IDFAcademy unveils selected projects and first tutors for IDFAcademy Summer School 2019

    Sophie Fiennes and Gladys Joujou are among the tutors to guide 16 documentary projects selected for this year’s IDFAcademy Summer School. Discover the documentary talents participating in the next edition of our renowned training program, taking place July 1-6.

    We are delighted to announce the 16 documentary projects selected for this year’s fast-approaching IDFAcademy Summer School. With filmmaking teams hailing from 15 countries including Colombia, Lebanon, Serbia, Mali, and China, the 2019 selection proves to be exciting, eclectic, and full of promise. Over the course of one week, these international documentary talents will convene in Amsterdam to develop their scripts or rough cuts with hands-on tutoring from industry luminaries.

    Confirmed tutors this year include renowned filmmaker Sophie Fiennes and celebrated editor Gladys Joujou. Acclaimed for titles such as Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami and The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema, Fiennes returned to IDFA last year where she screened her latest short film Artificial Things and delivered a Masterclass at IDFAcademy. Alongside Fiennes, industry veteran Gladys Joujou will also join the Summer School as tutor, sharing her editing expertise as seen in films such as Whose Country? and Ghost Hunting. We are overjoyed to welcome Fiennes and Joujou to the Summer School for the first time. More tutors to be announced soon.

    The new Summer School selection also sees the return of several IDFA-selected filmmakers, as well as 6 projects supported by the IDFA Bertha Fund. Familiar names include María Silvia Esteve, whose 2018 film Silvia premiered in the IDFA Competition for First Appearance. Kamar Ahmad Simon is known to IDFA for his 2012 title Are You Listening!, which screened in IDFA’s Panorama section after being workshopped at the Summer School for script development. Director Mirka Duijn also returns to IDFA with her new project after the success of The Industry VR in last year’s IDFA DocLab Competition for Immersive Non-Fiction, one of several IDFA-selected titles over the last decade.

    Filmmaker Sophie Fiennes, one of the first tutors announced for IDFAcademy Summer School 2019.

    Selected projects: Script Development

    Embodied Chorus.* Danielle Davie and Mohamad Sabbah. Lebanon, Germany.
    An HIV positive woman and a gay man who lived with HPV enter into a dialogue and open a cinematic conversation about their experiences with Sexually Transmitted Infections. They share their own stories and those of other individuals, surpass the shame, and step into resilience.

    Everyone Is Looking for What They Don't Have. Stefan Malešević and Jasmin Bašić. Serbia, France.
    In a muddy, impoverished village in North Macedonia live the Bektashi dervishes, Muslims who drink alcohol during sermon, treat women as equals, and spread the word of Allah using humor. Besides other issues, their community is troubled by internal conflicts and divisions.

    Intensive Life Unit. Adéla Komrzý and Mariana Kozáková. Czech Republic.
    A drama with absurd elements set in the current age of technological advances. Exploring the capability of doctors and patients to learn and to communicate the simple, yet long forgotten truth: death.

    Loving Martha.* Daniela López and Sara Nanclares. Colombia.
    After 39 years married to an abusive man, Martha gives her granddaughter Daniela a journal and four audiotapes in which she had registered the heart-breaking moments of violence she endured by the side of her former husband Amando. By doing so, Martha has one only purpose: that Daniela does not repeat her story.

    Mailin. María Silvia Esteve. Argentina.
    A journey of reconstruction of the memory of Mailin Gobbo, in which the sensations and images that once lacked meaning today make up a childhood of abuse.

    The Mother of all Lies.* Asmae El Moudir and Lucie Rego. Morocco, France.
    A young Moroccan woman’s search for truth becomes entangled in a web of lies from her family history. As a daughter and filmmaker, Asmae fuses personal and national history as she reflects on the 1981 Bread Riots, drawing out connections to contemporary Morocco.

    Oh Father I Don't Want to Hate You. Dawood Hilmandi. The Netherlands, Afghanistan.
    Years after he ran away from home as a boy to find his freedom in the ‘West,’ an Afghan-Dutch filmmaker goes back to challenge himself and his authoritarian father, questioning him about the notion of freedom.

    Shangri-La, Paradise under Construction. Mirka Duijn and Nina Spiering. Netherlands, France.
    A travelogue through Shangri-La; a fictitious paradise from the British classic novel Lost Horizon. Twenty years ago a Tibetan tourist spot in China presented scientific proof that it was the real Shangri-La. In her search for the truth behind the supposed evidence the filmmaker excavates layers of fact and fiction of the area. What words and images have attached themselves to facts? How do stories come into being and how do they shape reality?

    Still I Rise. Pary El-Qalqili and Zorana Musikic. Germany, France, Palestine.
    A girl is released from prison: a turning point in her life which will prove decisive for her future. A coming-of-age tale between politics, the media, and the girl’s desires in the midst of adolescence.

    Witnesses from the Shadows. Ousmane Samassekou. France, Mali.
    A place of transit for migrants in turmoil, the House of Migrants in Gao, Mali lends an ear, and provides them with a roof, meals, and psychological help. In this place, migrants become aware of the damage done, and prepare themselves to confront the return to their families.


    Selected projects: Editing Consultancy

    Between Two Wars.* Alina Gorlova and Olga Zhurba. Ukraine, Latvia.
    The story of one big Kurdish family from Syria, spread over the world because of war, shown through the perspective of a young son. Living in Ukraine, Iraq, and Germany, they try to find their place and save the connection with each other, fighting the huge black and white war machine each their own way.

    Day After...* Kamar Ahmad Simon and Saikat Sekhareswar Ray. Bangladesh.
    What if a river could tell stories? Portraying a four-day, three-night journey with 300 travelers over a 200-kilometer waterway on a 90-year-old paddle steamer, Day After is a metaphorical journey of the 160 million Muslim majority in Bangladesh. The second part of a trilogy, Day After takes place the night before a national election.

    Gentle Warriors. Marija Stonyte and Mirjam Jegorov. Lithuania, Estonia.
    Gentle Warriors takes us on the journey of a girl becoming a warrior in the military and in her own life.

    Globus. Clara Kleininger and Piotr Bodak. Poland, Romania.
    Can Adi and Mioara, wild animal trainers at the circus, adapt to a changing world when the animal shows are banned and the circus tries to reinvent itself?

    Have a Nice Day!* Tali Yankelevich and Marco del Fiol. Brazil.
    This documentary follows the day to day of employees who are just cogs in the wheel of a large supermarket store. As their journey subverts the mundane, we learn their pains and joys, their unlikely dreams, and most profound existential questionings.

    My Mom and My Little Secret. Runze Yu and Siyi Chen. China.
    An intimate portrait of the filmmaker – a closeted gay man – and his estranged mother, living in Beijing. She desperately wants him to get married and have children. Will revealing his secret bring their family closer together – or tear it apart completely?


    *projects supported by the IDFA Bertha Fund.

    IDFAcademy is supported by Dioraphte, VEVAM, and Creative Europe Media.

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