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IDFA 2013 to focus on documentaries from Southeast Asia

Red Wedding documentary still

With a special themed programme highlighting the works of 14 Asian documentary filmmakers and a top 10 curated by Cambodian documentary director Rithy Panh, IDFA 2013 shows its dedication to shine a light on the great works coming from Southeast Asia.

In recent years, feature films from Southeast Asia have gained a firm foothold in the international film world. This prompted IDFA to investigate how the region is developing in terms of documentary filmmaking.

Emerging Voices from Southeast Asia is a dedicated programme which will include 14 recent documentaries from countries such as Thailand, Malaysia and Myanmar. Three of the screenings in this programme will be followed by extensive Q&A sessions, discussing the themes dealt with by and the form of these films at length. Through small everyday observations made in the films, the festival hopes to give a better understanding of life in countries in transition.

Top 10 by Rithy Panh

In addition to this programme, IDFA’s annual top 10 strand will be put together by the Cambodian director Rithy Panh, whose work will be represented by a retrospective programme at the festival.

Panh made his breakthrough in 2003 with S21, The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine, in which he filmed the testimony of former prisoners and guards at a Khmer Rouge punishment camp. Alongside directing, Panh also produces documentaries – his production credits include Red Wedding, Lida Chan and Guillaume Suon’s award-winner at IDFA 2012. His latest film, The Missing Picture, was a winner at the last Cannes Un Certain Regard. The filmmaker will host a master class in Amsterdam on 22 November.

The films chosen by Panh are:

– Alone, 2012, Wang Bing, Hong Kong/France

– Don’t Look Back, 1967, D.A. Pennebaker, USA

– Farrebique – the Four Seasons, 1946, Georges Rouquier, France

– The Football Incident, 1976, Joris Ivens, Marceline Loridan-Ivens, France

– I Am Cuba, 1964, Mikheil Kalatozishvili, Cuba/Russia

– In Vanda’s Room, 2000, Pedro Costa, Portugal

– A Man Vanishes, 1967, Shohei Imamura, Japan

– Milestones, 1975, John Douglas, Robert Kramer, USA

– Ngor: The Spirit of the Place, 1994, Samba Felix N’Diaye, Senegal/France

– A Tale of the Wind, 1988, Joris Ivens, Marceline Loridan-Ivens, France/The Netherlands

– Touki Bouki – Journey of the Hyena, 1973, Djibril Diop Mambety, Hungary

IDFA will take place in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, from 20 November until 1 December.



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Alexandra Zeevalkink is a Dutch-born journalist living in London who founded DocGeeks in August 2011 in order to have a legitimate excuse to watch every documentary under the sun. She freelances for various publications and writes mainly about documentaries and the film production industry. When she is not blogging or watching films, she enjoys theater, photography and reading loads of books. She is always on the look out for potential partnerships with other creative minds.

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