IDFA unveils its full 2023 line-up
- The world’s largest documentary festival will showcase over 250 titles and is set to open with Olga Chernykh’s A Picture to Remember
During the press conference held on Wednesday 18 October, International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) announced A Picture to Remember by Olga Chernykh as the opening film of its 2023 edition, alongside the main competition line-ups. The world’s largest documentary festival, set to showcase over 250 titles, will run in the Dutch capital from 8-19 November.
The opening picture, backed by the IDFA Bertha Fund and due to compete in the Envision strand, tells “a deeply personal and essay-style account of the ongoing war in Ukraine and its violent history, seen through the prism of three generations of women: Chernykh herself, her mother and her grandmother.”
This year’s International Competition is made up of 11 films (including nine world premieres) set to explore “contemporary conflict and turmoil through deeply personal experiences. […] With 17 countries represented, the selection takes us on a profound and human journey through the harsh realities of the most tumultuous conflicts of our time – from Gaza and Myanmar to Nagorno-Karabakh. By revisiting archives and engaging in recent debates, several filmmakers take on a critical re-examination of our established recounting of history. With the ever-rising urgency of the climate crisis, a number of selected filmmakers turn their attention to the rapidly unfolding consequences on our natural world,” states the official press release. The European productions and co-productions included in the section are Juan Palacios’ As the Tide Comes In [+see also:
film profile] (Denmark), Vita Maria Drygas’ Danger Zone [+see also:
interview: Vita Maria Drygas
film profile] (Poland/UK), Mohamed Jabaly’s Life Is Beautiful [+see also:
film profile] (Norway/Palestine), The Burden [+see also:
film profile] by Elvis Ngaibino Sabin (Central African Republic/France/Democratic Republic of the Congo/Italy), The Last by Sebastian Peña-Escobar (Paraguay/Uruguay/France), Limitation by Elene Asatiani and Soso Dumbadze (Georgia), and Selling a Colonial War by In-Soo Radstake (Netherlands).
Meanwhile, the Envision Competition will offer “12 unparalleled films, each of them stylistically arresting, as visionary filmmakers forge new cinematic languages”. The European-produced or -coproduced documentaries included in this strand are Jialai Wang’s Paragate (Belgium), Kumjana Novakova’s Silence of Reason [+see also:
film profile] (North Macedonia/Bosnia and Herzegovina), Chasing the Dazzling Light by Yaser Kassab (Syria/Qatar/Sweden), Damnatio Memoriae by Thunska Pansisvorakul (Thailand/Germany), the aforementioned A Picture to Remember and Dulce Fernandes’ Tales of Oblivion (Portugal).
During the press conference, IDFA also announced the 13 titles in its DocLab Competition for Immersive Non-Fiction (to find out more, please click here), which aims to “boldly expand the genre’s horizons, featuring a selection of multisensory experiences, live performances, artistic VR creations and immersive installations”, as well as the ten titles taking part in the DocLab Competition for Digital Storytelling, which “builds on the rich history of interactive storytelling with captivating works by both new talents and established names” (the line-up can be perused here). Moreover, the IDFA DocLab Spotlight section will include ten more out-of-competition titles, “bringing award-winning VR projects, immersive theatre and an expanded oﬀering of full-dome projects, aﬃrming the latter as a flourishing stage for new media” (check out the selected titles here).
On 4 October, the Dutch festival also announced the line-ups of its Short Documentary Competition (available here), Youth Documentary Competition (available here), Best of Fests section (available here) and a brand-new section called Signed (available here), which promises to showcase “a wide spectrum of artistic expression and explorations into film language, with celebrated filmmakers at various stages of their documentary careers.”
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