherlands/Denmark/Belgium), In Loco Parentis [+see also:
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 by Neasa Ní Chianáin (Ireland/Spain), Like Dew in the Sun [+see also:
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by Peter Entell (Switzerland), Miss Kiet’s Children by Peter Lataster and Petra Lataster-Czisch (the Netherlands), Mogadishu Soldier by Torstein Grude (Norway/Finland/Denmark), Nowhere to Hide by Zaradasht Ahmed (Norway/Sweden), What We Have Made by Fanny Tondre (France), You Have No Idea How Much I Love You by Pawel Lozinski (Poland), Machines [+see also:
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 by Rahul Jain (India/Germany/Finland), The Grown-Ups [+see also:
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by Maite Alberdi (Chile/the Netherlands/France) and Still Tomorrow by Jian Fan (China).

Besides the film sessions open to the public, the IDFA is also a globally recognised, industry-driven festival including parallel events such as Docs For Sale, which gathers together over 300 TV buyers, sales agents and distributors; the IDFA Forum, a co-production and co-financing market; the IDFAcademy programme; and the IDFA DocLab, which focuses on how the digital revolution is reshaping documentary art.

The IDFA 2016 runs until 27 November, but the awards ceremony will take place in advance, on 23 November, at Amsterdam’s Stadsschouwburg.

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