Documentaries

    Explore all films and interactive documentaries that have been shown at IDFA over the years. Many are available to watch online (by using the filter Watch Online), some for free! We're working hard to keep the selection as broad and accessible as possible, but unfortunately, some titles are available to stream within the Netherlands only.

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    She Breathes Water

    • Penny Siopis
    • South Africa
    • 2019
    • 5 min
    • Paradocs: Amsterdam Art Weekend at IDFA

      In this associative collage of found footage, the poetic subtitles and soundscape of crackling ice add an extra layer of meaning to a warning packaged in symbolism. Mother Earth admonishes humanity.

      More info

      Scenes from a Dry City

      • François Verster, Simon Wood
      • South Africa, United States
      • 2018
      • 13 min
      • havo bovenbouw, vwo bovenbouw, mbo
      • IDFA Competition for Short Documentary

        Cape Town’s acute water crisis illustrates the differences within South African society, in a film that’s as visually stunning as it is urgent.

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        Streets

        • Victor Carrera
        • Ecuador
        • 2009
        • 13 min
        • Kids & Docs

          Destitute youths talk openly about their hard life on the streets of the Ecuadorian capital Quito, trying to keep their heads above water.

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          Iceberg

          • Juliana Gabriela Gomez Castañeda
          • Cuba
          • 2015
          • 27 min
          • IDFA Competition for Student Documentary

            An intimate and lyrical portrait of Teresa, a frail fisherwoman in her sixties living on a small island with her granddaughter Maria.

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            Via Dolorosa

            • Menno Otten
            • Netherlands
            • 2013
            • 15 min
            • Paradocs

              Each year, pious men carry heavy religious statues in a procession through the Via Dolorosa in Malaga. In close-ups, we feel both their suffering and their sublime enlightenment.

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              Return to the Border

              • Liang Zhao
              • China, France
              • 2005
              • 56 min
              • Jan Vrijman Fund

                Available in Benelux only: Chinese director returns to the Ya Lu River that separates China from North Korea to see what is left of socialism in the two countries.

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                Far Away from Far Away

                • Bruce Alcock, Jeremy Mendes
                • Canada
                • 2019
                • 30 min
                • DocLab Domesticating Reality, IDFA DocLab Competition for Digital Storytelling, DocLab Program

                  An intimate interactive story that explores the relationship between a daughter and her father growing up on a remote island off the coast of Canada, and the extraordinary steps families take to thrive in the face of massive change in the fishing industry.

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                  The Great Animal Orchestra

                  • Thomas Deyriès
                  • France
                  • 2016
                  • IDFA DocLab Competition for Digital Storytelling, DocLab: Elastic Reality, DocLab Program

                    Imagine you are the conductor of an animal orchestra in this interactive and incredibly detailed natural soundscape, compiled by artist and nature recordist Bernie Krause.

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                    Flint Is a Place

                    • Zackary Canepari
                    • United States
                    • 2016
                    • DocLab: Elastic Reality, DocLab Program

                      A powerful, stylized portrayal of the pride, hope and pent-up anger felt by the people of Flint, Michigan, a symbol of all that can go wrong with the American Dream.

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                      Sea Point Days

                      • François Verster
                      • South Africa
                      • 2008
                      • 90 min
                      • IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary

                        A document of daily life on Cape Town's Sea Point Promenade, in which the director paints a portrait of contemporary South Africa.

                        More info

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