Looking back: IDFA 2019

An opening night to remember

As is the tradition, IDFA 2019 was opened in the monumental Carré Theatre to over a thousand visitors. After introducing the crowd to the late D.A. Pennebaker’s first work, the short film Daybreak Express, artistic director Orwa Nyrabia took the stage. After a few welcoming words, the stage was given to the official opening speech. This year, the opening speech wasn’t provided by a politician or other prominent figure, but the Canadian-Vietnamese filmmaker Carol Nguyen—the youngest person with a film in the IDFA 2019 selection.

What followed was an opening speech that not only inspired the packed Carré Theatre, but one that resonated with what made IDFA 2019 such a successful edition. Covering themes like identity, diaspora, and the glass ceiling—IDFA 2019 was the first edition featuring a majority of female filmmakers across all competition sections, an overall younger audience, and saw different communities in Amsterdam come together thanks to the edition’s diverse programming.