IDFA Project Space NL supported by the NPO Fund, the annual training program for emerging Dutch-speaking documentary filmmaking talent, has officially begun. As in previous years, six documentary film talents have been selected to participate in the workshop aimed at developing their documentary projects under the guidance of experienced documentary filmmakers. This year, IDFA welcomes director Aliona van der Horst and director/producer Renko Douze as tutors. Together with guest tutors, these established filmmakers will offer professional guidance to the participants.
Following this several-month workshop, the participants will present their work to all Dutch public broadcasters during IDFA 2022. An independent jury will select one filmmaker as the winner of the Karen de Bok Talent Award—consisting of a prize granted by NPO Fund of up to €25,000 for the further development of the plan.
This year will once again place importance on an international outlook. In previous editions the guest lecturers were all part of the Dutch documentary film world. Since 2021, the workshop has additionally incorporated numerous international meetings from the IDFA Project Space program. The aim is to offer the participants an international outlook, to provide them with increased opportunities at IDFA’s international markets—where the filmmakers can establish connections with colleagues from across the world. The participants will partake in the kick off of their trajectory in the summer, during the on-site element of the IDFA Project Space program in Amsterdam. The week-long program will invite them to attend various Filmmaker Talks and screenings, alongside IDFA Project Space participants.
This year’s participants: Sakir Khader, Joris Koptod Nioky, Tomas Ponsteen, Nelly dos Reis, Floris Rijssenbeek, and Paul de Ruijter.
Sakir Khader is a director, investigative journalist, and cinematographer. Following his education in journalism, he worked for de Volkskrant, amongst others. Later, he worked as a reporter for Brandpunt (KRO-NCRV) with a focus on refugees, Syria, Turkey, and the Arab world. He made the mini-documentary film Het kind van de rekening for de Correspondent, and for NOS op 3, together with Lex Runderkamp, he made the short documentary film De ogen van Aleppo about young men from Aleppo who documented the war using photography.
Joris Koptod Nioky has worked as an artist for over twenty years, within various artistic disciplines: literature, music, and more recently cinematography. His first film Portret van een mislukt schrijver (Portrait of a failed writer) won the Gouden Berg prize for best debut film from the Netherlands Film Festival. His second feature film, Dit ben ik niet (This isn't me), can be seen on 2doc.nl.
Tomas Ponsteen started his career on the editorial boards of Dutch production houses. While working for Ljubljana Pride festival in Slovenia, he developed his love for cinema. During his work for the Dutch Institute for Sound & Vision he decided to apply to the Film Academy. In his third year, he made the documentary film Bajo la Superficie, following the life of a trans man from Colombia.
Nelly dos Reis is motivated and inspired by the stories of the diverse range of people she meets every day. Driven by these interactions, she wants nothing more than to move people with the power of storytelling. This was the reason for her to take her first steps as a documentary filmmaker. In collaboration with VPRO, Nelly has made her first documentary called Liever Kroes.
Floris Rijssenbeek wants to make narrative and socio-critical documentary films that confront the viewer with the complex and unruly reality we inhabit in a surprising and humorous way, rather than with a pedantic tone. As a filmmaker, he wants to inspire people to take action. Together with Melisa Can, he released the documentary film Momentum last year, a film about three young women fighting for a seat in the House of Representatives in the Netherlands during the 2021 elections.
Paul de Ruijter studied Directing Documentaries at The Netherlands Film Academy in Amsterdam. His graduation film Het Nachtelijk Halfrond was released in 2016. The film screened at Raindance Film Festival in London, and won the Wildcard incentive award from the Netherlands Film Fund. With the financial support he received, Paul realized his latest project, Stilte in Augustus. This film recently premiered at the Go Short – International Short Film Festival Nijmegen 2022.
Aliona van der Horst (born in in Russia, raised in the Netherlands) has, in her 25 years of filmmaking, received multiple international awards for most of her films, which were screened at film festivals around the world. Because of her personal, poetic, and cinematic vision, her films are profoundly compelling and touching. Her latest film Turn your Body to the Sun premiered in the international competition of IDFA 2021.
Love is Potatoes, a first-person doc that deals with post-memory in contemporary Russia, won numerous awards in Leipzig, Moscow, and Canada, including the Golden Calf Award in 2018. Her films revolve around the question of how ordinary people's lives are shaped by big historical events, and deal with memory and mourning. By zooming in to a very intimate level, she tells a universal story. Retrospectives of her work have been shown in Barcelona, Kiev Istanbul, and Belgrade. She is a member of the documentary branch of AMPAS and of the European Film Academy.
Renko Douze directs, produces, writes, and edits. After studying Audiovisual Media at the Utrecht School of the Arts (HKU), he set up Een van de Jongens production house together with Hasse van Nunen in 2011 — which has produced over 25 films. Although very diverse in content and form, all projects have one thing in common: the films are made with a sharp eye and infectious attention. The films have been screened in cinemas and living rooms around the world, and have won awards at festivals such as the Berlinale, IDFA, and Full Frame. In addition to his work for Een van de Jongens, Renko is a scriptwriter, director, and editor for documentary films and series, he writes and directs for youth programs such as Het Klokhuis, and works as a guest lecturer at the Netherlands Film Academy and the University of Amsterdam.