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IDFA 2006.4: We Are Together

IDFA 2006.4: We Are Together

IDFA 2006 is drawing to a close, but what a busy and eventful week it was. Folks from around the globe are now splitting up, and returning back to their respective home countries. But, for a week in cold Holland, we were together. Paul Taylor’s documentary, We Are Together, was far and away the big crowd favorite at the festival. Some industry audiences were a little more critical of the film’s reliance on its sugary-sweet message, but you couldn’t deny that the AIDS-orphans-forming-a-choir saga was touching and emotional. The film was also poised to win the audience award at the festival, at last count. With an HBO deal in the works for the film, U.S. audiences will likely have a chance to see this sentimental and uplifting doc in a few months.

Less likely to break out stateside is Nuovi comizi d’amore, the Italian documentary that made headlines a few months ago by being the first official doc feature to be produced via a cellphone. 90 minutes of talking-heads discussing their views on sex, gets old fast. The gimmick of it all on a cellphone is intriguing… for about the first 10 minutes. Oh well… maybe next time. Here are some final pics:

(The competition doc craze – think ‘Spellbound’ and ‘Mad Hot Ballroom’ – gets a facelift! It’s the new documentary, ‘Old Guys Playing Chess!’ It’ll warm your heart… or, this is just a bunch of old random Dutch dudes playing a game near the Park Hotel in Amsterdam.)

(Popular documentary blogger, Agnes Varnum, outside the City cinema.)

(I couldn’t resist snapping a pic of IDFA programmer Martijn te Pas, at one of the cocktail parties, as he sports his proud SXSW T-shirt that he picked up while attending SXSW 2006. What else did he get besides the T-shirt? ‘Maxed Out,’ ‘Shadow Company,’ and more for the Dutch fest.)

(The scene at one of many corridors found at “Docs for Sale,” IDFA’s bustling documentary market.)

(Hanging out at the British Drinks party at the Hotel Vondel, are Katie Speight of More4, left, and Finnuola Jamison from the Toronto Film Festival.)

(Hanging and co-hosting at the British Drinks was Sheffield International Documentary Festival head Heather Croall, far right, chatting with ‘Every Good Marriage Begins with Tears’ director Simon Chambers and his film’s subject.)

(Outside the Vondel during the British Drinks party, ’51 Birch Street’ director Doug Block is flanked by ‘A Lion in the House’ directors Julia Reichert and Steve Bognar. Julia and Steve just learned minutes before this photo that they were nominated for an Independent Spirit Award.)

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