IDFA 2021 opens with Four Journeys in Amsterdam’s Carré theater

    Last night, the 34th International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) was officially opened in Royal Carré Theater with the world premiere of Four Journeys by Louis Hothothot (Louis Yi Liu). The in-person edition of IDFA runs in over 50 theaters and venues in the Netherlands until November 28.

    The festive opening night ceremony took place in front of an audience in Carré where Artistic Director Orwa Nyrabia welcomed back all documentary professionals and guests to Amsterdam.

    "Despite everything, the distinguished IDFA audience is showing much commitment. We clearly see this in the ticket sales, which are much higher than we anticipated, and in the more than 2,000 professionals who are joining us physically, even though we provided a considerable amount of hybrid programming. We take these facts as serious expressions of interest from the majority of our stakeholders: we want to be back, we want films in the cinema, we want to meet up, and we are all willing to share the responsibility of making it a successful, safe, and healthy experience!"

    "Let’s not be afraid of exaggerating our health and safety measures, and let’s go on with our lives, staying healthy and positive. As for our dear colleagues who will not be joining us, we wait for you online, and you are always there with us, no matter what," said Artistic Director Orwa Nyrabia.

    The festival is now welcoming over 2000 international guests to Amsterdam and some 300 professionals that will join the festival online. IDFA will honor all protocols issued by the Dutch government in addition to the festival’s own comprehensive health and safety measures, prioritizing the wellbeing of all in attendance.

    Opening film of IDFA 2021: Four Journeys by Louis Hothothot (Louis Yi Liu)

    The festival opened with Four Journeys (Netherlands), directed by Amsterdam-based Chinese director Louis Hothothot (Louis Yi Liu), who took to the stage after the screening.

    The 34th edition of IDFA lasts  until  Sunday,  November 28, and will take place in over 50 theaters and venues across Amsterdam and the Netherlands. In those venues, IDFA will present 264 films, performances, and new media projects from 81 countries, including co-production countries.

    The IDFA Awards Ceremony, which will be live-streamed for everyone, will take place on the evening of Thursday, November 25, where the winners in the various competition categories will be announced. The Awards Ceremony will take place in Amsterdam’s Compagnietheater.

    Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds Documentary Stipend goes to Maasja Ooms and Stefan Pavlović

    During tonight’s opening ceremony, the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds Documentary Stipend (worth €50,000) was awarded two-fold to filmmakers Maasja Ooms and Stefan Pavlović, who both have a film in this year’s festival program.

    The awarded sum is intended to financially support their next documentary projects and their already-established careers in documentary film. The award was handed out by last year’s laureate, filmmaker Aboozar Amini.

    Talks with filmmakers and guests during the festival

    Throughout the upcoming festival, IDFA will host over 60 talks to accompany its film and industry programs, giving festival visitors unique insight into the filmmakers’ backgrounds, the journeys behind the films, and current developments in the documentary film industry.

    The robust program is divided into the categories Film Talks, Filmmaker Talks, IDFA Dialogues, and Industry Talks & Sessions. All events will be hosted as in-person events, and a selection will be recorded and made available on-demand to all accredited guests in the Talks Library within 24 hours of the live event.

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