The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) is almost upon us, while many are just now starting to recover from AFM/AFI craziness. There’s an email chain out there that’s spreading around from USA industry members planning their annual trip to The Netherlands. I visited IDFA for the first time last year, and had a wonderful experience. The weather isn’t great, but you have so many amazing international documentaries, that you spend all your days inside the theaters. This makes sense, seeing as how IDFA has become the premier documentary festival in Europe.
Scouring the lengthy lineup of films, there are some American highlights representing amongst the wealth of European/Asian/Australian standouts. Among them are SXSW 2006 world premieres like Dan Ollman’s Suffering & Smiling, Nick Bianic & Jason Bourque’s Shadow Company, and James Scurlock’s Maxed Out. In addition, there’s Michael Tucker’s absorbing Toronto hit, The Prisoner: Or How I Planned to Kill Tony Blair, masterful cancer tale A Lion in the House, SXSW/Sundance 2006 highlight TV Junkie, the fiery Ghosts of Cite Soleil, A.J. Schnack’s poetic Kurt Cobain About a Son, and the already-controversial USA release, Jesus Camp. But, take it from me, that world-premiere American docs worth seeing include Andrew Berends’ When Adnan Comes Home and Lauren Lazin’s The Last Days of Left Eye.
And these are just the films I’ve seen. I can’t wait to dip into the rest of the program and discover some really powerful stuff. Who needs good weather, when you have films like these?