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Everything You Need to Know About This Year’s IDFA

Everything You Need to Know About This Year's IDFA

The 2011 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam wrapped its 24th edition last Friday with South Korea’s “Planet of Snail” taking the top prize. Indiewire was on the scene in Amsterdam, reporting on the buzz titles and interviewing a crop of the hottest talent. Below find everything you need to know about 2011’s IDFA.


“Planet of Snail” Takes Top IDFA Prize
IDFA handed out its prizes Friday evening, with South Korean director Seung-Jun Yi’s “Planet of Snail” taking the Best Feature-Length Documentary prize. The  Special Jury Award went to “5 Broken Cameras” (Palestine/Israel) by Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi, who also won the Publieke Omroep IDFA Audience Award. The film received financial support from the festival’s Jan Vrijman Fund.

Cinelan Joins IDFA for its “Focus Forward” Initiative
Film/video publisher Cinelan unveiled a multi-year collaboration with IDFA over the weekend. The aim is to partner on their worldwide initiative, “Focus Forward – Short Films, Big Ideas,” a series of “3-minute nonfiction films about the incredible human power of ideas and invention.”

Lorber Films Catches “Sushi” at IDFA
U.S. rights to Mark S. Hall’s doc “Sushi: The Global Catch” has been picked up by Kino Lorber, the distributor’s Richard Lorber told Indiewire at the International Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA). Lorber said the company will likely begin rolling out the film, which looks at the rise in popularity of the Japanese specialty around the world and its threat to the bluefin tuna.


Mads Brugger on Radical Journalism and His Controversial IDFA Opener “The Ambassador”
Mads Brügger’s “The Ambassador” is certain to be one of the most discussed documentaries at the festival, as well as scores of documentary festivals to come. Brügger’s follow-up to his Sundance award-winning “The Red Chapel,” the film takes the director’s remarkably hands-on approach to investigative journalism a controversial step further.

A View from the Bleachers: Catching Pitches at IDFA’s Forum
Doc makers, broadcast commissioning editors and funders gather each year for the FORUM, IDFA’s co-financing and co-production market. It’s the opportunity to consider what IDFA hopes are the most promising new projects that will be completed within the next couple of years. According to organizers, the event has an extremely successful track record, with 90% of pitched projects reaching completion.

Why lise Birk Pedersen’s “Putin’s Kiss” is an IDFA Discovery
“Putin’s Kiss,” the first feature doc for Danish filmmaker Lise Birk Pedersen, attracted more than 300 people for its world premiere at IDFA. Judging by reactions, they were not disappointed.

How “Monastery” Director Pernille Rose Gronkjaer Became a “Love Addict”
After her hugely successful 2006 documentary, “The Monastery” (which won a major award at IDFA, screened in competition at Sundance and was nominated for an Indie Spirit Award), Pernille Rose Grønkjær took on a little-known epidemic: Love addiction.

Why IDFA Founder Ally Derks is the High Priestess of Documentaries
As founder and head of IDFA, Ally Derks presides over one of the year’s most anticipated annual nonfiction film events. Now in its 24th year and under way through next weekend, Derks has witnessed first-hand the rise, evolution and challenges of documentary.

Indiewire Names 12 IDFA Premieres Likely to Hit U.S. Festivals in 2012
Here are 12 debut titles that Indiewire predicts will hit the film festival circuit Stateside in 2012. And while we picked an even dozen, there’s undoubtedly more titles playing here that will also head to U.S. screens.

Here’s 10 Docs That Everyone’s Watching at IDFA
Everything from a pair of twin prostitutes to a man who has been blind and deaf since childhood are the subjects of this year’s batch of docs.

FUTURES | Danish Doc Duo Debuts With IDFA’s “Ballroom Dancer”
“Ballroom Dancer” is the directorial debut for Bonke and Koefoed and had its world premiere as the opening film of CPH:DOX and heads to IDFA this weekend. The story of a champion dancer who’s now struggling with an aging body and an intense anger management problem that keeps scaring off dance partners, it’s accessible, charming and you’re going to be seeing a lot of it on the festival circuit.

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