To Watch List

Still from The Mole Agent by Maite Alberdi

On this page we present you with a selection of films and talks, curated specifically for you as IDFAcademy participants. Some of these are part of the regular IDFA 2020 program and others have been added here only for your IDFAcademy program, to prepare you for the plenary sessions and the small sessions during the five days of IDFAcademy. For some films and talks we strongly encourage you to watch them before the session, to be prepared well for the content of the session.

Please note! We will update this page regularly with the links of films to watch, so in case a link is not yet available, this will be updated. The films that are part of the IDFA 2020 program will only be available after their first screening at IDFA. So be aware about this when you are planning to watch the films. In the description of each film, you can also read how to access the film.

Films selected for IDFA 2020

The Mole Agent

Maite Alberdi - Chile, United States, Germany, Netherlands, Spain - 2020 - 90 min Dutch Premiere - Best of Fests

In this blend of spy flick and observational documentary, 83-year-old Sergio goes undercover in an old folks’ home. Starting out as a wryly comical detective yarn, the film ultimately offers us an intimate look at affection and loneliness in old age.

Watch this film as preparation for the Small Session: Where to Begin? Writing for Documentary Film on Monday November 23. This film will be available in the Press & Industry Library after the premiere on 19 Nov. 2020 14:15 UTC+1 time. Go here to watch the film.

Nemesis

Thomas Imbach - Switzerland - 2020 - 131 min International Premiere - IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary

Zurich’s old railway station is making way for a giant prison, soon to be filled with rejected refugees. Their testimonies turn the spectacle of transformation, shot entirely from the filmmaker’s window, into a vision for our times. This film is related to the Small Session: Directing in Limited Space on Friday November 20.

This film will be available in the Press & Industry Library after the premiere on 22 Nov. 2020 20:30 UTC+1 time. Go here to watch the film.

The Filmmaker's House

Marc Isaacs - United Kingdom - 2020 - 75 min International Premiere - Masters

In protest against sensationalism in the documentary industry, Marc Isaacs makes a film in his own home. Blending fact and fiction, he explores the theme of hospitality and indirectly asks questions about authorship. This film is related to the Small Session: Directing in Limited Space on Friday November 20. Go here to watch the film.

Radiograph of a Family

Firouzeh Khosrovani - Norway, Iran, Switzerland - 2020 - 82 min World Premiere - IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary

Director Firouzeh Khosrovani is the daughter of a secular father and a devout Muslim mother, co-existing under one roof in Tehran. The Islamic Revolution took place in their home, affecting every corner of their family life. This film is related to the Small Session: Where to begin? Writing for documentary film on Monday November 23. This film will be available in the Press & Industry Library after the premiere on 23 nov. 17:15 - 19:00. Go here to watch the film.

Non Western

Laura Plancarte - Mexico, United Kingdom, United States - 2020- 93 min Dutch Premiere - Best of Fests

Well-educated, independent Nanci is marrying Thaddeus, a Cheyenne man. In the run-up to their wedding, they see they have considerable differences about gender roles. Gradually they learn to understand and appreciate each other’s cultures and feelings. This film will be available in the Press & Industry Library after the premiere on 22 Nov 14:45 - 16:40 UTC+1 time. Go here to see the film.

Below Sea Level

Gianfranco Rosi - United States, Italy - 2008 - 115 min Retrospective

About 200 miles southeast of Los Angeles and 20 feet below sea level, a commune of outcasts lives in the middle of the desert. Gianfranco Rosi follows them at a suitable distance, letting the images and the people speak for themselves.

This film is related to the Filmmaker Talk with Gianfranco Rossi on Friday November 20. This film will be available in the Press & Industry Library after the premiere on 24 Nov 15:45 - 18:00 UTC+1 time. Go here to watch the film.

Boatman

Gianfranco Rosi - Italy, United States - 1993 - 57 min Retrospective

Filmed in black and white, this nonetheless vividly colorful travelogue captures a boat trip along India’s Ganges River. Scenes of locals bathing and ritual water burials combine to evoke the surreal and devotional atmosphere around the sacred river. This film is related to the Filmmaker Talk with Gianfranco Rossi on Friday November 20. This film will be available in the Press & Industry Library after the premiere on 20 Nov 17:30 - 18:45 UTC+1 time. Go here to watch the film.

El Sicario, Room 164

Gianfranco Rosi - United States, France - 2010 - 84 min Retrospective

In the motel room where he once tortured and murdered, an anonymous hit man discusses his work for a Mexican drug cartel. His detailed account describes the mechanisms of organized crime and the dehumanization that comes with it.

This film is related to the Filmmaker Talk with Gianfranco Rossi on Friday November 20. This film will be available in the Press & Industry Library after the premiere on 20 Nov 18:45 - 20:30 UTC+1 time. Go here to watch the film.

Nothing but the Sun

Arami Ullón - Switzerland, Paraguay - 2020 - 75 min World Premiere - IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary

For years, Mateo Sobode Chiqueno has been visiting Ayoreo communities in Paraguay with an antique cassette recorder to register conversations, stories, and songs of his people. This heritage contains the poignant testimonies of a disappearing culture. IDFA Opening Film. IDFAcademy participants can join the Opening Ceremony and join the screening of the film from the Press & Industry Library at 18 Nov. 2020 20:00 UTC+1 time. Go here to watch the film.

The Grocer's Son, the Mayor, the Village and the World...

Claire Simon - France, Belgium - 2020 - 111 min World Premiere - IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary

In a one-street village in southern France, while some are harvesting or struggling with hail, others are creating an international streaming platform for independent documentaries. An inspiring tale of tenacity and idealism and their salutary effects.

This film is related to the Opening Talk of Claire Simon on Thursday November 19. This film will be available in the Press & Industry Library after the premiere on 19 Nov 20:15 - 22:30 UTC+1 time. Go here to watch the film.

Other Films

Aswang

Alyx Ayn Arumpac - Philippines, France, Norway, Qatar, Germany - 2019 - 85 min

Since President Duterte took office, the Philippine police have killed tens of thousands of drug addicts. The experiences of a journalist, a coroner, a missionary brother and a street kid show the despair and fear caused by lawless violence.

Watch this film as preparation for the Small Session: International co-production on Tuesday November 24. Go here to watch the film.

Lift

Marc Isaacs - United Kingdom - 2001 - 24

When filmmaker, Marc Isaacs, decided to make a documentary about a lift in a London tower block he had no idea how the residents would react and what they would reveal of their lives. He simply set himself up in the lift with his camera and waited for the right moment to ask questions. The result is both humorous and moving. The whole of British society is captured in this microcosm and the simplest of approaches becomes a parable of multiculturalism. Watch this film as preparation for the Small Session: Directing in Limited Space on Friday November 20. Go here to watch the film. (Password: IDFA2020)

The Competition

Claire Simon - France - 2016 - 119 min

The rigorous selection procedure for new students at the prestigious Parisian film school La Fémis sparks heated exchanges among the examiners. Watch this film as preparation for the Opening Talk of Claire Simon on Thursday November 19.

Go here to watch the film.

Young Solitude

Claire Simon - France - 2018 - 100

Claire Simon portrays an important time for any individual, from 16 to 18 years of age. Set in the Paris suburbs in high school (for those lucky enough to go), teenagers chat after and even during class, sitting in the hallway or outside on a bench, looking at the city below them. Claire Simon sets up a cinematic dialog with the teens, speaking about their personal history, their family, but also passions and loneliness. At this age, they start thinking about leaving their family, when there is one, and even run away from it when it’s completely broken. Being by yourself can bring as many good things as bad ones. This film becomes a place where they search and discuss the meaning of all this. A pure coming-age story, Young Solitude is an ode to youth.

Watch this film as preparation for the Opening Talk of Claire Simon on Thursday November 19.

This film will be available soon.

The Other Side of Everything

Mila Turajlić - Serbia, France, Qatar - 2017 - 104 min

A divided apartment in Belgrade turns a family chronicle into a portrait of a country in political turmoil Watch this film as preparation for the Plenary Session - Creative Producing: Whose Story is it? on Tuesday November 24. Go here to watch the film.

Day is Done

Thomas Imbach - Switzerland - 2011 - 111 min

A smokestack stubbornly pierces the sky. Trains rumble by. Lights come on in the buildings as night falls. The man behind the camera, looking for an image. Of himself? Of the world? Of society? By day and night, in rain and snow, he stands filming at the window of his studio. We hear people leaving messages on his answering machine. They talk about the weather, congratulate him on his birthday. His father dies, a child is born, the young family begins to fall apart. Time passes. Slowly the cityscape morphs into the inner landscape of the man behind the camera.

Watch this film as preparation for the Small Session: Directing in Limited Space on Friday November 20. Go here to watch the film. (Password: IDFA2020)

Filmmaker & Industry Talks

Filmmaker Talk: Arami Ullón

Extensive conversation with Arami Ullón, director of Nothing but the Sun, the opening film of IDFA this year. IDFA's Artistic Director Orwa Nyrabia will talk with her about her film, working methods, artistic choices, and views on filmmaking—highlighted by excerpts of her films. Go to our website to read more about the talk.

When: 19 Nov 17:00 - 18:00 UTC+1 time

Industry Talk: Talking about families. Tom Fassaert in conversation with Laura Plancarte hosted by Videoland

Director Laura Plancarte talks about filming complex families and communities, including her latest film Non Western (IDFA 2020). Families are often associated with conviviality, support, and reliability, but they can be complicated and controversial. Go to our website to read more about the talk.

When: 22 Nov 17:00 - 18:00 UTC+1 time

Tip: Watch Laura Plancarte's film Non Western in preparation to this talk.

Filmmaker Talk: Firouzeh Khosrovani

An inspirational, hour-long conversation with renowned documentary filmmaker Firouzeh Khosrovani. Writer Pamela Cohn talks with her about her body of work, creative methods, and views on documentary filmmaking, highlighted by excerpts from her films. Go to our website to read more about the talk.

When: 23 Nov 20:00 - 21:00 UTC+1 time

Tip: Watch Firouzeh Khosrovani's film Radiograph of a Family in preparation to this talk.

Industry Talk: Masterclass editing by Jacopo Quadri

Multitalented editor and filmmaker Jacopo Quadri gives insight into his editing work. Quadri has worked with famous directors Bernardo Bertolucci, Gianfranco Rosi, and Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Don’t miss this inspiring artist in conversation with Pamela Cohn. Go to our website to read more about the talk.

When: 22 Nov 16:00 - 17:20 UTC+1 time

Tip: Watch Gianfranco Rossi's films in preparation to this talk.

Additional Filmmaker & Industry Talks

Filmmaker Talk: Ulrike Ottinger

An inspirational, hour-long conversation with renowned filmmaker Ulrike Ottinger. Writer Pamela Cohn talks with her about her body of work, creative methods, and views on filmmaking, highlighted by excerpts from her films. Go to our website to read more about the talk.

When: 21 Nov 20:00 - 21:00 UTC+1 time

Filmmaker Talk: New Perspectives on African-European Relations

Special Filmmaker Talk with a panel of filmmakers of French co-produced films from Africa, focusing on their experience as filmmakers and how their films are rethinking African-European relations in a broader context. Hosted by UniFrance. Go to our website to read more about the talk.

When: 21 Nov 16:00 - 17:00 UTC+1 time

Filmmaker Talk: Sandra Madi

An inspirational, hour-long conversation with renowned filmmaker Sandra Madi. Writer Pamela Cohn talks with her about her body of work, creative methods, and views on documentary filmmaking, highlighted by excerpts from her films. Go to our website to read more about the talk.

When: 22 Nov 12:00 - 13:00 UTC+1 time

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