Jury Report: IDFA Competition for Dutch Documentary 2016

This selection of Dutch films reveals a diversity of content and form, some taking bold approaches in documentary storytelling. One predominant discourse in many of the films is the pressing issue of immigration. Together, those films offer a panorama of perspectives on the Syrian war and subsequent refugee crisis, as well as a look in the mirror of a confused Europe, struggling with its own responses and fears. Dutch filmmakers are not confined to their own national boundaries. They creatively and compassionately reflect upon issues beyond borders with introspection, inquiry and concern. Similarly, we see some filmmakers deal with anguish, pain and existential dilemma of individuals and try to take a position of sharing their personal experiences with the audience. From contemporary issues to deeper intensive quests, the package offers great latitude in terms of storytelling styles, compelling images and authorial stances, though we missed, in some films, more context and clarity in the laying out of their stories.

IDFA Special Jury Award for Dutch Documentary
This film, in a formal take, is a brutal, direct lesson on contemporary European refugee politics, as well as a timely reflection on a divided European vision, threatened by a democratic crisis and governed by pragmatic bureaucracy. It might not be a perfect film but it’s provocative and daring, using a social experiment with real people, a task which demands a precise balance between artistic integrity and ethical awareness. We recognizing the director’s aesthetic and political courage to try to walk that difficult line.
The IDFA Special Jury Award for Dutch Documentary goes to Stranger in Paradise by Guido Hendrikx.

Beeld en Geluid IDFA Award for Best Dutch Documentary
This film combines cinematic skill with a strong narrative. Early on, we are tortured by ongoing images, too horrific to watch. Then we notice a young kid, watching the same. This is above all his trauma. From a sci-fi nightmare, the film rapidly develops into an uplifting story about resistance, grace and the force of life. The director convincingly captures our ability to ‘rise from the ashes’ within the duration of one film.
The Beeld en Geluid IDFA Award for Best Dutch Documentary goes to Radio Kobanî by Reber Dosky.

Jury Biographies

Tine Fischer is the founder and director of the international film festival CPH:DOX. She is also the director and founder of CPH:LAB, an international talent development and production program, and CPH:FORUM, an international co-production and financing forum. Previous to running the festival, she worked for five years at the Danish Film Institute, programming the National Cinematheque. For the last ten years, she has been involved in the contemporary art scene as a partner in the leading Scandinavian art gallery Andersen’s Contemporary, and as curator of a number of exhibitions with specific focus on art-based film practices. In 2009, Fischer graduated from the European producer program EAVE. She is the owner of the film production company Fischer Film, specialized in the crossover between film and contemporary art. Among the projects she has produced in recent years is the Orizzonti Award-winning Accidentes gloriosos by Mauro Andrizzi and Marcus Lindeen. 

Maureen Gosling, a filmmaker for more than 40 years, has worked as a director, producer, editor, sound recordist and distributor. Together with Chris Simon, Gosling produced and directed the feature documentary This Ain’t No Mouse Music!, on the life of American roots music record producer Chris Strachwitz. Gosling directed, produced and edited Blossoms of Fire, a feature-length film on the Zapotecs of Oaxaca, Mexico. She is best known for her 20-year collaboration as co-filmmaker, editor and sound recordist with the late director Les Blank, with whom she made more than 20 documentaries. Their best-known film is the British Academy Award-winning “making of” classic Burden of Dreams, on Werner Herzog’s filming of Fitzcarraldo in the Peruvian Amazon. Gosling’s current projects include editing A Dangerous Idea, directed by Stephanie Welch; co-directing and editing The Long Shadow, directed by Frances Causey; and working with Maxine Downs on Bamako Chic: Threads of Power, Color and Culture.

Ester Gould is a Scottish-born documentary filmmaker who lives and works in Amsterdam. She studied Film and Journalism in Amsterdam and New York and began her career as a researcher and scriptwriter for acclaimed director Heddy Honigmann. Since 2005 she has been directing her own films and series. A Strange Love Affair with Ego – her second feature-length documentary – won last year’s IDFA Award for Best Dutch Documentary, a special mention for best female-directed film and recently, the KNF prize from Dutch film critics. Strike a Pose – co-directed by Reijer Zwaan – won an audience award at this year’s Berlinale, was released successfully in Dutch cinemas and has since been screened at more than sixty film festivals worldwide. This year, Variety named her one of ten European "Female Filmmakers to Watch". She is currently working together with Sarah Sylbing on a six-part documentary series about debt.

Nilotpal Majumdar is the founder and president of Documentary Resource Initiative (DRI), that seamlessly works with Indian/Asian documentary filmmakers through mentoring, training and co-production. He spearheaded DRI’s intensive incubation cum pitching forum DocedgeKolkata, Asian Forum for Documentary. Majumdar is a postgraduate from the Film & Television Institute of India in Pune with a specialization in editing. He has been working as writer, director, editor and cinematographer for documentary and fiction as well. He attended international festivals and workshops as jury, tutor and mentor. Till January 2016 he served as Professor and Dean of Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute in Kolkata, a premier film institute in India for postgraduate studies. Presently he is the director of Manipur State Film & Television Institute in Imphal, Manipur.  

Qi Zhao is a documentary professional based in Beijing. He has worked as a commissioning editor at China Central Television for 20 years since 1996. He served as chairperson for ABU (Asian Pacific Broadcasters’ Union) Prize in 2009 and executive producer of ABU documentary co-production among 15 Asian countries in 2012 and 2013. Qi Zhao directs and produces independent feature documentary films with international recognition. His works include the award-winning documentaries Last Train Home, China Heavyweight, and The Chinese Mayor. Qi Zhao works as senior consultant, jury member and advisor at Asian Side of the Doc, Tokyo Documentary Forum, DMZ International Documentary Festival and Guangzhou International Documentary Festival.
Call for Entry: IDFA Bertha Fund December 22, 2016 | The IDFA Bertha Fund is looking for new creative documentary projects from developing countries for both its classic program and the IBF Europe distribution scheme.
Ally Derks receives Pioneer Award December 12, 2016 | Last Saturday, Ally Derks received a prestigious Pioneer Award from the International Documentary Association.
Open Call: Short Web Documentaries November 26, 2016 | IDFA and Jos de Putter from Deep Focus Web Documentaries invite entries for project proposals from talented (young) filmmakers.
And the winners are... November 23, 2016 | At the Awards Ceremony in the Stadsschouwburg, the 14 winners of IDFA 2016 have just been announced.


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