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IDFA - 2012 Competitions and Special Program Sections

Description of Competitions, Awards and Special Programs at IDFA 2012


IDFA - 2012 Competitions and Special Program Sections


Courtesy IDFA
IDFA (International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam) celebrates its 25th anniversary edition from November 14-25, 2012, with an excellent program of documentaries in nine categories of competition. With amounts varying for each category, the total given in cash prizes adds up to € 46500 (about $57050).

The winners in each category will be announced and the prizes presented at the awards ceremony on Friday, November 23, 2012, at the Compagnietheater in Amsterdam.

The List of Awards Categories, with Cash Prizes and Jury Members

The 2012 IDFA awards categories are:

  • The VPRO IDFA Award for Best Feature Length Documentary - The winner will be presented with a cash prize of € 12,500 (or about $16200). The jury may also present a Special Jury Award, without a cash prize.

    Of the sixteen films being considered, John Appel's Wrong Time Wrong Place is the only Dutch film in the Feature Length Documentary Competition and it has also been singled out as the festival's opening night film.

    The 2012 Feature Length Documentary Competition jury members are Susan Froemke (USA), Michael Glawogger (Austria), Maria Goos (the Netherlands), Jørgen Leth (Denmark) and Kenneth Turan (USA). See the list of films.
  • IDFA Competition for Mid-Length Documentary - Cash prize of € 10,000 (about $13,000) - Fifteen films that are 30 to 60 minutes will be in competition. The jury members are Nicolas Entel (Argentina), Peter Friedman (USA), Hedda van Gennep (the Netherlands), Samira Makhmalbaf (Iran), Farah Nayeri (France).
  • IDFA Competition for First Appearance - Cash prize of € 5,000 (about $6500) - sixteen debut films are in competition. The jury members are: Maria Luz Climent (Spain), Maria Lourdes Cortès (Costa Rica), Renzo Martens (the Netherlands), Djo Munga (Congo) and Sara Rüster (Sweden).
  • IDFA Competition for Student Documentary - Cash award of € 2,500 (about $3200) - Fifteen student films from international film academies are in competition. The jury members are Arto Halonen (Finland), Vanja Kaludjercic (Italy) and Herman de Wit (the Netherlands).
  • Dioraphte IDFA Competition for Dutch Documentary - Cash prize of € 5,000 (about $6500) - Sixteen Dutch films are in competition for this award. Jury members are Kris Dewitte (Belgium), Jessica Gorter (the Netherlands), Alex Lee (New Zealand), Tobias Müller (Germany) and Pascale Ramonda (France).
  • IDFA Melkweg Competition for Music Documentary - Cash prize of € 2,500 (about $3200) - Fifteen music documentaries are competing for this award, which is presented in cooperation with Amsterdam's famed concert venue, the Melkweg. The jury members are Kaleem Aftab (UK), Jeroen Berkvens (the Netherlands), Safinez Bousbia (Algeria), Erik Gandini (Sweden) and Ondi Timoner (USA).
  • IDFA DOC U Award - Cash prize € 1,500 (about $1950) - Films made by youngsters participating in IDFA's film program for young people from 15 years of age is judged by a special youth jury.
  • IDFA DocLab Competition for Digital Storytelling - Cash prize of € 2,500 (about $3200) - IDFA DocLab projects that use digital technology in the most creative and effective ways to tell a documentary story are eligible for this award. The jury members are Elisabeth Holm (USA), Bjarke Myrthu (Denmark) and William Uricchio (USA).
  • BankGiroLoterij IDFA Audience Award - Cash prize of € 5,000 (about $6500) - All films in the above mentioned competitions, as well as films from non-competitive program sections are eligible for this award which is determined by audience voters who use ballots presented at the end of each festival screening.

Other IDFA 2012 Program Details

In all, this year's program features 317 documentary films that were selected from more than 3,300 submissions. Of the slated documentaries, 97 will have their world premiere at this year's IDFA

In celebration of its 25th anniversary, IDFA is highlighting Dutch documentaries with a themed program entitled "25 Years Highlights of the Lowlands." The program includes a 64 Dutch productions, which are included in all of the festival's various program sections.

Also as a way of marking its 25 years of presenting documentary films to appreciative international audiences, IDFA 2013 presents a special section entitled "RE: Constructing History," which tracks a quarter of a century of global history from the perspectives and through the lenses of famous documentary filmmakers from around the world.

An annual tradition at IDFA is to present a famous documentary filmmaker's Top 10 films. This year's selection was made by Russian Director Victor Kossakovsky, whose own work will also be given a full retrospective at IDFA 2012.

IDFA 2012 will also present a day-long schedule of screenings featuring the films in the Why Poverty? initiative, an extremely important and impressive series of documentaries produced by a consortium of public broadcast television stations and their nonprofit charitable foundation partners.

This year, IDFA has a new partnership with Amsterdam's Stedelijk Museum, which will show two themed programs of video art at IDFA. This selection, entitled Stedelijk@IDFA, includes work by Erik van Lieshout and Rineke Dijkstra.

For the complete program for IDFA 2012, and information about how to book seats and purchase tickets for screenings and other IDFA special events including master classes, panel discussions and others, visit the IDFA Website.

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