Every year, hundreds of documentary projects get support from the IDFA institute via its film fund, talent development programs, and co-production and co-financing market. Many go on to premiere at A-list festivals, win awards, and have successful theatrical releases. In addition, several films from the yearly harvest typically make it into the IDFA selection, and this year is no different. With the complete festival program now announced, here are the 18 titles supported by the IDFA Bertha Fund, IDFAcademy, and IDFA Forum in the IDFA 2020 selection.
The festival’s opening film, Nothing but the Sun by Arami Ullón, is a notable alumnus of IDFAcademy Summer School, one of IDFA’s major talent development programs held annually in Amsterdam. After developing the film’s script at Summer School 2018, Ullón brings the world premiere to IDFA’s opening night, after which the film will screen in the festival’s Feature-Length competition.
A strong selection of IDFA-supported films join Nothing but the Sun in the various competition programs. Having previously pitched at IDFA Forum, Renzo Martens’ highly anticipated White Cube is selected for IDFA's Feature-Length and Dutch competitions, alongside Heddy Honigmann’s 100UP in the Dutch competition. Other Forum titles in competition include Cabinets of Wonder by Susanne Kim in the Kids & Docs competition, and Under the Skin by João Inada in the IDFA DocLab Competition for Digital Storytelling. Supported by the IDFA Bertha Fund, Radiograph of a Family by Firouzeh Khosrovani is selected for the Feature-Length competition and Creative Use of Archive competition, and 5 Houses by Bruno Gularte Barreto and This Rain Will Never Stop by Alina Gorlova are selected for the First Appearance competition, two titles which also workshopped at IDFAcademy Summer School in previous years.
Other films come to IDFA’s Best of Fests section after completing a successful run at top international festivals, winning several awards in the process. Among them are Anabel Rodríguez’s Once Upon a Time in Venezuela and Iryna Tsilyk’s The Earth Is Blue as an Orange, both alumni of IDFAcademy and grantees of the IDFA Bertha Fund. Four titles that previously pitched at the Forum are also in the Best of Fests selection: The Truffle Hunters by Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw, Songs of Repression by Estephan Wagner and Marianne Hougen-Moraga, The Art of Living in Danger by Mina Keshavarz, and The Mole Agent by Maite Alberdi, with the latter also supported by the IDFA Bertha Fund.
Beyond the film and new media programs, two IDFA Bertha Fund-supported directors will give a Filmmaker Talk during the festival: Dieudo Hamadi, whose Downstream to Kinshasa screens in the Masters section, and Firouzeh Khosrovani, whose Radiograph of a Family premieres in competition. IDFAcademy alumnus Arami Ullón, director of the opening film, will also give a Filmmaker Talk during the festival.
Finally, eight documentary projects supported by the IDFA Bertha Fund and three from IDFAcademy will now come to IDFA Forum, where they will be presented to key decision makers. These include Witnesses from the Shadows by Ousmane Samassekou, The Golden Thread by Nishtha Jain, Testament by Meena Nanji and Zippy Kimundu, and Apolonia, Apolonia by Lea Glob.
The IDFA Bertha Fund is supported by Bertha Foundation, Creative Europe Media, JustFilms / Ford Foundation, and Special Friends+. IDFA Forum is made possible by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science of the Netherlands and Creative Europe Media. IDFA's talent development program is made possible by Creative Europe Media, Dioraphte, VEVAM, Videoland, and NPO Fund.