IBF Classic Selection 2021

Film still: Cutting Through Rocks, dir. Mohammad Reza & Sara Khaki

Supporting documentary films worldwide

IBF Classic offers direct development, production and post-production support to filmmakers from and living in the IBF regions.

Selection IBF Classic – Development

Dir. Mamadou Khouma Gueye Senegal, Belgium

While the outskirts of Dakar are devastated by galloping urbanism in the race to emergence and modernity, Liti Liti tells a story of solidarity and solitude. Thousands of families are affected, like mine. They are relocated far from the city. Liti Liti questions the economic development and its impacts on ordinary people far from the stakes of globalization.⁠⁠

Dir. Everlane Moraes Brazil

The absence of black personalities in Brazilian high society took Germano de Souza to organize and promote events for notorious black individuals in places traditionally occupied by the white elites.

Dir. Kani Lapuerta Mexico

In the magical town of Tepoztlán, Mexico, Mati faces a binary society that tries to fit them into one gender or another. Between games and prejudices, this child is in the middle of their journey to adolescence, taking off a timid but certain flight towards the construction of their own identity.

Dir. Laura Basombrío Argentina

Estela feels the presence of her mother´s soul. In dreams, her mother gives her messages. After the emptiness that followed her death, Estela understands that her own soul is ailing because of old wounds. She fears the mountains will consume her but learns to live with absences and pain. In the silent desert she lives in, the living, the dead and the ghosts of the past coexist.

Dir. Alejandro Alonso Estrella Cuba, France

Pitufo spends his days amidst cut metal and burning oil in a ship-breaking yard in Cuba. He dreams of elsewhere, sending light signals every night. Pa, a former shipbreaker, helps him to escape into the bowels of the bay where his deepest fears and desires take shape.

Dir. Juan Jose Pereira Paraguay, Argentina

From fragments found abroad, a portrait is drawn while acting as an essay of the present about the untold story: that of authoritarianism in Paraguay, one of the longest in the world. Under the Flags, the Sun reconstructs the image of a country without an image.

Dir. Amine Sabir Morocco, France

Hassan and Khadra have been living from the motorcycle show for 40 years, but they refuse to let their daughter Zahra, passionate about football and motorcycles, take over. At 27, Zahra is torn between solidarity with her family and the desire to assert her personality by choosing another path.

Dir. Anastasiya Miroshnichenko Belarus

Katya lives in a remote Belarusian village in the border area. She is a strong girl who dared to make an unusual career choice. Katya knows how to overcome difficulties, but she cannot get on with her life until she figures out how she feels about her mother who betrayed her years ago.

Dir. Evgeniia Marchenko Russia, Georgia

A dozen or so single girls from remote provinces of Russia live together in a communal apartment in the center of St. Petersburg trying to survive harsh economic conditions while dreaming of happiness, love and family.

Selection IBF Classic – Production & Post-production

Dir. Bassam Mortada Egypt, Germany

Bassam, a filmmaker, reaches out to his estranged father. He reconstructs traumatic memories of events in 1989, which were devastating for his father and had a huge impact on him and his mother. Can an artistic recreation of the past help them confront their traumas?

Dir. Mohammad Reza Eyni, Sara Khaki Iran, Germany

Cutting through Rocks is a documentary feature in production. This film is expected to be completed the end of 2022.

Dir. Lana Daher Lebanon, Germany

‘Do You Love Me’ (working title) is an archive-based documentary about the history of Lebanon and its generations since the 1960's until today. Through the country’s cinematic, musical and journalistic archives, the film tells the story of Lebanese society’s pains, dreams and what shapes them as people today.

Dir. Pascale Appora-Gnekindy, Ningyi Sun Central African Republic, United States

Against the backdrop of civil war in the poverty-stricken Central African Republic, a Chinese construction manager and a local African laborer work on opposite ends of the spectrum to construct a sparkling new bank. As deadlines loom, unexpected twists threaten their jobs, relationships, and plans for a better life.

Dir. Vivek H Chaudhary India

I, Poppy is a documentary feature in post-production. This film is expected to be completed the end of 2022.

Dir. Nada Riyadh, Ayman El Amir Egypt, Denmark, France

In a conservative village in south of Egypt, dominated by patriarchy, oppressive priests and secular tension, a group of Coptic girls refuses the traditional roles forced upon them, by forming all-female street theatre troupe. A coming-of-age portrait of girls at the crossroads of their lives.

Dir. Andrey Gryazev Russia

The world of a teenager is a continuous "butterfly effect": from a good morning and school gatherings with their innocent chatter for YouTube or Tiktok, to Columbine: it is just one step. And no matter how bizarre this path is, the protagonists never abandon their smartphone. The film shows the overflow of cruelty: those who only yesterday were innocent victims of the actions of a teacher, of the family or the state, quickly adapt and learn to transmit that cruelty tomorrow.

Dir. Inadelso Cossa Mozambique, France, Germany, Portugal, Norway

Concerned with the fragmented memories of my childhood during the civil war in Mozambique, I return to my grandmother’s village to reveal the untold stories, which still hunt my generation.

Dir. Basel El-Adara, Rachel Shor, Hamdan Balal, Yuval Abraham Palestine, Israel

For ten years, Basel, a young Palestinian activist, has been filming his community being destroyed by Israeli soldiers. During the darkest time of his life, in face of mass eviction, he develops an unlikely, intimate relationship with a similarly aged Israeli journalist - who joins his struggle.

Dir. Simon Hernandez Estrada, Liliana Andrade Colombia

On March 27, 2014, Natalia Ponce was attacked with acid, which disfigured her face and brought her to the brink of death. This is the story of how Natalia, in her fight for life and justice, became a spokesperson and activist against acid attacks in Latin America.

Dir. Farah Kassem Lebanon, Qatar, Denmark

After more than a decade, Farah (31) returns to her hometown Tripoli in Lebanon to stay with her widowed aging father Mustapha (83). It's her last chance to reconcile with him though it must be through the only language he understands; poetry.

Dir. Ruslan Fedotow Belarus, Russia

The imposing, theatrical corridors of the Moscow Metro form the backdrop to a continuous tragicomedy. Small incidents and conversations create a colorful picture of this underground society in miniature.

The Selection Committee

1st IBF Classic selection round: María Campaña Ramia - Associate Programmer, IDFA; Program Advisor, Encuentros del Otro Cine [EDOC] Hicham Falah - Artistic Director, FIDADOC; Artistic Director, International Women Film Festival of Sale Adrian Kawaley-Lathan - Creative Director, Bertha Foundation Alex Szalat - President, Docs Up Fund Isabel Arrate Fernandez - Deputy Director, IDFA; Managing Director, IDFA Bertha Fund

2nd IBF Classic selection round: Jorge Caballero - Director & Producer, Gusano Films Adrian Kawaley-Lathan - Creative Director, Bertha Foundation Alex Szalat - President, Docs Up Fund Jia Zhao - Producer, Muyi Film/Silk Road Film Salon Isabel Arrate Fernandez - Deputy Director, IDFA & Managing Director, IDFA Bertha Fund