IDFA announces 64 projects selected for 31st edition of IDFA Forum
IDFA announces 64 projects selected for 31st edition of IDFA Forum

IDFA announces 64 projects selected for 31st edition of IDFA Forum

Thursday, October 5
By staff

The 31st edition of the festival’s co-production and co-financing market welcomes both established filmmakers and new voices to the international stage.

The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam is delighted to announce the 64 documentary projects selected for IDFA Forum 2023. The 31st edition of the festival’s co-production and co-financing market welcomes both established filmmakers and new voices to the international stage. Among the 64 projects selected for IDFA Forum, the Rough Cut Presentations expands this year into a two-day event showcasing eleven projects, including five urgent projects by Ukrainian filmmakers. IDFA Forum takes place live in Amsterdam’s Felix Meritis and other locations from November 12 to 15.

“Next to presenting this year’s outstanding slate of projects, we are excited to be expanding our capacity to showcase and adapt to the needs of filmmakers. We received a record number of Rough Cut submissions this year, over a third more than in previous years, which we took as a clear sign that filmmakers and producers are in need of support in their process. That is why this edition of Forum has extended its Rough Cut Presentations to show crucial projects from Ukraine that need to be seen and deserve the widest possible audience,” said Adriek van Nieuwenhuijzen, Head of IDFA Industry.

Forum Pitch

The Forum Pitch presents 21 projects this year. The selection includes notable filmmakers who make their return to IDFA, such as Aboozar Amini, whose Kabul, City of the Wind screened at IDFA 2018, and is now pitching the project Kabul, Year Zero, which threads together three vivid coming-of-age stories against the backdrop of war. After presenting The Postcard at IDFA 2020 and receiving IDFA Bertha Fund support for The Mother of All Lies, Asmae El Moudir is back with Don’t Let The Sun Go Up On Me, a VHS-driven love story between father and daughter. The Visit director Michael Madsen returns with Architecture as Invention, which captures star architect Daniel Libeskind’s journey into imagining his final masterpiece. 

A strong slate of emerging directors and producers also join the pitch lineup. Among them are Daniel Nils Roberts with EatenFish, with confirmed support by seasoned producer Anne Köhncke (Final Cut for Real Norway), which traces the future outlooks for a cartoonist who has fled his country. Artist Zoya Laktionova pitches her first feature-length project, using diaries and photographs to tell the stories of her own and other Ukrainian families whose homes have been destroyed by Russia’s full-scale invasion in Ashes Settling in Layers on the Surface.

Producers Connection

Thirteen projects in early stages have been selected for Producers Connection, the Forum’s section for fostering international co-productions. Several stand out projects previously received IDFA Bertha Fund support. City of the Sun director Rati Oneli returns with El Dorado, a story of seeking ancient cave riches in the face of environmental devastation, and A Girl and a Gun by Arya Amber Lalloo, which surveys personal and colonial archives in search for liberation from the image.

Rough Cut Presentations

Expanding the category this year, Rough Cut Presentations at Forum has selected eleven projects. Next to the usual six projects, the selection will showcase five urgent Ukrainian projects—four of which have previously received support by IDFA Bertha Fund. Highlights include the IDFA Bertha Fund-supported Flowers of Ukraine by Adelina Borets, which details one woman’s battle to protect her lush green home from the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, and To Use a Mountain by Casey Carter, presenting rural American stories of environmental ruin and ecopolitical activism in six candidate sites for nuclear dumping grounds.

IDFA DocLab Forum

The market’s new media strand IDFA DocLab Forum presents 20 projects in all stages of development and production. The selection includes experimental and playful projects tackling the subject of algorithms, gestures of love, and digital doubles. Next to a wide range of creative teams and subjects, the selection presents formats including VR, AR, games, mixed media, installations, and audio projects. Ambitious highlights include Nicolas Blies’ and Stéphane Hueber-Blies’ Ceci est mon coeur (Here lies my heart) and Francisca Silva’s Knowing Your Nature. Baff Akoto’s Collatoral Echoes speaks of police violence in the United Kingdom, and Laura A Dima’s Future Affair explores robots as a medium for human connection.

IDFA Forum 2023

Running from Sunday, November 12 to Wednesday, November 15, this year’s IDFA Forum will welcome teams, Industry Representatives, and Observers to attend the Producers Connection, Forum Pitches, DocLab Forum, and Rough Cut Presentations. This year, the Forum expands it Rough Cut Presentations to take place over two days (November 12 and 13), and the Forum Pitches will be scheduled to take place over two days (November 13 and 14). Producers Connection will take place on November 13. 

Read more about the Forum here.