IDFA Bertha Fund Harvest at IDFA 2019

    • set 14 items

    This year, 15 films realized with the support of the IDFA Bertha Fund made it into the official festival selection, including the IDFA 2019 opening film Sunless Shadows. Of the entire harvest, 14 films are brand new, and one film was previously released; Beats of the Antonov came out in 2014, and is now selected for the IDFA 2019 program Spotlight: Sudan. This year's harvest also includes the premiere of Smog Town, the first film to be supported through the NFF + IBF Co-production scheme, a new collaboration between the Netherlands Film Fund and the IDFA Bertha Fund.

    The IDFA Bertha Fund is supported by Bertha Foundation, Creative Europe Media, ASN Bank, and The Netherlands Film Fund.

    See the harvest

    143 Sahara Street

    • Hassen Ferhani
    • 2019

    In the middle of the Algerian Sahara, Malika runs a simple shop for truck drivers, fortune seekers and adventurers. A multilayered portrait gradually emerges of an independent woman in a world that seems to exist outside of time.


    • Alyx Ayn Arumpac
    • 2019

    Since President Duterte took office, the Philippine police have killed tens of thousands of drug addicts. The experiences of a journalist, a coroner, a missionary brother and a street kid show the despair and fear caused by lawless violence.

    Beats of the Antonov

    • Hajooj Kuka
    • 2014

    The musical tradition in South Sudan gains new meaning through the Bashir government’s bombings: it keeps the people alive, both in body and in spirit. A musical exploration shedding new light on the Sudanese conflict.

    Buddha in Africa

    • Nicole Schafer
    • 2019

    Fifteen-year-old Enock and other African orphans get a strict Buddhist education at the Chinese boarding school in Malawi. Now he’s faced with a choice: should he go study in faraway Taiwan or return to his home village?

    A Comedian in a Syrian Tragedy

    • Rami Farah
    • 2019

    Exiled in Paris, one of Syria’s most famous actors, Fares Helou, tries to remain connected to the dream of a free and democratic Syria. For him, it’s a matter of integrity and an existential quest.

    The Forbidden Strings

    • Hasan Noori
    • 2019

    Four young Afghan immigrants in Iran have formed a rock band which has never been allowed to perform. Now they’ve got the chance to play in their homeland, they’re not going to let anything stop them. Moments of joy compete with sobering reality.

    Khartoum Offside

    • Marwa Zein
    • 2019

    A portrait of female soccer players in Khartoum, as they struggle for a place both on the field and in Sudan’s conservative society—with humor, perseverance and irrepressible optimism.

    The Letter

    • Christopher King, Maia Lekow
    • 2019

    Karisa travels from Mombasa to his grandmother in the countryside, because she has been accused of witchcraft and received a death threat. It gradually emerges who sent the threatening letter and why.

    No Gold for Kalsaka

    • Michel K. Zongo
    • 2019

    Burkina Faso becomes a Wild West as a British multinational promises the people of Kalsaka heaps of gold, but in reality only robs them of their livelihoods. Left with nothing but an environmental disaster, they seek justice.

    Smog Town

    • Meng Han
    • 2019

    Langfang is one of the most air-polluted cities. There, the interests of the local environmental protection bureau, which is under political pressure, clash with those of industry. A case study on China’s fight against pollution..

    Sunless Shadows

    • Mehrdad Oskouei
    • 2019

    A picture of life in an Iranian juvenile detention center, where a group of adolescent girls serve their sentence for murdering a male member of their family. Alone with the camera, they reveal their thoughts, feelings and doubts.

    Talking About Trees

    • Suhaib Gasmelbari
    • 2019

    In Sudan, cinema is a thing of the past, but four directors and lifelong friends refuse to accept it. Although film is clearly out of favor with the current regime, the four men remain determined, hopeful and touchingly funny.

    Tiny Souls

    • Dina Naser
    • 2019

    The camera follows three Syrian children over the course of four years in a refugee camp in Jordan. Despite traumatic memories and primitive living conditions, they remain resilient and high-spirited.

    A Tunnel

    • Nino Orjonikidze, Vano Arsenishvili
    • 2019

    As part of the Belt and Road Initiative, a new high-speed train from China is going to pass right through a tiny Georgian mountain village. Farmers see their fields crumbling as Chinese workers drill a tunnel. A surrealist parable about a changing world order.