IDFA Competition for Short Documentary

    • set 12 items

    This year 12 titles have been selected for the IDFA Competition for Short Documentary. Within the selection, a striking common feature is the preference for an aesthetic and remarkably bold approach to documentary filmmaking. See the jury members here.

    Items in this selection

    Breakfast in Kisumu

    • Rebecca Achieng Ajulu-Bushell
    • 2019

    An intimate conversation between Kenyan academic and activist Rok Ajulu (1950-2016) and his daughter Rebecca, accompanied by impressionistic scenes of the most important places in his life, filmed by his daughter after his death.

    Burning Land

    • Juan Camilo Olmos Feris
    • 2019

    Colombia has its own form of bullfighting, with its own festival called the corraleja. With great visual flair and no commentary, this film focuses on preparations for the festival, the event itself, and especially the people watching.

    The Circle

    • Lanre Malaolu
    • 2019

    Two tough teenage brothers from Hackney, East London reveal their vulnerable side in a sensitive portrait that integrates dance and social issues. A voice of dissent in a place where prejudice is the order of the day.

    The Jump

    • Vanessa Dumont, Nicolas Davenel
    • 2019

    An appealingly stylized film about a young Frenchman whose death-defying leaps from a high rock have made him a local legend. His rash character is now changing, which makes for a moving coming-of-age drama.

    A Legacy of Horses

    • Jessica Karlsson, Annika Karlsson
    • 2019

    Horses are part of everyday life in the working-class neighborhood of Ballymun in Dublin. This observational film shows how the love for our four-legged friends passes from father to son.


    • Katelyn Rebelo, Kira Dane
    • 2019

    A partially animated visual poem reflecting on life and death in Japan and the United States, through a Japanese-American woman’s personal account of her abortion.


    • Cris Lyra
    • 2019

    A group of young lesbians from São Paulo travel to a remote beach to celebrate New Year’s. From their conversations, a picture of current Brazilian society emerges.

    Recoding Art

    • Bruno Moreschi, Gabriel Pereira
    • 2019

    Art through the eyes of artificial intelligence: a contradictory, entertaining and thought-provoking project that takes art aficionados out of their comfort zone. What happens if we play the same game with human intelligence?


    • Nayra Sanz Fuentes
    • 2019

    A sensory experience and fantasy which explores the uncomfortable voyeurism of the selfie and Big Brother. What are we actually looking at, and who’s looking at us?

    Steve Is Undocumented

    • Michael Barth, Kauai Moliterno
    • 2019

    An observational and original reflection on immigration. A white British ex-weightlifter and bouncer at a club in Los Angeles has strong opinions about immigrants, yet he’s also in the country illegally.


    • Kana Ohashi, Daijiro Mizuno
    • 2019

    During her pregnancy, Mie discovers she has stomach cancer; she dies after her son’s first birthday. This poignant cinematic photo album is an account of a tragic “transition” in the lives of a young Japanese family.

    Up at Night

    • Nelson Makengo
    • 2019

    People living in Kinshasa shine a light against the darkness. Thousands of LEDs form an improvised beacon of resilience against political upheavals and battles among street gangs.