Several films co-financed by the Polish Film Institute have been selected for screening in competition and out of competition at the 23rd International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), which runs from November 18 through November 29, 2015.

IDFA Competition for Mid-Length Documentary

One of fifteen films from around the world selected for screening in the IDFA Competition for Mid-Length Documentary is Życie motyla (Life of a Butterfly), a film directed by Piotr Bernaś (produced by Marta Golba Endorfina Studio) and co-financed by the Polish Film Institute. According to the producers, this film is “a look at human tendencies to self-destruct. Marcin Różalski (35) is a martial arts expert and a modern-day gladiator. His life is a constant struggle, studded with intentional and continuous self-mutilation and exhaustion. Życie motyla (Life of a Butterfly) is a story about the price of striving for one’s goals at all costs. A story about fear and hatred, but also about unconditional love for another human being.”

IDFA Competition for First Appearance

One of fifteen films in the IDFA Competition for First Appearance lineup is Alisa w krainie wojny (Alisa in Warland), a film by Liubov Durakova and Alisa Kovalenko, produced within the framework of the “Młodzi o młodych” programme, supported by the Polish Film Institute. The film was produced by Mirosław Dembiński (Fundacja Dokument i Świat). As stated by the filmmakers, “Alisa w krainie wojny (Alisa in Warland) tells the story of Alisa’s life from the days of Euromaidan to the war in Eastern Ukraine. It is an emotional journal of a young woman lost in an unstable world. A tableau vivant of her tragic experience, her emotions, and her fears.”

Best of Fests

The lineup of IDFA’s Best of Fests section, showcasing a selection of the best documentary films from other international film festivals, includes Karolina Bielawska’s Mów mi Marianna (Call Me Marianna). This film, co-financed by the Polish Film Institute, has received multiple awards internationally — at the Locarno IFF, the Krakow Film Festival, in Lisbon, in St. Petersburg, among others. IDFA’s Best of Fests lineup also includes K2. Dotknąć nieba (K2. Touching the Sky) by Eliza Kubarska, which to date has also screened at a number of film festivals, including Locarno and Krakow.


IDFA’s Panorama lineup includes Krzysztof Kopczyński’s Dybuk. Rzecz o wędrówce dusz (The Dybbuk. A Tale of Wandering Souls). This Polish-Swedish-Ukrainian co-production was also co-financed by the Polish Film Institute, and received the FIPRESCI award for Best Documentary Film at this year’s Odessa International Film Festival.

Hanna Polak in Main Competition Jury

Hanna Polak, director of Nadejdą lepsze czasy (Something Better to Come), and winner of the Special Prize at last year’s IDFA, will be one of this year’s Main Competition jury members, judging the festival’s fifteen Main Competition entries with fellow jury members Laurent Bécue-Renard, Mahamat Saleh Haroun, Jonathan Rosenbaum, and Barbara Visser.

IDFA is one of the world’s largest events for documentary films, bringing together hundreds of film professionals from around the world yearly. One of the festival’s sidebars is the Docs for Sale film market, with a selection of no less than 450 films each year, and The Forum, which includes multiple industry events, including pitching sessions, lectures, and panel discussions.

Further details are available at www.idfa.nl.

Marta Sikorska

Translated by Karolina Kołtun