IDFA is delighted to present the second year of IDFA Project Space, the latest in the organization’s expanding slate of talent development programs. Born out of IDFA’s newly minted Filmmaker Support department, the 2021 program welcomes 16 international filmmaking teams as the core group of selected participants, each bringing a documentary project in the development or editing phase. From May until October, the program will match the participants with experienced tutors—directors, producers, or editors—to receive in-depth individual consultancies tailored to the teams’ specific needs and creative development.
New this year, the core selection of 16 teams will be joined by a larger cohort of talents for monthly plenary sessions and filmmaker talks that aim to inspire and empower the filmmaker throughout the filmmaking process—a pointed effort on sustaining projects with an extra push to get through the pandemic.
For that reason, the program selection also contains a notable crossover with the recent pool of IDFA alumni: filmmakers who have received some initial support from the IDFA Bertha Fund, IDFAcademy, and the festival, among other talents from the Netherlands and abroad.
Highlights of the overarching program include sessions on the director-producer relationship, working with documentary characters, and navigating the documentary market through COVID-19. Selected talents will also experience a wide range of masterclasses, filmmaker talks, and special film selections from IDFA’s online collection.
The 16 project teams selected for one-on-one IDFA Project Space consultancies are as follows:
Abo Zabaal Prison 1989 (Egypt)
Bassam Mortada (director), Ahmed Abuelfadl (editor)
Bassam, a filmmaker and activist, reaches out to his estranged father. He revisits and reconstructs traumatic memories of his father's political arrest and torture in 1989, which had decisive ramifications on Bassam and his mother. Can an immersive experience with their painful memories help them heal and move on?
Aeolus (the Netherlands)
Alex Pitstra (director)
In Aeolus, we follow the crew members of the eponymous installation vessel, from the bottom to the top of the ship’s hierarchy, as they construct one windmill in a new wind farm at sea. The aim: to propel humankind forward.
Shaunak Sen (director), Aman Mann (producer)
The story of Delhi’s apocalyptic air is told through an unlikely figure—the black kite, and its human entanglements.
Baby Jackfruit Baby Guava (Vietnam)
Nong Nhat Quang (director)
When an unplanned baby enters the lives of a conservative mother, mentally ill daughter, and detached gay son, the dysfunctional trio travels back in time through their diaries to mend ruptured bonds, rewrite memories, and prepare for a new cycle of motherhood.
Children of the Mist (Vietnam)
Ha Le Diem (director), Swann Dubus (editor and producer)
In the misty mountains of North Vietnam, a teenage Hmong girl walks the thin line between childhood and becoming an adult. Over a period of two years, girls in her minority are forced to lose their innocence, discover the traps of seduction, or fight for their independence.
Concrete Land (Jordan)
Asmahan Bkerat (director)
Concrete Land is an intimate look at the lives of a nomadic Bedouin family in their struggle to hold on to traditional life under the pressures of urbanization. Their only wish as a family is to stay together with their loyal yet eccentric pet sheep Badrya firmly by their side.
The Fabulous Gold Harvesting Machine (Chile)
Alfredo Pourailly (director), Francisco Hervé (producer)
Toto, the last gold digger in Tierra del Fuego, is now in his sixties. His body has been severely damaged by his work and he feels close to death, but stopping is not an option because he is not qualified for social security. His cowboy son Jorge designs a machine that should bring them a better future.
Inquiry (United Kingdom)
Lucy Parker (director)
Inquiry follows the journey of a present-day Public Inquiry into the alarming activities of an undercover policing unit which monitored the activities of political, environmental and family justice groups in the UK over a 40 year period.
Just Another Year (Belarus)
Ruslan Fedotow (director)
A year-long observation of passengers in the Moscow metro that, through a melancholic kaleidoscope of scenes, embraces momentous events in the everyday lives of contemporary Russian citizens.
Love Song. Pastorale (Georgia)
Tinatin Gurchiani (director), Tamar Gurchiani (producer)
How would you spend the last years of your life? With past, present, or future? And when the evening of life arrives, what would you remember? A film about love and passion and what remains at the end of life. Four stories about love in the elderly and the four seasons of love.
Loving Martha (Colombia)
Daniela López (director), Sara Nanclares (producer)
After 39 years of being married to an abusive man, my grandmother Martha gives me a journal and four audio tapes that contain heart-breaking moments of violence my grandfather Amando made her go through. By doing so, she has one only purpose: that I don’t repeat her story.
María Silvia Esteve (director), Laura Mara Tablón (producer)
Mailin tells her daughter a bedtime story, a metaphor that unfolds the protagonist’s search to recover the memory of her past. Through a collage of family recordings, pictures, and animated childhood drawings emerges the story of a small girl who, for 15 years, suffered the abuses of a school priest; a man who has just been exonerated by the law.
The Mother of All Lies (Morocco)
Asmae El Moudir (director)
A family’s web of lies and one young girl’s search to find the truth. Through her own voice, Asmae, daughter and filmmaker, flits between national and personal history to tell the 1981 Bread Riots in Morocco and shows how this event connects with contemporary Moroccan society.
The Soil and the Wings (Serbia)
Stefan Malešević (director)
Most of the Bektashi-dervishes living in Kanatlar, a small tobacco-growing village in North Macedonia, see Ayten as a motherly figure. Her husband Erdogan is a dervish priest of the highest rank in their temple. This hard-working couple shows how equality blooms where you would least expect it—in a rural community of Muslims devoted to religion, family, and tradition.
The Two Mountains Weighing Down My Chest (China)
Viv Li (director)
Animated boobies of a 30-year-old Chinese woman force her to confront her family and society about her upbringing as a boy, her confused sexuality, and her cultural identity, meanwhile reflecting China’s rapidly changing recent history. The film is a hybrid documentary about femininity, memory, family, and the habit of silencing.
Untitled project (The Netherlands, Afghanistan)
Dawood Hilmandi (director)