This summer, the world’s largest documentary festival teams up with New York’s most dynamic underground rooftop fest! From July 20 until July 22, IDFA and Rooftop Films will co-host 3 nights of both Dutch and international film in New York City. Besides curating a night of Dutch documentary shorts, lDFA will also be organizing two nights of international docu’s, and take you from the inspiring story of a refugee in Iran to a four-sided love triangle in Russia.
Director: Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami
Sonita tells the inspiring story of Sonita Alizadeh, an 18-year-old Afghan refugee in Iran, who thinks of Michael Jackson and Rihanna as her spiritual parents and dreams of becoming a big-name rapper. For the time being, her only fans are the other teenage girls in a Tehran shelter. And her family has a very different future planned for her: as a bride she’s worth $9,000. Iranian director Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami poignantly shifts from observer to participant altering expectations, as Sonita’s story unfolds in an intimate and joyful portrait.
Director: Niki Padidar
Ninnoc doesn’t like cliques. Why do they all have to behave – and look – the same? She doesn’t want to join in with those other people, but she’s also afraid of being shut out. Ninnoc ruminates on the question of what’s “normal” and “different” and “popular” (the quotation marks are hers), and we see her moving around an empty school, in a classroom full of children and in a classroom full of Ninnocs. The film’s camerawork and editing echo Ninnoc’s feelings, helping the viewer to understand why such a bright young girl would find some things so difficult.
Director: Jean Counet
In Calling Ukraine, a Skype conversation really brings home the daily struggles of a family living in war-torn eastern Ukraine. An elderly woman in Latvia calls her sister and daughter, who are trying to live normal lives while bombs explode in the background and electricity is becoming an increasingly scarce commodity. The video conversation is intercut with recent footage of residential areas that have been shot to pieces, and photos from a family album that speak of better times and crushed dreams.
Director: Sophie Dros
Everard has twelve lifelike dolls. He talks with them, dresses them, has sex with them and loves them as if they are real people. Is he happy with this way of living or does he actually long for a real woman? My Silicone Love shows his every day life in contrast with the fantasy world in which his dolls come alive.
Director: David Haines
Dereviled, is a single chanel video. Mobile phone footage of gay and lesbian ‘exorcisms’ in evangelical churches in the U.S. is reversed and the subsequent phonetic reversal used as the basis for a song text. Phonetic reversal has long been the subject of debate, particularly within the Christian church where subliminal messaging is germane to Satanism. Here the situation is politicized by disarming the ritual, using the reversed text as lyrics for a club anthem. New subliminal messages are inserted which, through their context, take on a political resonance. Mnemonic signs resonate with a pulsing beat, bringing the high camp sound of 1970s disco back to its political roots of queer politics and the Theatre of the Ridiculous.
Director: Reber Dosky
The Sniper of Kobani is a portrait of Haron, a Kurdish fighter who came to the Syrian town of Kobani to end the IS occupation. Haron works as a sniper, amidst the enormous ruins of the city. In his hide-out, he reflects on his hopes and nightmares.
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Director: Jerzy Sladkowski
A four-sided love triangle, spiced with autism, neuroses and life crises in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod. The 22-year-old autistic young man Oleg is seeking approval and love. He is surrounded by many who want to help him, but no-one succeeds. Suddenly help comes from an unexpected direction.
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IDFA (the Internation Documentary Festival Amsterdam) is unique for its international film program, the variety of genres, its politically committed program and the many European and world premieres featured each year. Add to that the presence of many filmmakers, sizeable audiences, all the discussions and debates, workshops, masterclasses and the experienced staff, and it’s no wonder IDFA is the pre-eminent festival for creative documentaries. During IDFA, creative documentaries take centre stage. This means that IDFA chooses films which express the filmmaker’s point of view in a creative and cinematic manner. Aside from the festival, IDFA consists of three industry components: the IDFA Bertha Fund, the FORUM and Docs for Sale. All of these were established in order to improve the international climate for creative documentaries.
Founded in 1997, Rooftop Films has grown to become known internationally as one of the most dynamic film festivals in the world. In 2014, we will screen more than 30 feature films, almost all of which are New York, U.S. or World Premieres, as well as more than 125 short films in themed programs. This combination of brilliant, original programming and stunning outdoor venues makes Rooftop Films one of the best-attended film festivals in New York. At Rooftop Films, we bring the underground outdoors.