For a docu-phile, attending the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam — with its nearly 300 films to choose from — feels less like being a kid in a candy store and more like being stuck in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory for a week and a half. In addition to being Europe’s biggest fest for nonfiction flicks IDFA boasts round the clock events. (Literally — if you were still revved at three in the morning after IDFA Dance Night a program called “Docs Around The Clock” continued until 9AM, breakfast included.) In between screenings at the Pathe de Munt or the gorgeous Pathe Tuschinski, named for the movie-loving Polish immigrant who built the stunning Art Deco cathedral before perishing in the Holocaust, there was enough to keep even the most ADD-addled attendee busy. You could go to debates and panels in the afternoons, and “Guests meet Guests” meet-and-greets at Brasserie Schiller followed by talk shows and a free surprise film screening at the Escape Club in the evenings. There was also an art exhibition titled “Expanding Documentary” that starred the dynamite “HIGHRISE/Out My Window,” an installation featuring an international array of 360-degree images from Webby Award recipient Katerina Cizek. And I haven’t even mentioned the brunches, dinners and after-parties (nor the master classes or various markets if you came with a doc to pitch).
To read the rest of my epic coverage visit Filmmaker magazine.