“Return to Homs,” “Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case” set for IDFA

The full line-up has been unveiled for the 26th IDFA, with The Unknown Known (pictured), Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case and Return to Homs featuring among the Dutch fest's 288-title program.
October 11, 2013

The full line-up has been unveiled for the 26th International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, with The Unknown Known (pictured), Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case and Return to Homs featuring among the 288-title program.

The Dutch fest takes place from November 20 to December 1, and will host 100 world premieres.

This year’s event will see a special themed program dedicated to docs from Southeast Asia, and this year’s IDFA Top 10 is compiled by Cambodian director Rithy Panh, who will also have a retrospective of his work screening at the fest.

The festival has selected 15 films to compete in its headline flagship Competition for Feature-Length Documentary, with docs on the history of South Africa’s first opera company; Chinese artist Ai Weiwei; and the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia.

IDFA will also play host to a range of fall festival hits, including Alex Gibney’s The Armstrong Lie, Errol Morris’s The Unknown Known, Marcel Ophül’s Ain’t Misbehavin’, Claude Lanzmann’s The Last of the Unjust, Lucy Walker’s The Crash Reel and Fred Wiseman’s At Berkeley.

Among the other highlights will be a program called ‘Based on the Same Story,’ which consists of seven documentaries on topics about which a fiction film has also been made, such as Kevin Macdonald’s One Day in September and Steven Spielberg’s Munich, or Greg Barker’s Manhunt and Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty.

Both the docs and the fiction films will screen, followed by an in-depth discussion with the documentarian in the cinema, during which the similarities and differences between the two films will be investigated.

The full IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary line-up, with edited descriptions provided by the festival, follows:

Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case by Andreas Johnsen (Denmark)
Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei wonders, after three months of lonely confinement, what the price of his struggle is.

Alphabet by Erwin Wagenhofer (Austria/Germany)
Arm-in-arm in the classroom or painting whatever you want? An indictment of competitive education and a plea for the imagination of the individual.

Birth of a Tiger by Sam Benstead (England)
The newly formed nation of South Sudan employs a Serbian coach to get its national football team up and running.

Displaced Persons by Åsa Blanck & Johan Palmgren (Sweden)
Forty years ago, Pelle Persson left Sweden and settled in Pakistan. Now he returns to his motherland with the family he started far from home.

Farewell to Hollywood by Henry Corra & Regina Nicholson (U.S.)
A heartwarming yet heartbreaking and controversial ode to 17-year-old Reggie, who is struggling with cancer, her family and the realization of her cinematic dream.

An Inconsolable Memory by Aryan Kaganof (South Africa)
A reconstruction of the history of South Africa’s first opera company, Eoan, and an exercise in getting at the truth of what it was to be “a colored.”

Life Almost Wonderful by Svetoslav Draganov (Bulgaria/Belgium)
An observational documentary about three brothers and their granny. Despite their hardships, they still believe happiness is just a hope away.

Ne me quitte pas by Niels van Koevorden & Sabine Lubbe Bakker (the Netherlands)
A Direct Cinema portrait of the Flemish Bob and the Walloon Marcel, two Belgian friends who share loneliness, humor, alcoholism and suicide plans with great élan.

Putin’s Games by Alexander Gentelev (Russia/Austria)
This investigative documentary uncovers the hidden story behind the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Return to Homs by Talal Derki (Syria/Germany)
A remarkably intimate portrait of the unequal struggle of a group of young revolutionaries in Homs, Syria, against the national army destroying their city.

Sepideh by Berit Madsen (Denmark)
A portrait of a courageous young Iranian woman who refuses to conform to expectations and dreams of a future as an astronaut.

Shado’man by Boris Gerrets (the Netherlands)
A cinematic portrait of the nocturnal street life of the disabled in Sierra Leone, in which a group of friends reflects on their complex existences.

Song from the Forest by Michael Obert (Germany)
American Louis Sarno has been living for 25 years in the jungle, among the pygmies of central Africa. Now he’s taking his pygmy son to see America for the first time.

Stream of Love by Agnes Sós (Hungary)
Love and desire still fill the hearts and thoughts of elderly villagers in Transylvania, Hungary. Their spirits are young, despite their years.

The Wild Years by Ventura Durall (Spain)
Living without money or adult involvement, three street children struggle to survive in the capital of Ethiopia.


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