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IDFA 2020 IDFA for Professionals

EXCLUSIVE: IDFA Forum announces this year’s selected projects, a new award and a brand-new category

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- The Dutch gathering’s Forum will take place online from 16-20 November and will host a total of 63 new projects

EXCLUSIVE: IDFA Forum announces this year’s selected projects, a new award and a brand-new category
Burn the Cuckoo’s Nest by Jo Sol

The International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) has announced the 63 projects selected to be pitched at the 28th edition of the IDFA Forum, the festival’s co-production and co-financing market. Traditionally, the section welcomes both established filmmakers and new voices to the international stage.

Notable filmmakers in the selection include Maria Ramos, pitching the new investigative project Justice Under Suspicion, on state rule in present-day Brazil, and Andrei Ujica with his new found-footage project Things We Said Today, revolving around daily life in New York during the summer of 1965, when The Beatles first came to town.

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Alongside the established names are emerging directors and producers ready to join the pitch line-up. Among them are Meena Nanji and Zippy Kimundu with the project Testament, tracing the colonial atrocities of Kenya; and Everlane Moraes and Felipe Tomazelli with the project Germano Black Society, on the social columnist who is increasing the visibility of black culture in Brazil. Furthermore, rough cuts in the selection include Mila Turajlić’s The Labudovic Reels, which dives into the vaults of Josip Broz Tito’s official cameraman, and Victoria Fiore’s Hide and Seek, a first-hand look at Naples’ often-glorified criminal underworld and its impact on one local family.

Meanwhile, 15 projects have been selected for the IDFA DocLab Forum, the market’s new media strand, whose artists use different formats, such as live performances, full-dome experiences, web-based interactive elements, virtual reality and dance. Among the selected projects are Joe Bini and Sam Green’s 32 Sounds, a sound-art piece that is also accessible to audiences who are blind or deaf; Klasien van de Zandschulp and Natalie Dixon’s interactive web series Good Neighbours, on the hilarious and uncomfortable truths of neighbourhood-watch communities; and Sacha Wares and Toby Coffey’s exhibition INSIDE: A Journey Into the World of Outsider Artist Judith Scott, on the celebrated 20th-century artist of the same name. Among the newcomers are Sunghwan Lee, presenting the VR project Carving with Memories: Ihyangjeong, and Soumya Mukhopadhyay, with her web-based experience A South Asian Queer Pamphlet.

In addition to the Forum’s traditional sections, 14 of the 63 projects have been selected for a brand-new category designed to support filmmakers through the pandemic. This new, temporary Forum section, called Extra Project, includes pre-arranged one-on-one meetings with financiers, commissioning editors and other decision-makers, offering project teams the chance to follow up on industry connections made at other online markets this year. Notable projects in this category include Maia Lekow and Christopher King’s How to Build a Library, Theo Montoya’s Anhell69, and Draw for Change!, the new documentary series helmed by Laura Nix, Kim Longinotto, Nada Riyadh, Karen Vazquez Guadarrama, Arya Rothe and Anna Moiseenko. The Forum will also introduce a new accolade, the IDFA Forum Award for Best Pitch (valued at €2,500), set to be handed out by an international jury in the market’s film and new-media sections. The award winners will be announced online at the Forum’s celebratory closing event on 20 November.

Speaking about the final selection, IDFA head of industry Adriek Van Nieuwenhuijzen said: “We were impressed by the exceptional quality of the projects this year. All of the productions have been affected by COVID-19 in one way or another, but this selection also shows the resilience of the industry and the creativity of filmmakers and artists. Directors, producers and makers are still creating outstanding projects, and the Forum is finding new ways to support them in finding production and financing partners to realise their work.”

Remarkably, this year’s selection is particularly diverse, with a strong representation of female pitch teams. In the Forum, women make up 64% of the producers and directors, whilst in the DocLab Forum, 46% are women. Finally, the Forum will host projects from 45 different production and co-production countries.

Here is the complete list of projects set to take part:

African Space Makers - Vincenzo Cavallo (Kenya/Germany)
Producer: Vincenzo Cavallo for Cultural Video Production (Germany), The Nrb Bus (Kenya)

Airborne - Shaunak Sen (India)
Producers: Aman Mann, Shaunak Sen

Al Haya Helwa (Life Is Beautiful) - Mohamed Jabaly (Norway/Palestine)
Producer: KriStine Ann Skaret for Stray Dog Productions AS (Norway), Mohanad Yaqubi for Idioms Films (Palestine)

Alis - Nicolas van Hemelryck, Clare Weiskopf (Colombia/France/Germany/Denmark/Chile)
Producers: Nicolas van Hemelryck and Clare Weiskopf for Casatarantula (Colombia), Charlotte Uzu for Les Films d’Ici (France)

Amalie’s Shadow - Esther Niemeier (Germany)
Producers: Dirk Decker and Andrea Schütte for Tamtam Film GmbH

Ancestral Secret VR - Francisca Silva (Chile)
Producer: María José Díaz for Galgo Storytelling

Anchor Baby - Ana Veselic, Jessica Chermayeff (USA)
Producers: Jessica Chermayeff and Ana Veselic for Cousins, Isabel Castro

Angel - Diary of a Planned Death - Fernando González (Spain)
Producer: Laura Collado Bossi for Producciones del Barrio

Anhell69 - Theo Montoya (Colombia/Argentina/Romania)
Producer: Juan Pablo Castrillón for Desvio Visual (Colombia)

Apollonia, Apollonia - Lea Glob (Denmark/Poland)
Producer: Sidsel Lønvig Siersted for Danish Documentary (Denmark)

The Broom - Nim Shapira (Israel)
Producer: Nim Shapira

Burn the Cuckoo’s Nest - Jo Sol (Spain)
Producer: Jo Sol for Shaktimetta produccions SL

Carving with Memories: Ihyangjeong - Sunghwan Lee (South Korea)
Producers: Rene Hyewon Lee, Mina Hyeon, Jay Kim and Sugon Kim for Giioii, Studio Shelter

Culture Archive - Kidus Hailesilassie and Ainslee Robson (USA/Ghana/Ethiopia)
Producers: Kidus Hailesilassie, Ainslee Robson and Liam Young

Daniel & Daniela - Sofia Pinto Coelho (Portugal)
Producer: Pandora da Cunha Telles and Pablo Iraola for Ukbar Filmes

Diktatura - Sindi Breshani (UK/Albania)
Producer: Sindi Breshani

Draw for Change! - Laura Nix, Kim Longinotto, Nada Riyadh, Karen Vazquez Guadarrama, Arya Rothe and Anna Moiseenko (Belgium/USA/Netherlands/Luxembourg/Denmark/France)
Producer: Hanne Phlypo for Clin d'Oeil films (Belgium)

The Driven Ones - Piet Baumgartner (Switzerland)
Producer: Sarah Born for Catpics Ltd

The First 54 Years - Avi Mograbi (France/Israel/Finland)
Producers: Serge Lalou and Camille Laemlé for Les Films d’Ici (France), Annie Ohayon Dekel for 24images (France)

A Fugitive in Cannes - Dimitri Kourtchine, Marie-Christine Malbert (France)
Producer: Estelle Fialon for Les Films du Poisson

Future Rites - Sandra Rodriguez and Alexander Whitley (UK/Canada)
Producers: Alexander Whitley and Donna Meierdiercks for Alexander Whitley Dance Company (UK), Sebastien Grenier-Cartier for Normal Studio (Canada)

Germano Black Society - Everlane Moraes (Brazil)
Producer: Felipe Tomazelli

F@ck This Job - Vera Krichevskaya (UK/Germany)
Producer: Vera Krichevskaya for Six Days Film (UK)

The Garden of Ghost Flowers - Lundahl & Seitl (Sweden/UK)
Producer: Emma Ward

The Golden Thread - Nishtha Jain (India/Netherlands/Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Producer: Nishtha Jain for Raintree Films (India)

Good Neighbours - Natalie Dixon, Klasien van de Zandschulp (Netherlands/UK)
Producer: Corine Meijers for Biarritz Studio (Netherlands)

Hide and Seek (Nascondino) - Victoria Fiore (UK/Italy)
Producers: Aleksandra Bilic and Jennifer Corcoran for My Accomplice (UK)

A House Made of Splinters - Simon Lereng Wilmont (Denmark/Sweden/Finland/Ukraine)
Producer: Monica Hellström for Final Cut for Real (Denmark)

How to Build a Library - Maia Lekow and Christopher King (Kenya)
Producers: Maia Lekow and Christopher King for Circle and Square Productions (Kenya), Biki Kangwana

INSIDE: A Journey Into the World of Outsider Artist Judith Scott - Sacha Wares (UK/Canada)
Producer: Toby Coffey for National Theatre (UK)

Just For One Day - Dale Herigstad and Johannes Brandrup (Germany/UK)
Producer: Stefan Marx for ZAUBAR (Germany)

Justice Under Suspicion - Maria Ramos (Brazil/France)
Producer: Jose Buarque Ferreira for Nofoco Filmes (Brazil)

Kamay - Shahrokh Bikaran, Ilyas Yourish (Afghanistan/Denmark)
Producers: Ilyas Yourish and Shahrokh Bikaran

Karuara, People of the River - Miguel Araoz Cartagena and Stephanie Boyd (Peru)
Producer: Stephanie Boyd for Asociación Quisca

The Labudovic Reels - Mila Turajlić (Serbia/France/Montenegro/Croatia)
Producers: Mila Turajlić for Dribbling Pictures (Serbia), Carine Chichkowsky for Survivance (France)

Letters from Ms. Iran - Farahnaz Sharifi, Leyla Rouhi (Iran)
Producer: Farahnaz Sharifi

Lili - Sylwia Rosak (Poland)
Producer: Tomasz Morawski for HAKA Films

Loving Highsmith - Eva Vitija (Switzerland/Germany)
Producer: Franziska Sonder and Maurizius Staerkle Drux for Ensemble Film Gmbh (Switzerland)

Made in Ethiopia - Max Duncan and Xinyan Yu (USA/Canada)
Producer: Max Duncan and Xinyan Yu

Mom of the Ring - Yue Wu (China/South Korea)
Producer: Vincent Du for DuGood Productions (China)

Motherland - Hanna Badziaka and Alexander Mihalkovich (Belarus/Ukraine/Sweden)
Producer: Alexander Mihalkovich for Voka Films (Belarus)

Obsessed with Light - Sabine Krayenbühl and Zeva Oelbaum (USA/France)
Producers: Zeva Oelbaum for Between The Rivers Productions (USA), Sabine Krayenbühl for Between The Rivers Productions (France)

Of Boys and Men - Anders S Jepsen (Denmark)
Producer: Anne Köhncke for Final Cut for Real

One in a Million - Jack MacInnes and Itab Azzam (UK)
Producers: Itab Azzam and Jack MacInnes

The Pulp - Aubrey Heichemer (Germany)
Producer: Aubrey Heichemer for Vr Coven

Queen of Chess - Bernadett Tuza-Ritter (Hungary/Germany)
Producer: Peter Stern for Queenside Pictures (Hungary)

Song of Summer and Winter - Talal Derki (Denmark/Germany)
Producers: Sigrid Dyekjaer for Siggi Production (Denmark), Heba Khaled for Jouzour Film Production UG (Germany)

A South Asian Queer Pamphlet - Soumya Mukhopadhyay (India)
Producers: Soumya Mukhopadhyay for Cherrypix Movies, Patralika Mukherjee

Survival of the Richest - Liz Mermin (Netherlands/France)
Producers: Femke Wolting for Submarine Docs (Netherlands), Christoph Jörg for Pumpernickel Films (France)

Sweeties - Natalie Bruijns, Anneke De Lind van Wijngaarden (Netherlands)
Producer: Iris Lammertsma for Witfilm

Symbiosis - Marcel van Brakel (Netherlands/Italy)
Producers: Corine Meijers and Marieke Nooren for Polymorf (Netherlands)

A Symphony of Noise - Enrique Sánchez Lansch (Germany)
Producer: Stefan Kloos for Kloos & Co. Medien (Germany)

Testament - Meena Nanji and Zippy Kimundu (USA/Kenya/Portugal)
Producer: Meena Nanji for Twende Pictures (USA), Zippy Kimundu for Afrofilms International Ltd (Kenya)

There Exists - Anrick Bregman (UK)
Producer: Shehani Fernando

Things We Said Today - Andrei Ujica (Romania/France)
Producers: Anamaria Antoci for Tangaj Production (Romania), Andrei Ujica for Modern Electric Pictures (France)

This Is My Moment - Lieven Corthouts (Belgium/France/Netherlands)
Producers: Magalie Dierick for Cassette for Timescapes (Belgium), Emmy Oost for Cassette for Timescapes (France)

Thunder and Drum - François Blouin (Canada/Denmark/Greenland)
Producers: Charles S Roy for La Maison de Prod (Canada), Peter Fisher for Khora VR (Denmark), Emile Hertling Péronard for Ánorâk Film (Greenland)

The Trans Syrian Express - Alina Rudnitskaya (Finland/Poland/Russia)
Producer: Pertti Veijalainen for Illume

The True Film - Christina Zimmermann (Switzerland)
Producer: Susanne Guggenberger for Mira Film GmbH

We Are Inside - Farah Kassem (Lebanon/Denmark)
Producer: Cynthia Choucair for Road2Films (Lebanon)

Witnesses from Shadows - Ousmane Samassekou (France/Mali/South Africa)
Producer: Estelle Robin You for Les Films du Balibari (France)

32 Sounds - Sam Green (USA)
Producers: Josh Penn for The Department of Motion Pictures, Evan Neff

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