IBF at IDFA 2021

Diem Ha Le, director of Children of the Mist, after winning a Special Mention by the Best First Feature jury

Coming together at IDFA

Each year, the Fund invites all filmmakers of IBF-supported films that are selected for the IDFA program. Additionally, the Fund facilitates the participation of IBF-supported projects selected for the IDFA forum and IBF-supported filmmakers selected for the IDFAcademy.

Below, you can find an overview of all these films, projects, and people at IDFA 2021.

IBF in the IDFA Program

Yearly Harvest

Fourteen films realized with the support of the IDFA Berta Fund made it into the official festival selection. Four IBF films celebrated their World Premiere at IDFA 2021, the other 10 films in the Best of Fests section had their world premieres at the prestigious film festivals of Cannes, Berlin, Sundance and CPH:Dox.

Kamar Ahmad Simon after his World Premiere of Day After... in Tuschinski 1

"Filmmaking is a lonely journey and the one who believes in it first makes a difference. IDFA Bertha Fund trusted me with 'Day after...' before anyone in the world and it was a privilege to be on the Tuschinski stage with the premiere at IDFA after eight years in it’s making."

- Kamar Ahmad Simon, director of Day After...


Where are we Headed by Ruslan Fedotow and Children of the Mist by Diem Ha Le won the IDFA Award for Best Cinematography and Best Directing respectively in the International Competition.
Also the IDFA Award for Best First Feature went to Where are we Headed, followed by a Special Mention for Children of the Mist.
Writing with Fire by Sushmit Ghosh & Rintu Thomas received the NPO IDFA Audience Award.

The Award Ceremony - IDFA 2021

Film still: As I Want, dir. Samaher Alqadi

IDFA special screenings

In addition to the regular screenings, As I Want was included in the VPRO Preview, Children of the Mist, Where are We Headed and Writing with Fire in the Best of IDFA: Award Winners program. The Last Shelter was screened during the Oxfam Novib Selection and A Night of Knowing Nothing was screened during the Groene Amsterdammer Dag, as well as during the Tomorrow’s Classic program, together with Taming the Garden.

IBF directors in IDFA Talks

With all filmmakers present at the festival several Q&A sessions were organised after the screening of their films. Eight IBF-supported directors participated in more extended talks during the festival, including Filmmaker Talks, IDFAcademy Talks, and Industry Talks, with directors Ousmane Samassekou (The Last Shelter), Salomé Jashi (Taming the Garden), and Kamar Ahmad Simon (Day After...).

Filmmakers Aliona van der Horst (left) and Salomé Jashi (right) lead the IDFAcademy Talk: The visual language of storytelling.

“Participating in every IDFA event feels like quite the experience. From the Summer School to the Forum, to the Rough Cut and the festival, we feel like we are in a real process with our film. It enriches the work, provides us with a great experience, and allows us to make a film with an international dimension.”
- Ousmane Samassekou, director of The Last Shelter

Filmmaker Ousmane Samassékou (middle) and producer Estelle Robin You (right) in a Talk after the screening of The Last Shelter

IBF in IDFAcademy

IDFAcademy Talk: Niels Pagh Andersen

IDFAcademy Participants

Eleven IBF-supported filmmakers attended IDFAcademy in Amsterdam and seven IBF-supported filmmakers attended IDFAcademy online.
“I came back home with a notebook filled with ideas, references, questions, and doodles. IDFAcademy is certainly a place where one could cultivate thoughts and get inspired while watching films with old friends and new ones. I very much enjoyed the Visual language of storytelling session with Aliona Van der Horst and Salomé Jashi. As well as the amazing masterclass with Karim Aïnouz. Thank you IDFAcademy for setting the base for a community that is deeply intrigued and continuously growing.”
- Farah Kassem, IDFAcademy participant and director of We Are Inside

IBF in Forum

IDFA Forum Pitch of Do You Love Me, dir. Lana Daher

IBF projects in IDFA Forum

Eleven projects supported by the Fund were selected for the different IDFA Forum categories; IDFA Forum Pitch, Rough Cut Presentations and Producers Connection.
“After 2 years of pandemic isolation, it was a great pleasure and honor to be able to attend in person the IDFA Forum and Festival. For me, this is the event that most respects and values documentary cinema and its directors. I was able to present my project to many people, either through the pitch or through the one-on-one meetings, and also had time to attend great talks and film screenings. I returned home with more ideas and renewed spirits to continue filming my project—and some very promising contacts.”
Ricardo Martensen, director of Regarding Memory and Neglect

IBF in Docs for Sale

Film Still: Mist, dir. José E. Balado Díaz

IBF films in Docs for Sale

Eleven films were presented in IDFA's documentary market Docs for Sale

Experiencing IDFA 2021

"My highlight of the festival was the IDFA Bertha Fund lunch. After talking online to the other filmmakers, I finally had the chance to meet them in person, talk about our films, about cinema, about the festival... Sitting there together, enjoying our meal and the bright sunshine through the window was such a cozy feeling."
– Diem Ha Le, director of Children of the Mist
"Finally being able to present the film to audiences in person at IDFA was absolutely, absolutely special. To see everyone's reactions in the theaters, in the streets, and generally the whole IDFA vibe—and then to top it, this Audience Award, makes it all so beautiful. We're a bit lost for words but just so, so happy!"
Sushmit Ghosh and Rintu Thomas, the director-producer team behind Writing with Fire, upon winning the NPO IDFA Audience Award

Directors Rintu Thomas (left) and Sushmit Ghosh (right) in the Industry Talk: My film, my vision! Maintaining the editorial voice within international collaborations