Eight films are part of this year’s IDFA Competition for Dutch documentary. Eight films that—despite being part of a national competition—present a tremendously diverse range of geography, topics, and backgrounds, triggering wonderful conversations among the three jury members and often provoking intense emotions ranging from fascination to rage. From the comfort of our homes in Congo, Denmark, and Germany, we found ourselves discussing the filmmakers’ perspectives and intentions, raising questions of cinematic language and ethics. Both the films and the jury deliberations made us think about our own work as filmmakers and curators. And it made us realize how lucky we are to be part of the international documentary filmmaking community. Documentaries help us to grasp the complicated reality around us. Like no other medium, documentaries get us in touch with the human experience far and near, and with our most intimate hopes and fears.
We give a special jury mention to a film that, without a conventional narrative, takes us onto a poetic exploration. A film that in its silence not only tells the story of time and nature, but also invites us into the realms of dedicated work, inherited faith, technological phenomena, and the circularity of all being.
Wonderfully shot, and with masterful editing and sound design, it achieves a deeply cinematic experience. The special jury mention goes to Silence of the Tides by Pieter-Rim de Kroon.
The Award for Best Dutch Documentary goes to a film that, in its construction as well as the quality of its narrative, takes us on a journey of initiation into the cultures of others in one of Holland’s most diverse neighborhoods. Here the protagonist struggles to balance the needs of different communities with the corporate interests of the company she works for. Through parallel editing, a camera close to the protagonists, and solid cinematographic aesthetics, the filmmaker creates a strong, contemporary, and deeply human experience.
The IDFA Award for Best Dutch Documentary goes to Dealing with Death by Paul Sin Nam Rigter.