The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam has ballooned into the biggest celebration of documentary filmmaking in the world. It has become an increasingly important hub for ideas, marketing, cultural exchange, but something it prides itself most on is as a meeting place for documentary filmmakers and film lovers and a platform for storytelling which it has managed remarkably. The city of Amsterdam once again opens its cinemas and its arms to visitors on the 19th to the 30th of November for its 27th edition. Here are a few of the highlights at this year’s IDFA…


Citizenfour (USA, Germany)

The full story of whistle blower Edward Snowden, beginning from the first coded email he sent under the alias citizenfour. The Documentary deals with the abuse of power by the national security services in the US and the consequences of turning against the system.

Screenings –Wed 19/11 @ Tuschinski 4 – 9.00

Sun 23/11 @ Tuschinski 1 – 19.00

Mon 24/11 @ EYE Cinema 1 – 16.45

Fri 28/11 @ Tuschinski 1 – 22.30


Running from Crazy (USA)

Mariel Hemingway, a granddaughter of the legendary writer Ernest Hemingway, explores her family’s disturbing history of mental illness and suicide.

Screenings –Thurs 20/11 @ De Kleine Komedie – 21.30

5 Fri 21/11 @ Tuschinski – 15.15


Oh My Gosh, Zilla (Netherlands)

Zilla van den Born staged an entire five week trip through Asia from her boyfriend’s home in Amsterdam. She photoshopped herself into photos, skyped with her family from Asian restaurants in Amsterdam and made a fake clip about a snorkelling excursion in a local outdoor pool. The purpose of the charade was to show the simplicity of deceiving people with pictures especially on social media.

Screenings – 20th– 30th Nov @ Brakke Grond Witte Zaal & Foyer – Several various times (see website)

Our Colonial Hangover (Netherlands)

A Documentary that analyses the debate surrounding the tradition of Zwarte Piet in the Netherlands. Although the debate always heats up around the time of the Saint Nicholas celebrations every December, it reached an unprecedented level of ferocity in 2013. Is this helper a racist stereotype, or is he part of an innocent tradition that should not be tampered with?

Screenings – Thurs 27/11 @ Tuschinski 1 – 21.30


Sound it Out (UK)

An interesting and witty look at the last vinyl mecca in the Teesside district, and its assorted clientele who come along for a chat and a rummage. Director Jeanie Finlay collects from the many hours of interview material, and has edited a warm and witty portrait of a shop where the love of music is practiced with a grand passion.

Screenings –Thurs 20/11 @ Munt 12 – 22.45

Fri 21/11 @ De Kleine Komedie – 22.00

Sat 22/11 @ Tuschinski 5 – 15.45

You can see the full list of documentaries on the IDFA website at


You can also download the IDFA App for Apple and Android that includes the full festival program, options for personalized schedule and favourites, and much more.

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased on the IDFA website

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