The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) is bringing back its music documentary competition for a second year. Organized in partnership with the city’s Melkweg cultural center, the bulk of the program will run on November 17 and 18 at the Melkweg’s Rabozaal theater.
This year, 15 docs will compete for the IDFA Melkweg Award for Music Documentary, including Andreas Koefoed’s Ghost of Piramida,which follows the Danish band Efterklang as they record an album in the deserted Russian mining town Pyramida; Poull Brien’s Charles Bradley: Soul of America, about an American soul singer that begins a late career renaissance at 62; Jeff Howlet and Mark Covino’s A Band Called Death, about the rediscovery of Detroit punk band Death; and Stefan Schwietert’s Balkan Melodie, about Balkan music collectors Marcel and Catherine Cellier.
The films will screen during the day with discussions and short musical performances in between. Evening screenings will be followed by a performance by one of the artists. That program includes Petter Ringbom’s The Russian Winter, a doc about American musician John Forté’s (pictured) trip through Russia after his release from prison. Forté will perform following the screening with a group of Russian musicians featured in the film. The screenings of Ghost of Piramida and A Band Called Death will also be followed by performances in the Rabozaal.
On November 21, a screening of the film Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me by Drew Denicola will be followed by a performance by latter-day Big Star member and co-founder of The Posies, Jon Auer, with a line-up of Dutch pop artists. The next day, the Melweg is organizing a program called Tunes Changing The world, which will examine songs that have helped inspire change.