IDFA Competition for Short Documentary

    • set 12 items

    12 titles are selected for the IDFA Competition for Short Documentary, exhibiting ambitious approaches to filmmaking and the utmost respect for the short documentary format. Collectively, the selection is a reminder of how much artistry can be expressed in just a few minutes—it is an ode to duration, even in the shortest form. See the jury members.

    Selected for the shorts competition

    The Big-Headed Boy, Shamans & Samurais

    • Bibhusan Basnet, Pooja Gurung
    • 2020

      An intriguing travelogue by two filmmakers who go in search of actors in a remote Nepalese mountain village. The grainy black-and-white images allude to archive footage and ethnographic films, but in the commentary we get to hear the real story.

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      The Bodies

      • Eloy Domínguez Serén
      • 2020

        A compelling visit to the traditional Carnival in Galicia, in northwestern Spain, just ten days before the first confirmed case of Covid-19 in the region—adding another layer of significance to the nighttime scenes of the partying crowd.

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        Burnt. Land of Fire

        • Ben Donateo
        • 2020

          All the senses are engaged in this meticulously composed landscape film about the depopulation of the southern Italian countryside. The deafening chirping of crickets fills the otherwise deserted, barren fields. The emptiness is almost palpable.

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          Hotel Astoria

          • Alina Cyranek, Falk Schuster
          • 2020

            Memories of the renowned Hotel Astoria in Leipzig in the days of the GDR are brought to life in a mix of archive footage and animation. Although the Stasi were always watching, former staff and guests also remember this place with nostalgia.

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            A Little Bit of Paradise

            • Andrzej Cichocki
            • 2020

              Beautiful details of the everyday life of a Silesian family in a remote corner of Poland. Living on the outskirts of the city, their world is inextricably linked with the nature around them.

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              Lost on Arrival

              • Esther Polak, Ivar van Bekkum
              • 2020

                After retiring, a man wants to return to the Caribbean island where he lived during his working life. However, advancing dementia ruins his idyllic plans. He moves there but never really arrives.

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                Made for Walking

                • Hélène Baillot, Raphael Botiveau
                • 2020

                  Wading through knee-high snow in the mountains separating France and Italy, young West-Africans venture clandestinely across the border at night. Then they hand back the boots they received from volunteers so that the next person can cross.

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                  Nenad

                  • Mladen Bundalo
                  • 2020

                    As an emigrant, Mladen Bundalo still feels drawn to his native country, no matter how much Bosnia and Herzegovina has changed. As he follows the life of Nenad, who is also about to emigrate, he explains his dilemmas with poetic precision.

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                    One Day

                    • Jiang Jin
                    • 2020

                      We follow an elderly man walking along a misty mountain path in China. Filmed in a refreshingly understated style, his journey opens up a space for philosophical reflection about what we do with our time.

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                      Same/Different/Both/Neither

                      • Fernanda Pessoa, Adriana Barbosa
                      • 2020

                        During lockdown, two girlfriends exchange video letters between São Paulo and Los Angeles. They experiment with image, text, and sound, sharing poetic inspirations and everyday realities.

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                        To Calm the Pig Inside

                        • Joanna V Arong
                        • 2020

                          Filipino filmmaker Joanna Vasquez Arong looks back at the devastation that Typhoon Haiyan wreaked in her country. In just 19 minutes she tells a remarkably sensitive, personal and rich story.

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                          Unforgivable

                          • Marlén Viñayo
                          • 2020

                            Geovanny became a gang member and a murderer when he was 12. In prison, he joined an evangelical church that lavished God’s forgiveness on him. However, one sin is unforgivable for both the gang and the church: Geovanny is gay.

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