IDFA PARADOCS Special Program


INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY FESTIVAL AMSTERDAM (IDFA) is one of the largest documentary festivals in the world. An exciting meeting place for documentary directors, producers, buyers, financiers and audiences alike.  Every year since 1988, over 300 international documentaries are screened alongside an extensive off-screen programme.


Besides the festival, IDFA hosts the prominent co-financing market for documentaries, the FORUM, the (online) market for new documentaries Docs for Sale and various other industry events such as the IDFAcademy. Throughout the year, IDFA supports filmmakers from developing countries with its IDFA Fund (formerly known as Jan Vrijman Fund) and organises activities aimed at both documentary professionals and audiences. These include the theatrical tour Best of IDFA, a DVD label, online documentary channel IDFAtv and several workshops. This year IDFA celebrates its 25th edition from 14-25 November.


PARADOCS is IDFA’s platform for showing experimental documentaries and video art. It’s open to everything that can be shown in a cinema and is related to the representation of reality. Besides being a film program, it’s also part of the exhibition Expanding Documentary - in collaboration with the Brakke Grond and IDFA Doclab. This exhibition contains a.o. (video) installations, photography, theater and performances related to documentary or representation of reality.



JOOST DAAMEN is a film programmer at the INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY FESTIVAL AMSTERDAM (IDFA). He studied Film Studies at the University of Amsterdam. In 2005 he joined IDFA’s Program Department. Since 2007 he’s the programmer for IDFA’s experimental film section PARADOCS. He’s also a member of the advisory committee for the competition programmes and works as a researcher for archive programmes.

BOUNDARY (17', USA/Latvia, 2009) Read more



Included by the Cinemascope magazine in a top ten of the best films of the decade, BOUNDARY is a sensuous cinematic poem, reminding of the atavisms of the Expressionist painting. Via an atmospheric subjective depiction of a real “boundary”, a border area, an actual no man’s land, the filmmaker generates a shift from the physical level to a metaphysical one. The pace of the long takes and the amplifying of the natural ominous sounds lead to an organic metamorphosis of the film space, which becomes a “boundary” both literally and metaphorically, an intermediary, uncertain territory, an access gate to a visceral meta-reality, of psychological and, possibly, spiritual nature. DEVIN HORAN subtly captures the frailty of a part of the world and of humanity chemically unstable with a mysterious sword of Damocles overhanging it.

CRUST (13', China, 2010) Read more


With the support of:


Premiered in the innovation-focused section Venice Orizzonti, WENHAI HUANG’s short documentary is an exquisite cinematic exploration of the unseen industrialization process China is currently undergoing, particularly from the shipbuilding business’ perspective. Masterful expressionist shot compositions and the equally elaborated and poignant sound design place CRUST in the realm of industrial poetry, in which anonymous human destinies take their course within the boundaries of mechanical interstitial spaces.

HENRI PLAAT (7', Netherlands, 2010) Read more


With the support of:


A subjective portrayal of the Dutch visual artist HENRI PLAAT, who is recording with a 35 mm pinhole camera the processing of a silver print. While the image is being created in the dark room of the photo laboratory, revealing Henri Plaat’s face impregnated on the silver plate, his hands are building from small pieces of cardboard, an imaginary universe: the paper shapes resemble houses, boats, animals and other images that exist in the artist’s world. Thus, in a lyrical fashion, JÉRÔME SCHLOMOFF brings a metaphorical homage to this artist of the fleeting world, who once stated: "I want to register places and things before they get destroyed by modernity and progression. Before they are lost forever."

I WILL FORGET THIS DAY (25', Russia, 2011) Read more


With the support of:


Highly acclaimed in the international film festivals circuit, ALINA RUDNITSKAYA’s short I WILL FORGET THIS DAY is both a documentary and a cinematic essay concerning the state of mind of women who are about to have an abortion. A bold and incisive study on how difficult human decisions are made in the light of harsh social realities. The non-interfering “behavior” of the camera paradoxically enhances the deeply humanist approach, the distance and the silence allowing us an even deeper emotional access to the protagonists’ inner turmoil. No judgment is cast, no verdict stated, we are left solely to furtively observe the women’s behavior, their posture and their gaze, which enwrap maybe the desire to already forget the galloping future.

PRINTED MATTER (29', Belgium, 2011) Read more


With the support of:



A dialogue between private lives and contemporary geopolitical issues, PRINTED MATTER investigates the emotional impact of archive material as triggering device for personal recollection and, consequently, for subjective reinterpretations of history. A new, fresh kind of cinematic approach to reality. Conceived as an examination of contact prints and photographic negatives made by the father of one of the filmmakers - a freelance press photographer - commented upon by his wife, the movie encases both a visual chronicle of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and an intimate autobiographic unfolding.