Torre David: The World's Tallest Squat

Daniel Schwartz, Markus Kneer, Venezuela / Switzerland, 2013, color, DCP, 23'
Synopsis

Torre David is the world's tallest squat. This skyscraper in the center of Caracas, Venezuela, was never completed and stood vacant for over a decade. Five years ago, 750 families from the slums moved into the tower, installed water and electricity, and turned this building intended as bank headquarters into their home. “For me, being here is an opportunity that came from a tragedy,” says one occupant who lost his house in a flood. With its open stairwells and gaping holes, this half-completed carcass of a building houses innumerable little paradises rising up from the concrete floors poured by the new residents themselves. There’s a shop, a basketball court, a parking garage, a guard and a lock on the door to keep out criminals. Forty percent of Caracas’s population lives in slums. “In the slum, life is lawless. Here, it’s safe,” explains one woman, and another explains how filthy the building was when they first entered five years ago. Photos illustrate the story in split screen. The squatters work communally to make the building habitable. Short interviews alternate with scenes from everyday life in the tower, accompanied by rap music from El Cancerbero and others.

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.

Twitter

IDFAindustry @IDFAindustry 6 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!
Open
IDFAindustry @IDFAindustry 10 days ago
RT @RaulNinoZ: Heading to Rio de Janeiro to watch the latest Brazilian documentaries for @idfa 2014 @AncineGovBr http://t.co/8ZMR7DekrU
Open
VPRO Oxfam Novib de Volkskrant BankGiro Loterij SNS Reaal