Dutch filmmaker Jiska Rickels' first feature-length film "4 Elements" will kick off the 2006 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) on Thursday, November 23rd this year. The poetic four-part film is described as a, "documentary about man's struggle with the primordial elements." In the film she looks at professions in which the elements -- earth, air, fire and water -- play a crucial role. In the words of a festival description, "In Fire, Russian firemen fight forest fires in Siberia, while in Water, fishermen in Alaska hoist up king crabs from the Bering Sea. Earth, a shortened version of 'Untertage' [Rickels' student film], follows two German mineworkers as they go about their business. In Air, which concludes the tetralogy, cosmonauts and astronauts prepare their launch of the International Space Station."
While the complete festival program is still to be announced, doc director Alan Berliner will present ten favorites at this year's event, and the festival will also screen a number of his films. IDFA will also highlight work from China. The 19th annual festival will continue through December 3rd in the Dutch city. The IDFA Forum, the largest international documentary co-financing market, will run from November 27 - 29 during the festival. For more information, visit the IDFA website. [Eugene Hernandez]