IDFA Competition for Student Documentary

    • set 12 items

    The filmmakers of tomorrow are already here… with a fresh view of the world, and of filmmaking. With 12 selected titles, the IDFA Competition for Student Documentary reveals a committed generation of filmmakers showing the future of documentary film. See the jury members here.

    Items in this selection

    The Crossing

    • Otávio Almeida
    • 2019

    In high-contrast black-and-white footage, accompanied by an expressive soundtrack filled with the sounds of nature, a man struggles through the Sierra Maestra, the mountain range that was the birthplace of the Cuban Revolution in the 1950s.

    Last of the Mohicans

    • Max Ploeg
    • 2019

    The mobile supermarket in this heartwarming portrait is run by Tonny, a doggedly determined woman who will stop at nothing to help her needy neighbors, even when she’s struggling with her own huge debts.

    Men Are Hungry Too

    • Gabriele Licchelli, Andrea Settembrini, Francesco Lorusso
    • 2019

    Nostalgic images shot in square format blend the past and present of two Italians, who were challenged with escaping the poverty of their region decades ago. One left, the other stayed behind, but both were marked by their choice.

    No Crying at the Dinner Table

    • Carol Nguyen
    • 2019

    Independently of each other, three members of a Vietnamese-Canadian family talk about their hidden emotions, then listen to the recordings together. Carol Nguyen’ camera breaks down emotional barriers, leading to beautiful, cathartic conclusion.

    No Man’s Land

    • Charlotte Müller
    • 2019

    A serene short film about intentional single motherhood, in which three women on a train trip describe the process and share their thoughts in interior monologue.


    • Molly Stuart
    • 2019

    Like most young adults in Israel, Atalya is required to join the army. She refuses, though, because there’s no way she’s going to participate in the oppression of Palestinians. We watch closely as she grows into a staunch human rights activist.


    • Denize Galiao
    • 2019

    Afro-Brazilian filmmaker Denize Galiao is suffering from saudade, a feeling sometimes described as “the sorrow of loss.” In this richly layered film about emigration and identity, she explores and defines the feeling in a variety of ways.

    The Secretary of Ideology

    • Yuriy Pivovarov
    • 2019

    A witty portrait of the teenage communist Ivan, whose goal in life is the revival of a glorious socialist state. “Workers of all countries, unite!” he tells his grinning classmates.

    Silent Storm

    • Anaïs Moog
    • 2019

    He was fearless, strong, intelligent. He never looked back. He knew he’d return to them one day. In this impressionistic short film, two women talk about losing their loved one to the sea.


    • Moritz Schulz
    • 2019

    A revealing look at a Ukrainian summer camp where children are transformed into proud soldiers—the doubts and tears during phone calls home expose the underlying anguish.

    Sweet Salty Wind

    • Laura Gabay
    • 2019

    Three children wander along the Cuban coast. Here, in their own world, they are free. The sound of the wind and waves is their music, and shells are their toys. As the day slips by, we see a darker aspect to their intimacy and playfulness.

    Towards a Fragmented Anatomy

    • Sachin Yaduvanshi
    • 2019

    A series of meditative images tell the story of India’s economic development, condensed into a single day. In this collective coming-of-age story, nature makes way for buildings and roads as an ominous evening approaches.