From November 14-25, IDFA (International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam) will celebrate its 25th birthday. Since its launch in 1988 IDFA has been one of the world's leading documentary film festivals, dedicated to the exhibition and promotion of ground-breaking creative documentaries.
The full program will be announced November 3rd, but a couple of confirmed documentaries I can recommend this year include "Searching For Sugar Man" (Malik Bendjelloul), an incredible story about two friends who set out to discover what happened to their unlikely hero, the rumored, unseen and imagined dead musician Rodriguez.
- "Fallen City" (Qi Zhao) explores the depths of solitude, fear, and loss experienced by the survivors of the Sichuan earthquake that killed 90,000 people in 2008 and entirely leveled the town of Beichuan, China.
- Less grievous, but equally interesting is "The Secret of HEMA". The Lion Capital-owned HEMA retailer chain has an iconic status in The Netherlands, offering a wide range of good quality/afforable price products. While the company plans to expand on a global level, filmmaker Yan Ting Yuen offers a unique view behind the scenes of HEMA as she tries to unravel the secret of their appeal.
- Christoffer Guldbrandsen's "Stealing Africa" seeks to expose the truth behind why, despite almost unlimited natural wealth, Africa remains locked in poverty. It shows how, in the pursuit of profit, powerful corporations are actively working against the interests of the world's poorest and most vulnerable people.
- Last but not least, "The Russian Winter" (Petter Ringbom) is a documentary about Grammy-nominated musician John Forté who was convicted and sentenced to the mandatory minimum 14 years after being found guilty on drugs charges. When his prison sentence was remarkably commuted in 2008, Forté was given a second chance to share his talents with the world. Chronicling his concert tour across Russia, this inspirational documentary takes the viewer on Forté's personal journey.
The festival has selected more than 300 films this year, so there's plenty more to be discovered. For more information, full program and tickets hit up idfa.nl