The IDFA Competition for First Appearance had twelve films that were all unique and satisfying with a variety of themes and styles from across the world. They ranged from strong social and political content to the personal world of the directors, often following a central subject or protagonist. Some films even incorporated multi-media formats like TV and the Internet for their expression. All directors showed great promise, and this included a strong representation of female directors too.
Entries such as The Fifth Story and This Rain Will Never Stop underlined the mature and humanistic approach of the authors dealing with the tragic and sensitive subject of wars. Further films showed the delicacy and serenity of dealing with a painful personal subject, as exemplified in Everything Will Not Be Fine, The Postcard, and A Way Home. Other directors projected their own feeling of social responsibility when dealing with socially deprived groups, as found in The Last Hillbilly and Nan, while The Sky is Red went straight to the subject with a deliberate and almost brutal formal style, barely giving the viewer chance to grasp for breath.
We chose The Fifth Story by director Ahmed Abd for the FIPRESCI prize because of its strong documentation about the effects of war on human beings, containing an already mature cinematic style. It is a film that makes you understand what happens to civilians living in countries like Iraq, during and after the war, with a poetic approach that bewilders and gives the spectator the possibility to share in the feelings of the people.