For more than 30 years IDFA has provided documentary film fans with a diverse, often challenging but always high-quality, selection of films and talks produced by independent and inspiring filmmakers from a wide range of cultural backgrounds. This year is no exception, and with some 200+ compelling documentaries on offer you can expect to delve deep into a range of subjects that are sure to broaden your horizons.

Programme mix

IDFA Kid Tank SunOne of the coolest things about IDFA is its varied line-up. Catering to a committed and curious audience, this year’s programme is sure to please with ‘Doc around the clock’ one of my favourites. This special evening of films for night owls runs from 9pm to 9am followed by a diehard’s breakfast as the last credits roll.

Kids are in for a treat with IDFA Junior, an exciting day for children and their families with a focus on imaginative and informative youth documentaries. There’s a chance to learn more post-screening with some of the film subjects on hand for Q&A sessions.

IDFA CassandroQueer Day is back for its sixth outing and this year it features five exceptional tales, presenting a diverse take on the lives of queer people across the world. Watch a video essay by artist Finn Paul and see Rio de Janeiro as seen through the eyes of transgender icon Luana Muniz. There’s also a gutsy portrait of performance artist Linn da Quebrada, a chance to witness the daily life of Mexican wrestler Cassandro de Exotico plus an intimate portrait of a porn star. What’s more, key protagonists from a couple of films will be on hand to discuss the films.

Added bonuses

IDFA 2018It’s not just film at IDFA, there’s also a series of talks and other programmes. Filmmaker and industry perspectives include riveting conversations with renowned documentary directors. Some sessions are guest programmed by organisations including de Volkskrant, Vice, De Groene Amsterdammer and VPRO. Since its inception in 2007 the New Media programme brings together events such as IDFA DocLab that explores the effects of the digital revolution on documentary art, a popular conference and various labs.

And if an arty approach tickles your fancy, you won’t want to miss Paradocs, an innovative approach to film and art which will take place during Amsterdam Art Weekend and at EYE Filmmuseum.

A new initiative for 2019 is the Me, Space, and Serialized, a themed programme examining personal histories from the filmmakers’ perspective that will investigate and question the documentary process through new films and the classics.

IDFA champions every aspect of documentary filmmaking helping develop careers, make films, widen audiences and a host of other commendable aims. Film buffs should prepare themselves for a feast as there is much to see and do. Check out IDFA’s site for full programme information. The only thing left to do is to grab your tickets!