2007 is a special year for the International
Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA). It
marks the 20th anniversary of the festival,
which, together with the FORUM, Docs for Sale
and the Jan Vrijman Fund, is now one of the most
influential documentary institutes in the world.
Over the course of ten days, more than 250 international
documentaries are screened for a huge
number of film lovers and professionals. For filmmakers,
IDFA is the perfect place to screen their
films to enthusiastic audiences in sold out cinemas.
The festival is also an exciting meeting
place for directors, producers, buyers, financiers
and audiences alike.
IDFA is unique for its largely international film
programme, the variety of genres showing there,
its politically committed programme and the
many European and world premieres featured
During IDFA, creative documentaries take centre
stage. This means that IDFA chooses films which
express the filmmakerís point of view in a creative
and cinematic manner. The selection takes
place on the basis of clear criteria. IDFA searches
for documentaries that are cinematically intriguing
or innovative, are relevant or highly topical to
society at large, and stimulate the viewer to
reflect, discuss and ask questions.
It is for that reason that I chose to show Darwinís
Nightmare (2004) by Austrian director Hubert
Sauper. With this film Sauper paints a painfully
clear picture of how poverty is not just limited to
certain regions but has become a truly global
issue. By interweaving several personal stories,
all centred around Lake Victoria, he subtly portrays
the dark side of Western capitalism.