Sixteen projects have been selected to participate in the IDFAcademy Summer School 2017. During the Summer School, held July 3 – 8 in Amsterdam, up-and-coming international filmmaking talents from all over the world will get a chance to work on their film scripts or rough cuts under the guidance of esteemed film professionals.
Among the 16 selected projects selected for the 2017 edition of the IDFAcademy Summer School are several filmmaking talents who have been at IDFA before. Three of their films are now available to screen online, and can be accessed through this set.
Ukrainian director Alisa Kovalenko, who will develop her new project Home Games at the Summer School, competed for the IDFA Award for Best First Appearance with her debut Alisa in Warland in 2015. Kovalenko's feature is one of seven projects at the Summer School which were previously supported by the IDFA Bertha Fund, the festival's support program for innovative documentary projects and talented filmmakers from Africa, Asia, Latin America, Middle East and parts of Eastern Europe.
The selection also includes an IDFA Award winner. Director Gábor Hörcher, selected for script development with his new feature The Emma Show, won the IDFA Award for Best First Appearance for Drifter in 2014. Meanwhile, director Benjamin Ree will develop his new project Crime Pays at the Summer School, following up on his successful debut feature documentary Magnus, which was pitched at co-production and co-financing market IDFA Forum in 2014. Ree's short film Dreaming of the Golden Eagle screened in the Kids & Docs section at IDFA 2012.
Now participating in the Summer School with The Hydra, Ram Devineni and Artem Ryzhykov previously attended IDFA in 2015 as crew members for Chad Garcia's The Russian Woodpecker. The filmmaker of Yours Sincerely, Social System recently won an IDFA Award at the East European Forum during the East Doc Platform in Prague, and as part of this award will attend IDFA this November.
* denotes projects previously supported by IDFA Bertha Fund
5 Houses *
Brazil/Germany, participants: Bruno Gularte Barreto (director), Vicente Moreno (editor)
Five houses and the people who inhabit their rooms. An old teacher, a young homosexual, a man who lives in an isolated farm, a group of nuns who runs a school and a boy whose parents died 20 years ago. They tell their stories and, in doing so, some of mine.
Egypt/Germany, participants: Marouan Omara (director), Johanna Domke (director), Louly Seif (editor)
Shaken by a recent terror attack, tourist hub Sharm El Sheikh is home to a group of young Egyptians that came for work but experienced a lifestyle beyond their imagination. After tourism collapsed, they have to redefine their futures and their identities. Every day the fear of having to return home is getting stronger then the hope of tourists coming back.
The Forbidden Strings *
Iran/Afghanistan, participants: Hasan Noori (director), Afsaneh Salari (producer)
Born and raised in Iran, four young Afghans take a dangerous journey from Iran to Afghanistan in order to make a dream come true: performing their first rock concert in a fatherland they’ve never seen.
The Sound of Masks *
South Africa/Mozambique, participants: Sara de Gouveia (director), Khalid Shamis (editor)
A surreal journey interweaving the politics of Mozambique's colonial past and its present through the lens of magical realism and dance.
Home Games *
Ukraine/France, participants: Alisa Kovalenko (director), Olha Zhurba (editor), Stephane Siohan (producer)
A crucial season in the life of Alina, a 20 year old girl from Kiev, saved from begging by her passion for football. On the road to a successful career as a soccer pro, life challenges her once again: her mother dies, leaving two kids ans an almost blind grandma. Now Alina must choose: football or family.
Tiny Souls *
Jordan/Lebanon, participants: Dina Naser (director), Najwa Khechemi (editor)
A documentary film that portrays the changes in Marwa’s life from childhood to adolescence within the walls of Al Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, reflecting its effect on her reality and future.
Denmark, participant: Sissel Morell Dargis (director)
A film about a secretive gang scene where a passion for making paper fly drives favela thugs to extremes in their struggles to release their giant balloons.
Behind the Blood
Honduras/The Netherlands/United Kingdom, participants: Loretta van der Horst (director), Fernando Barrientos (cinematography)
Inside the world’s murder capital where gangs rule the streets, a local pastor attempts to save boys from a deadly fate while an assassin is trapped inside a system where violence is the norm.
Norway, participants: Benjamin Ree (director), Kristoffer Kumar (producer)
Two valuable paintings by an acclaimed artist are stolen. The thief is caught. In court the painter invites the thief home to portray him, and a most uncommon friendship occurs.
The Emma Show
Croatia/Hungary/Romania/United States, participants: Gábor Hörcher (director), Inez Mátis (producer)
A famous American sex-chat couple is out to save their marriage by stopping to perform and starting their own studio in Budapest as they have been expelled form the States.
Hide and Seek
Italy/United Kingdom, participants: Victoria Fiore (director), Aleksandra Bilic (producer)
Amidst a critical epidemic in youth crimes and gang wars across the Italian city of Naples, one gang comes together to create a film about how things got this far – and the uncertain future they face.
Ukraine/United States, participants: Ram Devineni (director), Artem Ryzhykov (cinematography)
A fast-paced suspense thriller weaving together several storylines about the rise of ecstasy in Europe to epidemic levels after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Greece/Czech Republic, participants: Greta Stocklassa (director), Agáta Hrnčířová (producer)
The Swedish town of Kiruna and the state mining company LKAB have always lived in symbiosis. But the mining town located above the polar circle is being moved due to mining expansion. The lives of local people are about to change as the town is forcibly changing its face. Kiruna is at the edge of its new life along with the refugee Adbalrahman, Sami Maja and typical Swedes Hägg.
People's Hospital *
China, participant: Siyi Chen (director)
All public hospitals in China are called People's Hospital. But in recent years, more and more patients complain that these People's Hospitals are going after profits and are no longer "for the people." Faced with this reality, a team of small-town ER doctors struggles to keep the faith in their job, when they’re understaffed, underpaid, and constantly questioned by patients about their "hidden motives" behind saving lives.
Writing with Fire *
India, participants: Rintu Thomas (director), Sushmit Ghosh (director)
In India's most socially oppressive state a newspaper emerges, run entirely by Dalit (low-caste) women. Meera, its popular political reporter, decides to enhance the paper’s impact with an audacious move: transforming from print to digital news. This is the story of one woman's feisty spirit in building the world’s first digital news agency run by rural Dalit women.
Yours Sincerely, Social System
Slovakia, participants: Martin Tokar (director), Jakub Medvecký (screenwriter)
A modern version of the David and Goliath‘s story set in a small village in Eastern Slovakia. A film about an African social worker fighting the absurdness of the social system in a foreign country, where he feels more at home than the local people.