As the 27th IDFA festival is coming to an end it is time to analyze the successes of this event. Noteworthy is the fact that the amounts of people attending the screenings and also the professionals engaged in and present at the festival have once again risen, compared to previous editions of IDFA.
The price winners were announced at the Awards Ceremony yesterday. Laurent Bécue-Renard took home the VPRO IDFA Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary for Of Men and War. The BankGiroLoterij IDFA Audience Award went to Naziha’s Spring by Dutch director Gülsah Dogan. Many other films received special prices.
One of the reasons for a larger audience to join, is probably also the option of using the IDFA-app (introduced in 2013) better and larger screening facilities like EYE cinema and the Rabozaal in the Melkweg, which was very useful for films in the ‘music documentary’ genre, which went well with the venue and audience of Melkweg itself. One could also say that the new hang-out of cafe the Jaren was at times overcrowded: for the first time in the IDFA history, where numerous directors and crew members, editors, producers, journalist and ‘wanna be filmmakers’ cluster together, every now and then there was a sense of too many and too much.
For those who were pitching their future products in documentary film, in front of a large number of TV broadcasters and film festivals across the globe, the IDFA Forum was a big hit. Directors and producers gave short introductions in words accompanied by a trailer to give some insight in the future films, to be expected at IDFA or other festivals in 2015 and so on.
Before the start of this edition of IDFA, Ally Derks, director of IDFA, requested the members of the press to finally write about IDFA Forum as not many people in the general audience understand that this behind the screens event is one of the successes of the festival itself. A marketplace – so to speak – where new and upcoming ideas and directors get a chance to exchange ideas with a large professional and international committee of devoted film lovers, distributors and alike, helps to generate an atmosphere for which this festival is known.
Besides this element which is not or less known to the 250.000 paying visitors, being able to have a talk with one of the producers or directors of a film, during the Q and A sessions after many of the screenings, should be considered a major bonus of this event.
Of the 16 screenings I personally went to, only one had a problem with sound or image during the screening. Maybe due to the fact this happened in the concert and rock temple Melkweg, of which the cinema facilities are rather new.
Read more about the price-winning films and other precious hidden gems at IDFA this year and previous editions in the film section of this website. If the film is about a musician, you will find it in the music section.
Of the hundreds of volunteers helping out with the daily crowd management and translating during this festival, one can only say they did a good job. Also IDFA’s TV section, live talks, and daily paper, were of high quality.