Program sections

    First films of IDFA 2019 announced October 1, full program online October 23.

    Every year, our festival program showcases the latest work by beloved documentary filmmakers, reviews the past year's festival hits, presents focus programs with social or artistic urgency, and much more. There's lots to see and do! For IDFA's competitions, click here.

    Guest of Honor Patricio Guzmán: Retrospective & Top 10

    Patricio Guzmán's essay-style documentaries can be seen as chronicles of the Chilean resistance to the Pinochet regime. His films have been enormously influential for over half a century, and we are overjoyed to welcome this living legend as our Guest of Honor at IDFA 2019. During the festival, we will present ten of Guzmán's favorite films and screen a retrospective of his work.

    Focus programs

    Whether about specific film techniques, the cinematic treatment of physical space, or a certain period in history, IDFA's focus programs deal with complex subjects through a selection of new films and classic masterpieces.

    Best of Fests

    Striking documentary films from the international festival circuit are central to Best of Fests. The program showcases prize-winners, public favorites, and high-profile titles from the past year.


    Masters includes the latest films by auteurs whose work IDFA closely follows, and who have an unmistakable cinematic signature.


    In Frontlight, IDFA presents a selection of exceptional films that tell stories not covered by mainstream media, or films that explore familiar stories in greater depth. The program contains premieres only.


    Luminous includes films that immerse the viewer in a cinematic experience. These documentaries are character-, story- or author-driven, and make the universal tangible through the individual. The program contains premieres only.


    Paradocs moves between film and art. Through innovative forms, the filmmakers seek freedom of the documentary genre.

    IDFA on Stage

    IDFA on Stage presents a series of unique events that explore the space between documentary film and the performing arts.

    IDFA DocLab

    IDFA DocLab showcases the best interactive art that plays with our behavior, our fears, and our dreams. From virtual reality to multimedia journalism and live performance, the IDFA DocLab program makes the future tangible in the here and now.

    IDFA Junior

    IDFA Junior is an exciting day for children and their families to watch imaginative and informative documentary films together in the cinema. It is IDFA’s offer of quality time to spend with the kids.