Home straight:  Europe's largest documentary film festival will be opening its doors in Amsterdam in the next few days, offering a prominent international platform for a total of 33 productions with German participation. Of these, no less than five will be screening in the competition sections of the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (20 November - 1 December, 2019).

The IDFA Competition for Kids & Docs will be featuring DEAR DARKNESS (Film University Babelsberg Konrad Wolf). The short  by Samuel N. Schwarz follows the life of 12-year-old Frida. She has a special view on the world: she can only see colours and outlines in a blur. But Frida quickly makes it clear to the viewer that she doesn't have to be able to see to achieve her goals.

Markus Vetter is set to stir up the Frontlight section with his political thriller THE FORUM (gebrueder beetz filmproduktion, Filmperspektive). The film sees him showing the World Economic Forum from the inside. The viewer can follow how the global elites from the worlds of business and politics struggle to find solutions to the most pressing problems of our planet. Vetter poses the following question with his film: does the WEF as a platform for the powerful offer the framework to have a positive influence on the future of our planet? Or is it being misused by the elites to assert their own interests?

Two female directors have a fascinating look at the world in the Luminous sidebar. Ines
Johnson-Spain traces her own personal story in the autobiographical essay film BECOMING BLACK. She grew up in East Germany as the dark-skinned child of a white married couple. Her parents assured her that her different skin colour had been pure coincidence. Until one day, as a teenager, she found out the truth: her mother had once fallen in love with an exchange student from Togo. Johnson-Spain examines the social implications of her personal history. WATERPROOF by Daniela König deals with two women, two lifestyles and one profession. Khawla and Aysha are plumbers in Jordan. When Khawla is summoned to court on corruption charges, Aysha is torn between self-realisation and loyalty. Will their friendship ever be waterproof again after these unprecedented events?

Two films by young talents from Germany have been invited to screen in the IDFA Competition for Student Documentaries. Denize Galiao traces the feelings of longing in SAUDADE (HFF Munich). The film immerses the viewer in the director's emotional world,  recounting her migration history and the disappearance of her homeland in Brazil. SUMMERWAR (Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg) by Moritz Schulz is the story of two 12-year-old girls, who are being trained for the citizen militia in Ukraine in a camp of the Azov regime, and sensitively shows the contrast between being a child and the military training.

The young generation of filmmakers are joined in Amsterdam by established directors like Thomas Heise, Andres Veiel or Romuald Karmakar with their films showing in other sections. Romuald Karmakar is also part of the jury for the IDFA Competition for Mid-Length documentary.

All of the German films and co-productions at the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam 2019 can be found here.

Contact: Bernhard Simek