My Top 25 Picks for IDFA 2014

The 27th edition of IDFA (International Documentary and Film Festival in Amsterdam) will take place from 19th-30th November 2014. I will be there for most of it (my first time attending this festival) and looking forward to marathon documentary viewing sessions.  

This year's edition includes around 300 films, and special themed sectionsincluding DocLab: Immersive RealityThe Female GazeOf Media and Men and Heddy Honigmann Restrospective.

Here are my top 25 picks: 


Act and Wind
Marcelo Masagão, Brazil, 2014, colour / black and white, DCP, 72

Act and Wind Marcelo Masagao IDFA.jpg


The Act of Killing and The Look of Silence
Joshua Oppenheimer, Denmark / England / Norway, 2012, colour, DCP, 159'
Joshua Oppenheimer, Denmark / England / Indonesia / Norway / Finland, 2014, colour, DCP, 98' 

Act of Killing and Look of Silence.jpg
These two films go hand in hand, and if you get a chance, try to see them back to back.  


Laura Poitras, USA / Germany, 2014, colour, DCP, 112' 

Citizen Four.jpg

F for Fake
Orson Welles, France / Germany / Iran, 1974, colour, DCP, 89' 


Finding Fela
Alex Gibney, USA, 2014, colour, DCP, 119' 

Finding Fela IDFA.jpg

Focus on Infinity
Joerg Burger, Austria, 2014, colour, DCP, 80' 

Focus on Infinity Joerg Burger .jpg

From Caligari to Hitler
Rüdiger Suchsland, Germany, 2014, colour / black and white, DCP, 115' 

This richly illustrated film essay presents the Weimar Republic (1918-1933) as an exciting period in which the young art of film underwent reveloutionary developments. 

The Great Museum
Johannes Holzhausen, Austria, 2014, colour, DCP, 94'

The Great Museum Johannes Holzhausen.jpg

The Green Prince
Nadav Schirman, England / Israel / Germany, 2014, colour / black and white, DCP, 95'

The Green Prince Nadav Schirman.jpg

In the Basement
Ulrich Seidl, Austria, 2014, colour, DCP, 81'

In the Basement seeks to depict Austrian's relationships with their basements and to define the specificities of Austrian basements – and if in fact such specificities exist. A filmic exploration of the daily lives of Austrian basements, the film will both unearth answers and throw up new questions, thereby shedding light on the hidden underground. 

Love is All: 100 Years of Love and Courtship
Kim Longinotto, England, 2014, colour / black and white, DCP, 70'

Love is All- 100 Years of Love and Courtship.jpg

Me Girl, Me Princess
María Aramburú, Valeria Pavan, Argentina, 2014, color, DCP, 47'

Me Girl Me Princess .jpg

Night Will Fall
Andre Singer, USA / England / Israel, 2014, colour / black and white, DCP, 85' 

A powerful reconstruction of the creation of a documentary about the German concentration camps. Edited by Hitchcock, the film was never shown. 

Our City
Maria Tarantino, Belgium / The Netherlands, 2014, colour, DCP, 83'

Our City  Maria Tarantino.jpg

Paris is Burning
Jennie Livingston, USA, 1990, colour, 35mm, 71' 

A gorgeous portrait of ball culture in 1980s New York. 

The Possibilities are Endless
Edward Lovelace, James Hall, England, 2014, colour, DCP, 83' 

The Possibilities are Endless .jpg

Profession: Documentarist
Farahnaz Sharifi, Firouzeh Khosrovani, Mina Keshavarz, Nahid Rezaei, Sahar Salahshoor, Sepideh Abtahi, Shirin Barghnavard, Iran, 2014, colour, DCP, 80'

Profession Documentarist.jpg

La Rabbia
Pier Paolo Pasolini, Italy, 1963, black and white, 35mm, 52' 

In this poetic film essay, the first installment of a two-part project, the Marxist Pasolini analyes modern life and offers a scathing critique of Europe. 


Regarding Susan Sontag
Nancy Kates, USA, 2014, colour / black and white, DCP, 100'

Regarding Susan Sontag.jpg

Salaam Cinema
Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Iran, 1995, colour, video, 75'

Mohsen Makhmalbaf's comical look at a hidden part of Iranian culture, in the form of a series of real casting calls with wannabe actors. 


The Salt of the Earth
Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, Wim Wenders, Italy / France, 2013, colour, DCP, 110' 

Salt of the Earth film.jpg


Story of Night
Clemens Klopfenstein, Switzerland / Germany, 1979, black and white, 16mm, 63' 

An experimental ode to the city, a visual poem without text or narrative, composed of night scenes from 150 cities.  


Tristia - A Black Sea Odyssey
Stanislaw Mucha, Germany, 2014, colour, DCP, 98' 

A journey along the banks of the Black Sea gives a kaleidoscopic impression of how the populations of seven adjoining countries see the world.  


We Come as Friends
Hubert Sauper, France / Austria, 2014, colour, DCP, 105'

We Come as Friends Hubert Sauper.jpg