IDFA Competition for First Appearance

    • set 12 items

    The competition for debut feature films includes 12 titles, all world or international premieres, from engaged filmmakers with a remarkable creative vision. See the jury members here.

    The IDFA Competition for First Appearance is made possible by the Friends of IDFA.

    Items in this selection


    • 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.


    • Alejandro Salgado
    • 2019

    Hidden among the rocks and caves along the coastline of Melilla, a group of boys hope to make the crossing to Europe. The prospect of a better life is worth the endless waiting.


    • Ilya Povolotsky
    • 2019

    A stylishly filmed portrait of a small, idiosyncratic community at the edge of the world. Whether stoical, rebellious or humble, the Russian protagonists determinedly chart their own course.

    I Love You I Miss You I Hope I See You Before I Die

    • Eva Marie Rødbro
    • 2019

    A harsh and dreamy story of a young girl and her longing heart, set in the American West. Through Betty we experience a tight family clan where love and dependency go hand in hand.

    I Owe You a Letter About Brazil

    • Carol Benjamin
    • 2019

    Filmmaker Carol Benjamin’s father spent years in jail during the Brazilian military dictatorship. It drove her grandmother to become a human rights activist. What scars has this era left on their family and country, and why is nobody talking about it?

    Lessons of Love

    • Małgorzata Goliszewska, Katarzyna Mateja
    • 2019

    Free-spirited Jola, after escaping from an abusive marriage finds herself thrust into a new romance at a latino dancing class. Will she embrace love for the first time in her life at the age of 69?

    My Darling Supermarket

    • Tali Yankelevich
    • 2019

    Between repetitive actions such as stocking shelves and scanning groceries, anonymous Brazilian supermarket employees reflect frankly on their lives, society, and the role they dream of playing in it.

    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..


    • Lucy Parker
    • 2019

    Investigations and interviews reveal shocking practices in the British construction industry, which for years kept a secret blacklist of workers who complained about working conditions. Multiple voices bear witness to an ongoing struggle for justice.

    Speak So I Can See You

    • Marija Stojnić
    • 2019

    The beauty of radio is the subject of this observational and abstract experimental film. The story follows Radio Belgrade, one of Europe’s oldest radio stations, as we witness its inevitable modernization.


    • Simón Uribe Martínez
    • 2019

    Builders, rescue workers, engineers and curious day trippers each have their own view of the absurdity of a deadly road and an unfinished bridge in the jungle. The local community is paying the price for political arrogance.

    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.