Head Games

Steve James, USA, 2012, color, DCP, 92'
Synopsis

Christopher Nowinski is a Harvard graduate and former football player and wrestler. For 12 months, he was plagued by headaches, nausea and sleepwalking, and it ultimately meant an end to his athletic career. A friend suggested that he go to a medical specialist, and that's where Nowinski discovered he had probably suffered brain damage. Over the years, he had gotten perhaps a hundred concussions that were never diagnosed as such, and Nowinski is by no means an exception. Scientific research suggests that brain damage is widespread among American athletes, especially those playing ice hockey, football and soccer. The consequences can be dramatic. One 40-year-old former athlete tried to strangle his son of 14; a few weeks later, this same man committed suicide in front of his wife, with his children in the next room. More and more stories of this kind have been appearing in recent years. The problem is that it's only possible to diagnose the damage with any certainty posthumously - and there's no treatment for it, anyway. But it's difficult to convince American youth, or their parents and coaches, of the dangers - especially when sports are so important for both individual triumph and communities. Besides, being a crybaby just isn't cool.

Accreditation for IDFA 2014 is now open! Join us to celebrate the documentary genre at the 27th edition of IDFA! The deadline for accreditation is October 10.
IDFA Bertha Fund selects 19 new projects July 8, 2014 | The IDFA Bertha Fund has concluded the May selection round of 2014. Nineteen documentary projects from countries like Nicaragua, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan and South-Sudan will be supported by the fund.
New collaboration with Docu Rough Cut Boutique July 8, 2014 | IDFA is proud to announce a new collaboration with the Sarajevo Film Festival and Balkan Documentary Center's Docu Rough Cut Boutique, where every year five projects from the Balkan and Caucasus region receive tailor-made coaching with an eye to moving forward the projects in their final stage.
Summer School's Out July 6, 2014 | The seventh edition of the IDFAcademy Summer School has closed its doors. For six days, young and upcoming talents from 15 different countries worked tirelessly on their projects, supported by eight renowned tutors, among whom was editor Ollie Huddleston: “If you think too much about what other people think, you can get really lost.”
Digital and interactive storytelling at IDFA 2014 July 4, 2014 | Since 2008, IDFA explores the future of non-fiction storytelling with its DocLab program and the Forum for crossmedia projects. This year, in collaboration with De Brakke Grond, we will present the biggest interactive storytelling program yet. We look forward to consider your interactive, transmedia and virtual reality projects.

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IDFAindustry @IDFAindustry 2 days ago
Idfa award for most promising doc project presented at @durbanfilmmart is The Sound of Masks by Kofi Zwans & Sara Gouveia from South Africa!
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RT @RaulNinoZ: Heading to Rio de Janeiro to watch the latest Brazilian documentaries for @idfa 2014 @AncineGovBr http://t.co/8ZMR7DekrU
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