IDFA Competition for First Appearance

    • set 12 items

    A cinema of feelings, a cinema of facts: The IDFA Competition for First Appearance explores both. The 12-title selection includes 10 world premieres and a notable presence of female filmmakers from lower-volume production countries, heralding a promising future for documentary film.

    Selected for First Appearance

    5 Houses

    • Bruno Gularte Barreto
    • 2020

    Twenty years after he left his hometown in the south of Brazil, a filmmaker returns. His portraits of five local people reawaken painful memories. A bitter yet tender look at the past.

    Divinations

    • Leandro Picarella
    • 2020

    A remarkable Sicilian fortune teller and tarot reader helps desperate clients with affairs of the heart, but has his own personal problems. A mysterious yet earthly portrait with fictional elements.

    Everything Will Not Be Fine

    • Adrian Pirvu, Helena Maksyom
    • 2020

    The Chernobyl disaster caused Adrian’s near blindness in one eye. To give his life meaning, he makes a film about other people affected by this event. Falling in love with one of them changes everything, in this moving, candid journey of discovery.

    The Fifth Story

    • Ahmed Abd
    • 2020

    After decades of devastating war in Iraq, the horrors are still fresh in the minds of different generations. Their disturbing stories are filmed in a poetic style that also cautiously opens a door to beauty and contemplation.

    The First Woman

    • Miguel Eek
    • 2020

    After six years in a psychiatric institution, Eva will soon move on to assisted living, the next step to a “normal” life. And then she has another dream: to reunite with the son she hasn’t been in contact with for ten years.

    The Last Hillbilly

    • Diane Sara Bouzgarrou, Thomas Jenkoe
    • 2020

    All the preconceptions about his community are true, born-and-bred hillbilly Brian Ritchie admits. But there is much more to the life of the American mountain people, as we see in this poetic portrait imbued with musings about nature and legacy.

    Nan

    • Peng Zuqiang
    • 2020

    An intimate portrait in which filmmaker Peng Zuqiang follows his uncle Nan and his elderly parents during the last years that the three live together. A warm and sometimes humorous ode to informal caregiving and the strength of family ties.

    The Postcard

    • Asmae El Moudir
    • 2020

    Finding an old picture postcard of a mountain village marks the start of an existential journey for director Asmae El Moudir. She explores life in Zawia, Morocco, where her mother was born.

    Showgirls of Pakistan

    • Saad Khan
    • 2020

    People may regard the way Afreen, Uzma, and Reema earn their living as vulgar, but these Pakistani dancers hold their heads high despite the threats, censorship, and prejudice. An energy-packed, taboo-busting record of a dynamic subculture.

    The Sky Is Red

    • Francina Carbonell
    • 2020

    The Santiago prison fire of 2010 left 81 inmates dead. This reconstruction reveals the vulnerability of prisoners when penal institutions are overfull and maladministration and corruption are the order of the day.

    This Rain Will Never Stop

    • Alina Gorlova
    • 2020

    While navigating the human toll of armed conflict, war refugee and Red Cross volunteer Andriy tries to secure a sustainable future. A striking cinematographic account of the devastating impact of war.

    A Way Home

    • Karima Saidi
    • 2020

    Filmmaker Karima Saïdi’s mother has Alzheimer’s. Now, they turn their thoughts back in time together, for one last time. A poetic portrait of a complex mother-daughter relationship, renewed acquaintance, and a loving farewell.

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