Program Pathways

    These themes will help you find your way through the nearly 300 films and projects on offer at IDFA 2018.

    With the 31st edition of IDFA just around the corner, we warmly invite you to peer at our Program Pathways. As the name suggests, Program Pathways are thematic sub-selections within the program of IDFA 2018. While selecting the films in this year’s edition, the IDFA programmers enjoyed the fact that films from various parts of the world addressed interconnected themes. These themes were not proposed by the festival but rather by the filmmakers. Perhaps they tell us something about the recurring questions and concerns of our world today! They may even represent something of a zeitgeist.

    Lovers, Rebels, and Skateboarders
    Teenagers and university students have carried the torch of rebellion throughout contemporary history. This did not change in the 21st century. See today's younger generation as it tries to find its place in various contexts in China, the US, South Africa, France, Denmark, and Russia... who are they? What are they up to?

    Thinking Earth
    What's up with us and our planet? Filmmakers invite us to contemplate a lot of information, learn, and ponder many questions! For instance: genetic engineering, our languages' link to nature and animals, searching for sustainability, and dealing with a future that is not so merciful to the past.

    iWorld
    How are we managing our humanity with all the technology, and the rhythm of our lives getting faster and faster? Filmmakers are examining life in a hyper-connected planet, the challenges of a 'smart' reality, and the ways we try to deal with our changing context.

    Show Me Your ID
    The individual, the body, intimacy, sexuality, and the challenge of being who you are in a world that prefers to put you in a box and manage your actions and choices. These films challenge us with the questions of different individuals as they strive to remain coherent with who they are.

    Back to the USSR
    It's not clear whether today's Russia is a continuation of the USSR past or whether we truly stand at the brink of a new cold war. But it is clear that we need to re-discover Russia's place in contemporary history, the recent past, and also the present, to be better equipped to understand the global political context that touches all of our daily lives.

    China Today
    The world's largest nation is present in so many details of our daily lives, but it's also far away and disconnected. We actually know very little about Chinese people's reality. Some say a great culture, others say beautiful traditions. Still others speak of a brutal dictatorship, while others try to ignore this claim. These films show us people's lives in China.

    It’s a Woman’s World
    More and more films by female filmmakers examine being a woman in our world today. From celebrities to obscure dreamers, from the filmmaker's own self to large-scale socio-political research, these films present a holistic, though never complete, view.

    Backstage Politics
    Politics may not be personal, but individuals make a big difference on the political stage. Filmmakers take us beyond the political, into the perspectives of the politicians themselves. For better or for worse, it's eye-opening to see politicians as people, trying to win.

    Man & War
    The experience of war, the individual within war, the aftermath of a war, the imprint it leaves on human bodies and souls. War is part of our daily experience, directly or indirectly through the media. War is not only still happening today; it is also eagerly promised to us tomorrow.

    Going to School
    Schooling is at the heart of all these films. School pupils and teachers in Afghanistan, newly arrived students in the Netherlands, the school challenges of a special kid in South Korea, those learning to become nurses in France—the list goes on. There's also the experience of being deprived of a school, due to harsh geography in the north of Siberia, or due to the government punishment of a dissident parent, as is the case with Anni.

    Family Matters
    Making amends with family is a universal challenge. No matter where, when or with whom, it's always difficult, and always important. Afterward it may never be the same again, yet somehow, every time feels quite similar!

    Life in Europe
    So many questions face our great continent today. Maybe even too many. It is not the easiest of times, but certainly not the worst. Economy, education, health, income, immigration, refugees, the rise of far right... many questions indeed. How we deal with these questions today will likely define tomorrow's reality. Let's watch and think together. Our future relies on it.

    Love's an Animal
    No matter how advanced our technology is, we're still sharing Earth with other animals. We still feel an inherent need for their company: we miss them, love them, fear them, laugh at them. The world is not ours alone. From pets to animals we just need to survive, to questions of sustainability, eating animals and mass producing our food, here's a pathway with 9 films guaranteed to move you and make you think.

    An Artist's Life
    One person can change the lives of a thousand others. That is the power of great artists. They inspire, change, teach, and entertain. We always want to get closer to them, meet them, and try to unlock the secret of how one person can inspire so many for such a long time. Is there a formula? Can we figure it out? Watching one film is not enough. You have to see different visions, different great artists, and different ways of storytelling.

    Health is not Everything
    Life with a serious health challenge is not easy. Yet humans are stronger than they think. The experiences of different individuals are shared through these films: trying to help a wonderful boy with behavioral issues survive school; trying to overcome a drug addiction; trying to find a meaning to your life with disability; surviving female genital mutilation; then also the stories of those who would like to help, such as nursing students.

    Information & ticket sales

    IDFA will take place from Wednesday, November 14 to Sunday, November 25, 2018 in various theaters in Amsterdam. Tickets are now on sale. Love documentaries? Become a Friend of IDFA from €3,- per month.

    Stay informed via Facebook or subscribe to our newsletter.