After the last couple of years during which IDFAcademy had to take place in hybrid form – both online and in person – it is with great delight that we can announce it is back in full swing again. This means that no less than 100 participants are attending in person, hosted by our new venue Internationaal Theater Amsterdam (ITA), which serves as IDFA's Festival Center. Sessions and talks include Laura Poitras’ Master Talk, speakers such as former Guest of Honor Gianfranco Rosi, director of this year's opening film Niki Padidar, and many more.
IDFAcademy will take place from 10 to 13 November. It is the most international edition to date, with participants from 55 different nationalities attending, bringing about a rich atmosphere of intercultural exchange. Notable this year is the number of participants that we consider part of our year-round connection. Take the 21 directors and producers for example, which previously have received support though an IDFA Bertha Fund grant. Or the 17 international participants from the IDFA Project Space, our in-depth talent development program, or the 6 Dutch-speaking participants from its Dutch counterpart, a collaboration with the NPO Fund. The Academy is also excited to welcome a couple of recipients of the IDFA Spotlight Award, which IDFA gives out at international festivals and markets throughout the year – the South Korean filmmaker Minji Ma being the latest to date.
IDFAcademy talks and sessions will kickstart with a Filmmaker Talk featuring world-renowned Italian director Gianfranco Rosi, led by IDFA's Artistic Director Orwa Nyrabia. Together they will have a conversation about Rosi's method, his relationship with the viewfinder, and his persistent curiosity regarding cinema and reality.
As mentioned earlier, this year the IDFAcademy is located in our new Festival Center, which also hosts the Industry program. Having the two under one roof allows for fruitful collaborations, as seen reflected in the three Industry talks which were organized in collaboration with IDFAcademy. These include Co-creation is Everywhere but Hard to See; NCE Masterclass with editor Yaël Bitton and Innovations in (Online) Distribution – Part III.
A talk to look forward to is Laura Poitras’ Master Talk, which consists of an in-depth public interview with Orwa Nyrabia, where they will talk about her rebellious creative trajectory, Top 10 favorite films, and the political power in documentary art.
Another highlight is Directing the Personal, with two IDFAcademy alumni Lea Glob and Biserka Šuran, and director of this year's opening film Niki Padidar. Together they will share their thoughts and experiences of making a highly personal film that also interweaves social and political themes, resulting in completely different stylistic approaches. Films discussed will be Apolonia, Apolonia; Scenes with My Father and All You See.
Another inspirational talk is Composing Music for Documentary, with renowned composer Harry de Wit, and award-winning director's couple Petra Lataster-Czisch and Peter Lastaster, who will discuss Journey Through Our World. How to Not Lose Track of Your Story will feature three IBF-funded directors, namely Vuslat Karan, Burcu Melekoglu and Siyi Chen. As first-time filmmakers that successfully presented a project in the international market gaining interest and support from different players, they had to deal with new partners that brought new perspectives and stakes. These challenges will be discussed alongside their films Blue ID and Dear Mother, I Meant to Write About Death.
Following the arc of a true film development process, the talks will progress from creative and inspirational to the more pragmatic themes. These include, among others, Sales Strategies, the Inside Information with two sales agents Liselot Verbrugge and Anaïs Clanet; Releasing your Story with director Maite Alberdi and producer and distributor Alexandra Galvis; and How to Make Your Film Seen with publicist Claudia Tomassini. For a complete overview of the talks, visit here.
Participants also will have the chance to attend interactive round tables and sessions on various topics. Established producers Bianca Oana (Producer and Director at Monogram Film), Christian Popp (producer at YUZU Productions), Martichka Bozhilova (Producer at AGITPROP) and Gema Juárez Allen (producer at Gema Films) will discuss international co-producing. Mikael Opstrup will once again lead the IDFAcademy Pitch & Trailer Workshop, where four participants will get the opportunity to pitch their project and receive feedback from a panel of industry experts.
During the IDFAcademy Round Tables about Funds & Finance professionals will be giving more information on what kind of projects they are looking for and how they work with supported filmmakers as well as go into the do's and don'ts on writing funding applications.
IDFAcademy's overall approach is intended to get each filmmaker the most accurately targeted possible support depending on their needs and the stage their projects are in, and to connect them to other segments of IDFA, letting them discover other exciting projects, directors, and producers. Keep an eye on the website for updates.