Earlier this evening, the 36th International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) officially opened in the Royal Theater Carré with the world premiere of A Picture to Remember by Olga Chernykh.
IDFA 2023 takes place from November 8 to 19 in more than 30 theaters and festival locations throughout Amsterdam. In those venues, IDFA will present 270 films and 32 new media projects from 137 countries. This 36th edition will welcome over 3000 professional delegates and guests who will be able to immerse themselves in a diverse program that includes films, interactive projects, an exhibition, performances, events and workshops.
The opening night ceremony kicked off at Royal Theater Carré, with Artistic Director Orwa Nyrabia taking the stage to officially welcome all filmmakers, documentary professionals, and guests to Amsterdam:“With more than 3000 professionals arriving to Amsterdam and an edition that is the most international to date, we are looking forward to sharing films that will live long, travel the world from here, and filmmakers whose careers will shape the future of this field. It is at such terrible times that a film festival proves its worth, accepting that we are many and we are not in agreement, but we can still think together about this world that we share”.
Opening film of IDFA 2023: A Picture to Remember by Olga Chernykh
The festival opened with A Picture to Remember (Ukraine, France, Germany), in the presence of Ukrainian director Olga Chernykh. The film is her first feature-length documentary and presents a deeply personal and essay-style account of the ongoing war in Ukraine and its violent history, seen through the prism of three generations of women: Chernykh herself, her mother, and her grandmother. In a bid for connection and intimacy, the filmmaker uses old family films, recordings of conversations, and news reports to bridge the distance between her and her grandmother. The result is a kaleidoscopic and personal film that travels through time fluidly.
A Picture to Remember received IDFA Bertha Fund support in 2023 and is nominated for the IDFA Award for Best First Feature. View the overview of awards at the festival here.
Cultuurfonds Documentary Stipend goes to Luuk Bouwman
During tonight’s opening ceremony, the €50,000 Documentary Stipend—made available annually by an anonymous patron—was awarded to filmmaker Luuk Bouwman for his documentary All Against All. The awarded sum is intended to financially support his next documentary project and his already-established careersin documentary film. The award was handed out by last year’s laureate, filmmaker and artist Pim Zwier.
Talks with filmmakers and film professionals during the festival
Throughout the upcoming festival, IDFA will host over 60 talks to accompany its film and industry programs, giving festival visitors unique insight into the filmmakers’ backgrounds, the journeys behind the films, and current developments in the documentary film industry.
The extensive program is divided into the categories Film Talks, Filmmaker Talks, Corresponding Cinemas Talks, and Industry Talks & Sessions. All events will be hosted as in-person events, and a selection will be recorded and made available on-demand to all accredited guests in the Talks Library within 24 hours of the live event.
With the theme Phenomenal Friction, IDFA’s new media section explores friction in all its forms. The exhibition program invites audiences to look beyond technological efficiency and convenience, to explore the resistance that propels creativity forward and the conflict that reveals life’s complexities. The selection will showcase over 30 interactive and immersive documentary works that use or comment on emerging technology in new and innovative ways.