It goes without saying that you can't have a festival director's farewell without a great present. The parting gift for Ally Derks is a special relay film called The Present.
Watch this unique film at the top of the page.
In the run-up to the 30th IDFA a festive anniversary programme was put together called The Visual Voice, but behind the scenes staff members were also working on a parting gift for Ally Derks, IDFA's founder and festival director who has left the festival this year.
Filmmakers who have a strong connection to IDFA were invited to participate in 'a cinematographic adventure based on the principle of the Cadavre Exquis, where the contribution of every participant departs from the scene of the filmmaker before'. Each maker was asked to contribute 30 seconds.
This proved a bit too short for many of the filmmakers. Nevertheless, the various parts come together really well in a film that IDFA's artistic director Barbara Visser calls 'a beautiful collage which highlights the different styles of the participants'.
The title was a given: The Present. Not just in the sense of a gift, but also 'a place where the banal, the sublime and the horrific can take place simultaneously', as the invitation to participate stated.
Sixteen filmmakers took up the invitation: The Yes Men, Heidi Ewing & Rachel Grady, John Appel, Chris Hegedus & D.A. Pennebaker, Kim Longinotto, Nick Broomfield, Frederick Wiseman, Heddy Honigmann, Victor Kossakovsky, Pirjo Honkasalo, Nishta Jain, Steve James, Hubert Sauper and Jørgen Leth. The project remained a closely guarded secret until it was shown to Ally Derks this week.