IDFA – Watch Films for Free

The 24th International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) started two days ago and runs until November 27th. If you are not there, you have the chance to watch a fine selection of films, primarily from previous editions, offered for free by the festival. ”For Viewers Worldwide” is the headline, and you will find masterpieces like Johan van der Keuken’s monumental 245 mins. ”Amsterdam Global Village” (1996), as well as the Basque music film ”Nömadak Tx” (2006), several films by the many times mentioned on this site, Syrian Omar Amiralay, Florin Iepan’s ”Children of the Decree” from the time of Ceaucescu in Romania, Heddy Honigmann’s unique Paris work ”The Underground Orchestra” (1997). A lot of important film history is to find.

Bizarre, it will be to watch ”Beauty Will Save the World” from 2004 with Colonel Khadafi in a prominent role. Here is the synopsis from the site of idfa:

Tragic and hilarious account of the first Miss Net World beauty contest. In 2002, a Libyan has the brilliant idea to hold the first beauty contest for the most gorgeous Internet model in Libya. The preliminary national rounds, held on the Net, produce a busload of models who proudly set out for Libya, and vaguely remember that once upon a time something was wrong with this country. But what? Only four years ago, Colonel Khadafi was a tyrant from the Axis of Evil, but meanwhile he has been rehabilitated after making a few noncommittal promises. Khadafi niftily plays his trumps: he makes the models, and the journalists, wait for days before going to meet them. And since they have to wait, they might as well take a tour of his bombed house. Result: sobbing models cursing the war and the evil in mankind. BEAUTY WILL SAVE THE WORLD is a fly-on-the-wall documentary of the beauty contest for which, it seems, the filmmakers just had to film events from a distance. The absurd spectacle unfolds right before their eyes. They follow the nineteen-year-old American candidate Teca Zendik, who later became the first US honorary consul in Libya in twenty years.

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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