“Staircase 2,” “Gatekeepers” set for 25th IDFA

Dutch festival IDFA has unveiled the program for its 25th edition, with Jean-Xavier de Lestrade's (pictured) sequel to The Staircase set to premiere in Amsterdam among the docs in competition.
October 15, 2012

Dutch festival IDFA has unveiled the program for its 25th edition, with Jean-Xavier de Lestrade’s (pictured) sequel to The Staircase set to premiere in Amsterdam among the docs in competition.

The Staircase 2: The Last Chance, details of which were first revealed by realscreen in April this year, features among 16 docs in the IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary, alongside Wrong Time Wrong Place by John Appel, which opens the festival on November 14.

The winner takes a €12,500 (US$16,180) prize, and the jury comprises this year of Susan Froemke (U.S.), Michael Glawogger (Austria), Maria Goos (the Netherlands), Jørgen Leth (Denmark) and Kenneth Turan (U.S.).

The full feature-length documentary competition line-up, with film descriptions provided by IDFA, follows:

Bad Boy High Security Cell by Janusz Mrozowski (France/Poland)
The diary of a Polish bank robber in solitary confinement – without privacy, visiting rights, or even a window – struggling against insanity.

First Cousin Once Removed by Alan Berliner (U.S.)
An intimate and sensitive portrait of poet Edwin Honig, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, in the final phase of his life.

The Gatekeepers by Dror Moreh (Israel/France/Germany/Belgium)
Six former leaders of Israel’s state security service Shin Bet reveal aspects of the War on Terror.

Housemaids by Gabriel Mascaro (France/Lebanon/Brazil)
Affluent Brazilian young people film their live-in maids, providing insight into their relationships with these family members from another world.

I Am Breathing by Morag McKinnon and Emma Davie (England/Scotland/Denmark)
Neil Platt is 33, has just become a father and is terminally ill. He broadcasts candid, humorous observations on life by means of a blog.

In the Dark Room by Nadav Schirman (Germany/Israel/Romania/Finland/Italy)
A film portrait of Magdalena Kopp, the German wife of Carlos the Jackal, one of the world’s most notorious terrorists.

The Lost Fighters of Vietnam by Lê Lam (France)
Elderly Vietnamese men talk about their experiences as colonial forced labor in France during World War Two, about gambling addiction and hunger, and about emancipation and pride.

Miss Nikki and the Tiger Girls by Juliet Lamont (Australia)
After decades of military dictatorship, Burma’s first girl group wrestle with the question: what to sing about when you’ve always been told what to do?

Missing in the Land of Gods by Davor Dirlic (Australia)
Engaging portrait of an Australian married couple searching India for their son, who disappeared in 2005 after a stay in an ashram.

My Afghanistan – Life in the Forbidden Zone by Nagieb Khaja (Denmark)
Thanks to some secretly distributed cell phones equipped with cameras, average Afghanis provide us with a rare glimpse into their war-torn lives.

Rafea: Solar Mama by Jehane Noujaim and Mona Eldaief (US/Denmark/Jordania/India)
When Bedouin Rafea gets an opportunity to train as a solar engineer in India, she meets great resistance from her unemployed husband and conservative community.

Selection: Who Will Be a Gurkha? by Kesang Tseten Lama (Nepal/Finland)
In spite of the t0ugh selection procedure, every year thousands of young Nepalese join the Gurkhas, an elite unit of the British army.

Smash & Grab – The Story of the Pink Panthers by Havana Marking (England)
The story of the world’s most wanted diamond robbers, told from the point of view of the culprits themselves, the police, and the press. We’ve seen this classic cat-and-mouse game in many movies, but this time it’s real.

The Sons of the Land by Edouard Bergeon (France)
As the filmmaker – himself a farmer’s son – follows the struggles of a French farmer, he talks about his father’s suicide.

The Staircase 2: The Last Chance by Jean-Xavier de Lestrade (France)
After eight years in prison, there is a glimmer of hope for alleged murderer Michael Peterson. A new chapter in this thrilling docu-thriller series.

Wrong Time Wrong Place by John Appel (Netherlands)
Survivors of the shootings on the Norwegian island of Utøya talk about their experiences and the role played by chance.

In addition to the feature-length documentary category, IDFA also hosts competition categories for mid-length documentary, “first appearance,” student documentary, Dutch documentary and music documentary. There is also a DOC U award, voted for by a youth jury; and an audience award.

As previously reported, this year’s IDFA Top 10 will be compiled by Russian filmmaker Victor Kossakovsky. IDFA runs from November 14 to 25 in Amsterdam.

About The Author
Andrew Jeffrey joined Realscreen in 2021 as its news editor. Here, he helps to oversee assignment, reporting and editing for Realscreen's daily newsletter. Prior to his work covering documentary and non-fiction film and TV, he worked as a reporter and associate producer for CBC Edmonton, and as a reporter for The Star Calgary, where he covered daily news on beats such as local and provincial politics, health care and harm reduction, sports and education. His work has appeared in other Canadian news outlets such as TVO, the Edmonton Journal and Avenue Magazine.