International Documentary Film Festival. (Festival Wraps).AMSTERDAM 11/22 -- 12/01
The International Documentary Film Festival, Amsterdam (IDFA IDFA International Dairy Foods Association
IDFA International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam
IDFA Improved Decision-Feedback Algorithm
IDFA Illinois Development Financed Authority ) remains Europe's premier documentary festival for several reasons. Firstly, for its imaginative choice of more than 200 films from 50 countries; secondly for the Docs for Sale market, which offered prospective buyers 350 titles; and thirdly for its brilliantly organized Forum, where 42 proposals were pitched in the hope of obtaining financing. Among special events were master classes, including one led by the legendary American filmmaker Frederick Wiseman; a "mediamatic workshop," concerned with the creation of non-linear stories; and a press seminar where filmmakers confronted press and television critics. Every evening there were "happy hours," allowing guests the opportunity to chat informally or, alternatively, attempt to buttonhole but·ton·hole
1. A short straight surgical cut made through the wall of a cavity or canal.
2. The contraction of an orifice down to a narrow slit, as in mitral stenosis. buyers and festival directors.
The films were divided into several categories, some of which were competitive. On one of the juries was Montreal-based Peter Wintonick (Cinema Verite ci·né·ma vé·ri·té
A style of documentary filmmaking that stresses unbiased realism.
[French cinéma-vérité : cinéma, cinema + vérité, truth. : Defining the Moment), and another Canadian, Barry Stevens Barry Stevens is the name of the following people:
Aftermath: The Remnants of War (an NFB NFB National Federation of the Blind
NFB National Film Board of Canada
NFB Negative Feedback
NFB No Fuse Breaker
NFB Normal for Bridgewater (music album) production by Canadian Daniel Sekulich), deals with the hazards remaining when the fighting is over. In France, almost 60 years after the finish of the Second World War, teams are still daily involved in the dangerous business of digging up shells. In Bosnia, the countryside is strewn strew
tr.v. strewed, strewn or strewed, strew·ing, strews
1. To spread here and there; scatter: strewing flowers down the aisle.
2. with landmines; in Vietnam, children are still being born mutilated mu·ti·late
tr.v. mu·ti·lat·ed, mu·ti·lat·ing, mu·ti·lates
1. To deprive of a limb or an essential part; cripple.
2. To disfigure by damaging irreparably: mutilate a statue. as a result of Agent Orange, which was used by the Americans to destroy trees and ground cover. Aftermath is particularly moving in the way Sekulich gets people to share their feelings: "the lousiest job imaginable," observes a Muslim refugee in Sarajevo, who can only earn money by helping to clear a minefield. In a Q&A after the screening Sekulich said, "The world did not change much on September 11. It was dangerous before and it's dangerous now." Someone in the audience suggested that such a straightforward report would be unattractive to broadcasters. It says much for the NFB that the film was made in the first place.
First Kill (by the Netherlands' Coco Schrijber) and War Photographer (by Christian Frei from Switzerland) both reveal how the filmmakers were affected by their subjects. In First Kill, Schrijber investigates the attraction of "legitimate" killing. "Better than any drug," says one former soldier, Schrijber, herself, was a conscript in the Israeli army. "It was 1982, and the Israelis invaded the refugee camps of Sabra sa·bra
A native-born Israeli.
[Hebrew and Shatilla [in Lebanon]. I was totally shocked to see that my side, the good side, committed atrocities. The naivete na·ive·té or na·ïve·té
1. The state or quality of being inexperienced or unsophisticated, especially in being artless, credulous, or uncritical.
2. An artless, credulous, or uncritical statement or act. of people who still think in opposites was the most important reason for my making First Kill." In War Photographer, Frei filmed from just behind war photographer James Natchtwey for two years, in Kosovo, Indonesia and Palestine, sharing both his dangerous life and his views on war. Questioned by Nic Fraser of the BBC BBC
in full British Broadcasting Corp.
Publicly financed broadcasting system in Britain. A private company at its founding in 1922, it was replaced by a public corporation under royal charter in 1927. , who chaired the talk sessions, Frei said, "For me the strength of photography lies in its ability to evoke humanity. So the photographer places himself in the middl e of the war to communicate what is happening, which is like trying to negotiate peace."
The engagement of the audience watching Barry Stevens's Offspring at the screening I attended was clear from the sympathetic laughter. Made for the CBC's The Nature of Things, his film about his search for the man who fathered him through artificial insemination, has a wonderfully light touch; and his elaborately drawn diagrams of family trees This is an index of family trees available. It includes noble, politically important and royal families as well as fictional families and thematic diagrams. Europe
or deoxyribonucleic acid
One of two types of nucleic acid (the other is RNA); a complex organic compound found in all living cells and many viruses. It is the chemical substance of genes. samples have an almost cartoon--like quality. But at the core of the film is his serious and often frustrating search for self-identity. Along the way quite unexpected information emerges: Stevens discovers that he has a 20-year-old daughter from a long-ago affair, the mother having, up to then, believed the father to be someone else. Stevens's persistence, driven by a personal need, has resulted in an exemplary "search documentary."
Meanwhile Docs for Sale ran in the nearby Marriott Hotel, with buyers spending long days watching videos. Prospective purchasers all said they seldom made on-the-spot decisions about buying films, although they liked to have preliminary discussions with sellers. However, for sellers to make direct contact with buyers was difficult, since they only tended to emerge from viewing rooms during the evening's "happy hours." The other major event, The Forum, took place in a former church, known, perhaps optimistically op·ti·mist
1. One who usually expects a favorable outcome.
2. A believer in philosophical optimism.
op , as the Paradiso. The atmosphere, which was friendly but serious, was rather like a court of law mixed with theatre. The centre of the action was a vast horseshoe table, with the applicants, usually a producer and/or director, sitting at one end, while 30 to 40 commissioning editors sit around the remaining table space. Canada was represented by Toronto--based documentary producer / director Peter Raymont (The World Is Watching), who was attempting to obtain additional funding for his latest project, T he World Stopped Watching.
If you are thinking of making an application to participate in The Forum in Amsterdam, it is wise to attend the year before as an observer to get the feel for this high--wire event. It will not only give you the opportunity to see some of the best in contemporary documentary filmmaking but also meet other filmmakers in the IDFA's friendly De Baali Cafe, where much of the business is done.