IDFA unveils selected projects for 30th edition of IDFA Forum

    The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam is delighted to announce the 60 projects selected for the 30th edition of IDFA Forum, the festival’s co-production and co-financing market. This watershed edition sees a strong return to in-person pitching, with all selected project teams slated to physically attend the event in Amsterdam. In addition to the 22 projects selected for the market’s flagship Forum Pitch category, and the 6 projects selected for the annual Rough Cut Presentations, the upcoming event marks the second edition of the Producers Connection, an exclusive producer-to-producer showcase of 12 selected projects ripe for international co-production. Finally, the market’s new media section, IDFA DocLab Forum, expands this year into a two-day event with a showcase of 20 interactive and XR projects. The 30th anniversary of IDFA Forum takes place in person in Amsterdam’s Felix Meritis from November 12 to 16.

    Anticipated projects by major directors and artists

    Award-winning filmmakers selected to present new works include Maite Alberdi pitching the much-anticipated project The Eternal Memory, an intimate meditation on love and memory that observes a couple dealing with Alzheimer’s over a four-year period. Also in the Forum Pitch: Filip Remunda brings tragicomedy Love Exposed, on an aging photographer and his filmmaker daughter who struggle to form a healthier relationship; and Anette Ostrø pitches The Golden Swan, a brutal yet healing story on the kidnapping of her brother.

    In the Producer’s Connection, highlights include Zaradasht Ahmed's The Lions on the River Tigris, a verité project on the healing and resilience of Mosul in Northern Iraq after years of ISIS rule, and Samir’s new essayistic project The Miraculous Transformation of the Working Class into Foreigners, which poses the question: Why are the workers of yesteryear now called foreigners? In the Rough Cut Presentations, Martín Benchimol presents The Castle, the bittersweet story of a domestic worker who inherits a crumbling mansion from a former employer and hovers on the verge of emancipation with her daughter.

    At the DocLab Forum, highly anticipated projects include Dov Heichmer’s The Chaos Simulator, an immersive smash room of glass and smoke that transforms flying rubble into new worlds. Glen Neath and David Rosenberg bring the DARKFIELD-produced Totem, an immersive, spatial audio piece in which audience members find themselves role-playing as mysterious party guests. In The Anticipation of Rain, Naima Karim uses 6DoF in a multisensory VR installation that plunges audiences into the exuberant experience of a monsoon storm.

    First-hand perspectives on conflict and migration

    A strong contingent of selected projects show filmmakers’ responses to the ongoing war in Ukraine. Pitch project Frontline by Alisa Kovalenko offers an experimental video diary of life on the Ukrainian frontline, bringing together the eye of a soldier and documentary filmmaker. At the DocLab Forum, Ondřej Moravec and Volodymyr Kolbasa present mixed reality project Fresh Memories, which transforms an ordinary apartment into a soon-to-be-invaded place in Ukraine.

    Looking at wars around the world, Maryam Ebrahimi pitches The Phantom Pain of Rojava, on the present-day status of the Kurdish resistance against IS and the women’s revolution in Rojava. At the Producers Connection, Let’s Play Soldiers by debut director Mariam Al-Dhubhani considers the ongoing Yemeni war through the eyes of a former child-soldier who tries to protect his brothers from the same fate.

    Other projects take the after-effects of war, whether personal or collective, as their starting point. Interactive VR documentary Jacob’s Journey by Joanna Popinska shares the story of a young Jewish boy surviving the Holocaust in Poland. December by Grzegorz Paprzycki, selected for the Producers Connection, reflects on both the indifference and drama of refugees in the EU with 31 winter scenes shot in different countries. In rough cut project Nightwatchers, first-time director Juliette de Marcillac offers a direct cinema experience of the struggle to protect migrants from nightly police hunts in an idyllic ski town.

    Intimate storytelling and personal projects

    Across the market, several projects speak to the growing relevance of gender-progressive storytelling. In the pitches: Kani Lapuerta brings youth documentary Niñxs, on a fourteen-year-old trans girl making her own film in small-town Mexico; hybrid documentary Edhi and Alice by Ilrhan Kim follows the cinematic journeys of two very different characters in their process of transitioning; in Under her Skin (pictured above), directors Simon Hernandez Estrada and Liliana Andrade tell the feminist tale of Natalia Ponce, the victim-turned-activist fighting against acid attacks in Latin America. In the DocLab Forum, When Silence Talks by Paulina Donoso brings together painting and VR to offer a voice for abused women through one survivor’s inner world.

    Elsewhere in the selection, high-profile personal family stories take center stage. In the Forum Pitch, Robin by Orban Wallace documents the cathartic journey of Peter Whitehead and his family in discovering the lost biopic by deceased daughter Robin Whitehead, who succumbed to an overdose while filming Pete Doherty. In Where We Belong, first-time filmmaker Susanne Opstal tells the story of the daughter of the infamous Westboro Baptist Church’s founding family, who broke away at the expense of everything. Turning to the DocLab Forum, interactive VR experience Waking Barb creates an AI-powered portrait of theater maker, wife, and mother Barb Sanders based on four thousand recorded dreams.

    The Producers Connection is made possible by Eurimages. IDFA Forum is made possible by the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science of the Netherlands and Creative Europe Media.

    IDFA Forum Pitch: Selected projects

    Catching Them Young, dir. Pankaj Johar, prod. Penny Wise Films (India), Ventana Film (Germany)

    Displaced, dir. Olha Zhurba, prod. Darya Bassel (Ukraine), Final Cut for Real (Denmark)

    Don’t Call Me Mad, dir. Zora Kuettner, prod. Delaval Film, Charlie Phillips, Kat Amara-Korba (United Kingdom), DocLab (Italy)

    Edhi and Alice, dir. Ilrhan Kim, prod. yPinks, SonaFilms (South Korea)

    The Eternal Memory, dir. Maite Alberdi, prod. Micromundo Producciones, Fabula (Chile)

    Frontline (working title), dir. Alisa Kovalenko, prod. HAKA Films (Poland), Ström Pictures (Denmark), Trueman Production (Ukraine)

    The Golden Swan, dir. Anette Ostrø, prod. Fri Film (Norway), Made in Copenhagen (Denmark), HALAL (the Netherlands)

    Hacking Hate, dir. Simon Klose, prod. Nonami AB (Sweden)

    Ice Grave, dir. Robin Hunzinger, prod. Seppia (France), Making Movies Oy (Finland)

    Jump Out, dir. Nika Saravanja, prod. Tico Film Company S.r.l. (Italy), Playtime Films (Belgium), Fade In (Croatia)

    Love Exposed, dir. Filip Remunda, prod. Hypermarket Film (Czech Republic), FreeSaM Ltd., Farges / Kolam Productions (France), HBO MAX

    Niñxs, dir. Kani Lapuerta, prod. La Sandía Digital Producción Audiovisual (Mexico), JYOTI FILMS, DIRKMANTHEY FILM (Germany)

    The Phantom Pain of Rojava, dir. Maryam Ebrahimi, prod. Mantaray Film (Sweden), Stray Dogs (Norway)

    Robin, dir. Orban Wallace, prod. Snowstorm Productions, Gallivant Film (United Kingdom)

    Seeds of a Nation, dir. Catherine Lee, prod. Pointe Media, Clear & Present Pictures (United States, Kenya)

    Theft of Fire, dir. Amer Shomali, prod. Intuitive Pictures Inc. (Canada), made in palestine project (Palestine)

    Underage Astronauts, dir. Aleksandra Skowon, prod. Mediolia (Poland)

    Under her Skin, dir. Simon Hernandez Estrada and Liliana Andrade, prod. La Popular (Colombia), BDC Producciones (Mexico)

    Welded Together, dir. Anastasiya Miroshnichenko, prod. An|Da Films (Belarus)

    Where We Belong, dir. Susanne Opstal, prod. HALAL (the Netherlands)

    Women of My Life, dir. Zahraa Ghandour, prod. Karada Films (Iraq), Dschoint Ventschr Filmproduktion (Switzerland), WG Film AB (Sweden)

    Producers Connection: Selected projects

    Angels Street, dir. Silvia Rey Canudo, prod. Limbusfilmak (Spain)

    Breaking the Wall, dir. Weichao Xu, prod. Yiqian Zhang (China)

    December, dir. Grzegorz Paprzycki, prod. Telemark (Poland)

    Dom ("Home" in Russian), dir. Svetlana Rodina and Laurent Stoop, prod. DokLab GmbH (Switzerland)

    The Fifth Eye, dir. Ali Hamraz, prod. Fanoos Films (Iran)

    Hawa, dir. Gul Begum, prod. YUZU Productions (France)

    Let's Play Soldiers, dir. Mariam Al-Dhubhani, prod. Mohammed Al-Jaberi (Yemen, Qatar)

    The Lions on the River Tigris, dir. Zaradasht Ahmed, prod. Screen Story (Norway)

    Lust For Life / Carry On, dir. Viktor Nordenskiöld, prod. Freetownfilms AB, Sisyfos Film Production, Karin Ekberg (Sweden)

    The Miraculous Transformation of the Working Class into Foreigners, dir. Samir, prod. Dschoint Ventschr Filmproduktion (Switzerland)

    Rabbit, dir. Chloe Fairweather, prod. Mark Lacey (United Kingdom)

    We Had the Moon, dir. Pamella Edouard, prod. Piano Piano Production (France, Mauritius), Selven Naidu (Mauritius)

    IDFA DocLab Forum: Selected projects

    The Anticipation of Rain-6DoF, dir. Naima Karim, prod. Creative Solutions Program, Ithra, Bramble Media, Far Few Giants, Schallgeber Ltd, Wilhelm Perfume GmbH, Fat Red Bird (Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom)

    The Chaos Simulator, dir. Dov Heichemer, prod. XR Coven (Germany)

    DoX, dir. Nimrod Shanit, prod. HCXR - Holy City VR (Canada), INVR.SPACE GmbH (Germany)

    Fresh Memories, dir. Ondřej Moravec and Volodymyr Kolbasa, prod. Brainz Immersive (Czech Republic, Ukraine)

    Hong Kong Café, dir. Yan Ting Yuen and Doris Yeung, prod. Docmakers (the Netherlands)

    House of Stone, dir. Florencia Curci, Joshua Madalitso Chiundiza, Frances Yeung, David Callanan, and Anna West, prod. Anna West (United Kingdom)

    If These Streets Could Talk, dir. Barna Szász, prod. Parallel Stories Cultural Organization, Andrea Ausztrics, (Hungary), Institute for Transmedia Design (Slovenia)

    Jacob’s Journey, dir. Joanne Popinska, prod. Infinite Frame Media (Canada)

    Masquerade. Chapter One: Pillaro's Devil's Dance, dir. Juan Pablo Urgilés, prod. Imán Transmedia (Ecuador), INVR.SPACE GmbH (Germany), Realidad 360º Argentina (Argentina)

    Nexus, dir. Rodolfo Lissia, prod. ONIRA (the Netherlands), Small Studio (France), Nexus Vision (United Kingdom)

    The Pathogen of War, dir. Yasmin Fedda, prod. Black Leaf Films, May Abdalla (United Kingdom)

    Plunge, dir. Ellie Land, prod. Rebecca Mark-Lawson, Daria Nitsche (United Kingdom)

    Project Leaves, dir. Chen Chen Chen, prod. Ren Studios (Hong Kong, United Kingdom), OXYZ3 (China)

    Tartupaluk, dir. Laakkuluk J Williamson Bathory, prod. LMDP Co., Ánorâk Film (Canada)

    There Exists, dir. Anrick Bregman and Shehani Fernando, prod Studio ANRK, Grace Baird, Kylie Boltin (United Kingdom, Australia)

    Totem, dir. Glen Neath and David Rosenberg, prod. Darkfield (United Kingdom)

    Waking Barb, dir. Justin Blinder, prod. Justin Blinder, Nim Shapira (United States)

    We Speak Their Names In Hushed Tones, dir. Osakpolor Omoregie, prod. Electric South (South Africa) When Silence Talks, dir. Paulina Donoso, prod. Gabriel Torres (Ecuador, France, Argentina)

    Zonnebloem renamed District Six, dir. Haroon Gunn-Salie, prod. Electric South (South Africa)

    Rough Cut Presentations: Selected projects

    The Castle, dir. Martín Benchimol, prod. Gema Films (Argentina), Sister Productions (France)

    Memory, dir. Vladlena Sandu, prod. haut les mains productions (France), BZ SH.P.K. (Kosovo), Revolver (the Netherlands), Mimesis (Russia)

    Motherland, dir. Kristoffer Juel and Christian Als, prod. Elk Film (Denmark), Mantaray Film (Sweden), Ogii Burnebataar (Mongolia)

    Nightwatchers, dir. Juliette de Marcillac, prod. Dryades Films, Lyon Capitale TV, Division, 8 Mont-Blanc (France)

    Ozogoche, dir. Joe H Silva, prod. Boton films (Ecuador), Seredipity (Belgium)

    The Tuba Thieves, dir. Alison O’Daniel, prod. Rachel Nederveld, Eliza Moley (United States)


    Attending IDFA Forum 2022

    • IDFA Forum takes place from November 12 to November 16, 2022. We are very much looking forward to welcoming pitch teams, industry professionals, and observing producers in Amsterdam. With our new venue Felix Meritis, an updated presentation schedule and a 30-year anniversary, this edition has a lot in store! Here we list practical info that will help you navigate our event. Check back here for the most up-to-date info. Do you have questions that this page doesn’t answer? Feel free to reach us on the email at the bottom of the page.

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