The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) will honor Italian-American doc-maker Gianfranco Rosi in its upcoming 2020 edition with a retrospective, and a screening of his latest effort, Notturno.
Rosi holds the distinction of being the only filmmaker to win top awards at prestigious, A-list film festivals with documentary work — the Golden Lion at Venice in 2013 for Sacro GRA and the Golden Bear at the Berlinale for 2016′s Fire At Sea.
The former, which examined the stories of those who live and work around Rome’s Grande Raccordo Anulare highway, was the first non-fiction film to win the top prize at the Venice Film Festival, while the latter explored the migrant crisis by focusing on the Italian island of Lampedusa, where scores of migrants from the Middle East and Africa have arrived year after year.
Notturno, meanwhile, is slated to premiere at this year’s Venice Film Festival in September. It was shot over the span of three years in Syria, Iraq, Kurdistan and Lebanon and follows the stories of several people attempting to resume their lives while living in war zones and conflict flash points.
The film will then make its way to the Toronto International Film Festival, where it will be repped internationally by sales agent The Match Factory and for U.S. sales by Submarine Entertainment.
“Rosi handles every shot like a jeweler would treat a unique pearl, with great care, patience, and with utmost respect, like a sacred object,” said IDFA artistic director Orwa Nyrabia in a statement. “What we see in the end is a film, a creature that seems so coherent you cannot see the thread anymore, you cannot imagine that a complex matrix of artistic choices was behind what you see, you even have to think: did he just find the film somewhere? Has it always been there, this way, on its own?”
Rosi’s retrospective at IDFA will feature the following films: Boatman (1993), Below Sea Level (2008), El Sicario, Room 164 (2010), Sacro GRA (2013), Fire at Sea (2016), and this year’s Notturno. In addition to the retrospective, IDFA will present Rosi’s Top 10 favorite films.
For 2020, IDFA is programming approximately 200 films in more than 15 cinemas from November 18-29. In addition, the fest will present three virtual cinemas with several screenings each day, with online screenings happening until December 6. Live Q&As with filmmakers will accompany the in-person and virtual screenings. The fest’s market component will occur online from November 16-20.