Five documentaries from Flanders as well as five co-productions are selected for this year's 25th edition of IDFA (14-25 November). The five are: Rain by Gerard-Jan Claes and Olivia Rochette, The Sound of Belgium by Jozef Devillé, Expecting by Fabio Wuytack, Snake Dance by Manu Riche, and The Wave by Sarah Vanagt and Katrien Vermeire. Projects from two Flemish documentary makers, The Shadow World by Johan Grimonprez and White Elephants (working title) by Kristof Bilsen, can also be found at IDFA.
Rain (pictured left) by Gerard-Jan Claes and Olivia Rochette features in the First Appearance competition for first documentaries. On 25 May 2011, the world-renowned Ballet de l’Opéra national de Paris presented Rain, in its first ever performance of Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker. Olivia Rochette and Gerard-Jan Claes followed the rehearsal process from the auditions to the opening performance. Rain became a poetic documentary about searching, looking and hesitating within the walls of the opera, which at times can be claustrophobic. Producer is Bart Van Langendonck for Savage Film.
The Sound of Belgium by Jozef Devillé is part of the Music Documentary Competition. Producer is Visualantics. In Expecting, selected for the IDFA Panorama, director Fabio Wuytack portrays an Afghan-Kosovo refugee couple in their daily struggle. Through hunger strikes and demonstrations, they manage to obtain a temporary permit to stay in Belgium. Their happiness in this positive change is burdened by a chain of events that puts their everyday life under severe pressure. And when new problems arise with their permit to stay, the destiny of their unborn child is at stake. The film is part of a series of documentaries commissioned by TV channel één, and will air in primetime later on this season.
Both Snake Dance by Manu Riche and Patrick Marnham as well as The Wave by Sarah Vanagt are presented in the Paradocs sidebar. Snake Dance received its international premiere in April at Visions du Réel in Nyon where it won the Buyens-Chagoll Award. The film, a co-production between Manu Riche for Riche, Riche & Riche and Geneviève De Bauw for Thank You and Good Night Productions, tells the story of the invention of the atomic bomb and its unintended consequences in today's world. From booming New Mexico to war-stricken Congo and earthquake-devastated Japan, Snake Dance offers a compelling reflection on the Promethean dimension of nuclear power and the A bomb.
In The Wave, the archaeological gaze of the viewer is set in motion: a mass grave from the 1936-39 Spanish Civil War opens and closes itself. This short is produced by Sarah Vanagt for Balthasar, in collaboration with Katrien Vermeire who in addition to acting as DOP also co-directed the film. The Wave was also selected for the Locarno International Film Festival and shown at the Sydney Biënnale.
Five co-productions with Flemish producers attached are also selected: The Gatekeepers by Dror Moreh (Belgian producer: Anna Van der Wee for Wild Heart Productions) in the IDFA Competition for Feature-length Documentaries, and The Only Son by Simonka de Jong (producer: Eric Goossens for Off World). Klaartje Quirijns' Anton Corbijn, Inside Out, Ike Bertels' Guerrilla Grannies - How to Live in this World and Willemiek Kluijfhout's Mussels in Love will screen in the IDFA & Film Fund present program.
Finally, two documentary projects have been selected for the IDFA Forum, the co-production and co-financing platform of the festival. The Shadow World by Johan Grimonprez will be presented at the plenary sessions, while White Elephants by Kristof Bilsen participates in the round-table pitchings.
De Brakke Grond, the House of Flemish Culture in Amsterdam, hosts IDFA's ‘Expanding Cinema’, which explores the borders of the documentary genre. Tom Barman, pop star and director of Any Way the Wind Blows, hosts a number of late-night shows in which he talks with both IDFA guests and audiences about the power of documentaries. One of his guests will be Jørgen Leth, the Danish documentary filmmaker and poet who will be the subject of a retrospective at this year's IDFA. On 24 November, Snake Dance is to receive a special screening at De Brakke Grond.