Filmmaker Heddy Honigmann Honored by IDFA 2014!

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heddy honigmannGood news, Heddy Honigmann fans! IDFA 2014 is headlining the world renowned Dutch documentary filmmaker and honoring her highly acclaimed oeuvre at the festival’s 27th edition, taking place in Amsterdam from November 19 – 30.

IDFA 2014 will open with Honigmann’s most recent film, Around the World in 50 Concerts, a striking tour de force in which the filmmaker underscores the positive power of music in various cultures around the globe as she accompanies the Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra on its worldwide tour. Read on…

Heddy Honigmann’s IDFA Opening Night Film: Around the World in 50 Concerts

To celebrate its 125th anniversary in 2013, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra toured the entire world, performing a total of 50 concerts in various countries on six continents. Documenting the historic tour, filmmaker Honigmann arrives with the musicians in Buenos Aires, Soweto and St. Petersburg, and shows how they are able to touch people’s hearts, inspire, release emotions and soothe the hardships and anguish that many have suffered.

At a time when pop music documentaries are a la mode, this film is a stand out in showing so clearly, so passionately, so brilliantly that music matters.

Heddy Honigmann’s Retrospective

Honigmann’s extensive oeuvre includes both narrative and documentary films. Her fiction films, including the highly acclaimed Au Revoir (1995), were produced for the most part during the earlier years of Honigmann’s career. Her documentaries include Metal and Melancholy (1993); O Amor Natural (1996); The Underground Orchestra (1997); Crazy (1999); Forever (2006) and El Olvido (2008).

Au Revoir will be shown as part of this year’s retrospective, along with many of her documentaries. The full program of films presented as part of the retrospective has not yet been announced.

Honigmann is one of the most highly respected filmmakers in Holland and is revered worldwide. She was born in Peru, and is now a citizen of The Netherlands. Most of her films are Dutch-produced, several of them are about and were shot in her native Peru.

Honigmann’s exquisitely crafted films focus on very compelling every-man-and-every-woman characters who show extraordinary persistence and tenacity in coping with the extreme hardships of life. Her storytelling, cinematography and editing are flawless. Flawless!

Honigmann’s work has been shown in retrospectives at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2003 and the Centre Pompidou in Paris in 2011. The has also been honored with the Outstanding Achievement Award at Hot Docs in 2007. She also received the Living Legend Award at IDFA in 2013.

The IDFA 2014 retrospective offers a great opportunity to really get to know her work.

Heddy Honigmann’s Top Ten

Honigmann has also been invited to compile IDFA’s 2014 curated Top 10 list of favorite documentaries, a favored annual feature at the festival that gives renown filmmakers the opportunity to share their personal pick of best documentaries with the world at large.

For her Top 10, Honigmann has selected titles that include Abbas Kiarostami’s And Life Goes On (1992); The Gleaners and I (2000) by Agnès Varda and the nine-hour-long Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks (2002) by Wang Bing.

Previously, IDFA’s Top 10 program has been curated by Rithy Panh, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Ulrich Seidl, Victor Kossakovsky and other visionary documentary filmmakers. The lists are always exceptional. Even if you’ve missed the festival, you can find the films and see them on your own — perhaps organizing screening parties for family and friends.

During IDFA 2014, Heddy Honigmann will give a master class, in which she will talk about her body of work, perspectives on documentary filmmaking and her selection of Top 10 documentaries. Not to be missed!

IDFA is arguably the world’s most prestigious and influential documentaries-only film festivals. For more information about IDFA 2014, including the program, special events and how to attend the festival, visit the official IDFA Website. You can keep track of additional announcements, developing programs and booking opportunities at the site.

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Jennifer Merin

Jennifer Merin is the Film Critic for Womens eNews and contributes the CINEMA CITIZEN blog for and is managing editor for Women on Film, the online magazine of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, of which she is President. She has served as a regular critic and film-related interviewer for The New York Press and She has written about entertainment for USA Today, The L.A. Times, US Magazine, Ms. Magazine, Endless Vacation Magazine, Daily News, New York Post, SoHo News and other publications. After receiving her MFA from Tisch School of the Arts (Grad Acting), Jennifer performed at the O'Neill Theater Center's Playwrights Conference, Long Wharf Theater, American Place Theatre and LaMamma, where she worked with renown Japanese director, Shuji Terayama. She subsequently joined Terayama's theater company in Tokyo, where she also acted in films. Her journalism career began when she was asked to write about Terayama for The Drama Review. She became a regular contributor to the Christian Science Monitor after writing an article about Marketta Kimbrell's Theater For The Forgotten, with which she was performing at the time. She was an O'Neill Theater Center National Critics' Institute Fellow, and then became the institute's Coordinator. While teaching at the Universities of Wisconsin and Rhode Island, she wrote "A Directory of Festivals of Theater, Dance and Folklore Around the World," published by the International Theater Institute. Denmark's Odin Teatret's director, Eugenio Barba, wrote his manifesto in the form of a letter to "Dear Jennifer Merin," which has been published around the world, in languages as diverse as Farsi and Romanian. Jennifer's culturally-oriented travel column began in the LA Times in 1984, then moved to The Associated Press, LA Times Syndicate, Tribune Media, Creators Syndicate and (currently) Arcamax Publishing. She's been news writer/editor for ABC Radio Networks, on-air reporter for NBC, CBS Radio and, currently, for Westwood One's America In the Morning. She is a member of the Critics Choice Association in the Film, Documentary and TV branches and a voting member of the Black Reel Awards. For her AWFJ archive, type "Jennifer Merin" in the Search Box (upper right corner of screen).