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IDFA Sets Slate for 2003 Doc Festival

IDFA Sets Slate for 2003 Doc Festival

IDFA Sets Slate for 2003 Doc Festival

by Claiborne Smith

Pictures, a scene from Ulrich Seidl’s “Jesus, You Know,” which will screen at IDFA 2003. Image courtesy of the festival.

The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), one of the world’s major documentary film festivals, will take place from November 20-30 this year with over 200 documentaries slated to be screened. Organizers unveiled the lineup for the festival at a press conference this week.

IDFA will host three juried competition programs divided chiefly by the documentary’s length. In the Joris Ivens Competition, one of 20 docs that are 60 minutes or longer will receive 12,500 euros; the Silver Wolf Competition also features 20 docs, each of which is under 60 minutes, and one of which will win 10,000 euros. The First Appearance category is for 20 first-time documentarians, one of whom will win 2,500 euros. IDFA also features an Audience Award with 4,500 euros as the prize.

IDFA will continue its annual regular programs this year, among them the Top 10, in which a noted filmmaker presents his or her 10 favorite films. Austrian filmmaker Ulrich Seidl, in addition to screening his 10 favorite films, will also be the subject of a retrospective at IDFA. Among IDFA’s other regular programs are Reflecting Images, an international selection of docs that garnered buzz at other festivals (including Nick Broomfield and Joan Churchill’s “Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer,” “Capturing the Friedmans,” and Frederick Wiseman’s “Domestic Violence 2”). Highlights of the Lowlands features the most notable Dutch documentaries of the past year, and the Jan Vrijman Fund Program highlights docs that received money from the Fund, which bestows funding to documentarians in developing countries.

One of IDFA’s special programs this year, USA Today, focuses on the ways in which U.S. ideology gets exported to the rest of the world, particularly after the launch of the War on Terrorism. USA Today will feature the French doc “CIA: Secret Wars,” Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott’s “The Corporation,” and “Surplus,” which analyzes globalization.

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