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The table in Turbulence Jamais Vu. Photo by Leo Bankersen

IDFA 2023 - DocLab and the shadow worlds

Does something get better when it is sanded? Art as the grindstone of the mind? The age-old concept of dialectics, the clash of opposites from which something new emerges? This 17th edition of IDFA's DocLab, the programme full of digital art, interactive work and virtual worlds, is themed 'Phenomenal Friction'. Technology is mostly focused on efficiency and convenience, but DocLab invites us to... 

How I almost fell off my bike because of a VR documentary #IDFA Doclab

IDFA DocLab has returned home to the Brakke Grond, and how! More than thirty-five works explore the boundaries of documentary in content and form. DocLab is the digital playground where anything is technically and conceptually possible now. So I watched a work with scent, danced in the 80s and got so relaxed I almost... 

Master Talk with IDFA guest Laura Poitras: why her work can be an inspiration to today's activists.

Following the screening of her Venice Golden Lion-winning All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, committed and critical documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras had a good chat with IDFA's artistic director Orwa Nyrabia at Carré. About her discovery of the documentary world, her outrage at American politics and how she also learned to see hope.

IDFA 2022 - Artistic director Orwa Nyrabia on statements and an open eye: 'Rather ask tough questions than confirm our prejudices.'

The 35th edition of the IDFA documentary festival will kick off on 9 November. About the film selection, he remarked that it is "not only a judgement, but also a statement". In this interview, he talks about the choice of filmmaker-activist Laura Poitras as guest of honour, and much more.

Museum of Austerity shows the bitter face of austerity cuts

Whenever a technology is presented that I am not yet familiar with, I like to explore. A museum with holographic glasses? Do it! However, it turned out to be the content that will stay with me for a long time. The Museum of Austerity by Sarah Wares and John Pring is no easy read. But essential for understanding the impact of austerity on disabled people... 

Symbiosis, or how I wanted to become a butterfly - Symbiosis VR by Polymorph at the IDFA DocLab

DocLab has been the most exciting part of IDFA for 15 years. This is the place for experimentation in form, technology and content; pushing and stretching the boundaries of the medium. I like to plunge in, sometimes with skin and hair. The VR installation Symbiosis gives that opportunity quite literally. You get to enter a post-apocalyptic world, where people are forced to make connections... 

Theatrical installation looking at current events from the Maroons' perspective, this summer at Plein Theatre

Swart Gat/ Golden Age (Dunguu olo - katibo-ten) is a theatrical installation about Amsterdam's slavery past and Maroon culture from Suriname. The concept is by Tolin Erwin Alexander, Berith Danse and designer Bartel Meyburg. The theatrical installation, which has lost none of its urgency, has been further finished and will start again in summer 2021! From 17 June (19 June... 

Renzo Martens on White Cube: 'From now on, the Stedelijk should devote its entire acquisitions budget to art by plantation workers.'

A sleek, snow-white art temple in the middle of the Congolese interior. What does that mean? Renzo Martens talks about his new documentary White Cube, and the art project that allows plantation workers to buy back their land. Premiering at IDFA and in Lusanga, Congo.

Open your eyes, watch and reflect, engage in conversation. Opening IDFA 2019 showcases the sublime extremes of documentary.

The 32nd edition of the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam has opened with Sunless Shadows. Confessions of young women jailed for complicity in the murder of their father or other man in the family grow into a haunting statement about oppressed women in a male-dominated society. The only Dutch film in the international competition is Rotjochies by Maasja Ooms.

New Lights at Filmclub Hyena - how young makers are breathing life into documentary

Good news for anyone who has so far missed If you grow up later, Max Baggerman's double award-winning graduation film. This documentary look at working people, as poetic as it is socially critical, can be seen again on 1 August as part of New Lights. This evening is the second instalment of a new bi-monthly event that introduces us to... 

Shout out! The big fill-in for the new arts plan.

The Council for Culture has just proposed the new Basic Infrastructure (BIS), and it has become a very big, in traditional terms 'prosperous', baby. Since the Council is not allowed to name names, and can only list functions, we have already made a fill-in list here, in which we list (very briefly, because little time and not knowing about everything) which existing cultural... 

How do you film a hero? A quest in 3 parts.

How do you make a beautiful and personal documentary about a hero? And what if your hero is a filmmaker and has already made beautiful footage himself? How free can you be with your subject matter? For a long time, my problem with IDFA has been that the documentaries are so well behaved, so focused on the subject and not on the medium itself. In... 

DocLab 2018: improve the world, put on VR glasses.

Slowly but surely, the very latest in virtual reality (VR) is finished and we can start thinking about what you want to show, rather than how. Whereas at the first VR festival I still got whooping headaches from bad glasses, now I can be mesmerised by the beauty of the Amazon or beautiful animations. Movie theatres like Eye... 

Was will the WOB? Ministry makes documents around grant Labour Market Agenda culture public.

The Ministry of OCW has excellent black felt-tip pens. In no way, therefore, did I manage to find out which newspaper in Amsterdam made the WOB request to which Minister van Engelshoven is now responding. The length of the black bar could be anything (except Coöperatief Cultureel Persbureau UA). Anyway: someone is investigating the course of events surrounding the... 

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