Ally Derks Talks About IDFA and Documentary Film Trends

Ally Derks Talks About IDFA and Documentary Film Trends

Ally Derks has been the director of IDFA, aka the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, for a quarter of a century, and has grown the annual event into the documentary film industry’s preeminent showcase, not only offering filmmakers opportunity to pitch projects and make distribution deals for their finished films, but providing an extraordinary program of socially relevant films for documentary watchers from around the globe. In the documentaries realm, what Derks thinks matters. Read on…

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Best Documentary Hybrids – A Curated List

Best Documentary Hybrids – A Curated List

Although documentarians claim to represent truth in filmmaking and narrative moviemakers tout their ability to entertain and transform through fantasy, the line between truth and fiction in filmmaking is — and always has been — blurry. This is a list of hybrid documentaries in which narrative filmmaking techniques — reenactments, special effects, animation and other such elements — are used effectively to deliver story elements essential to conveying the film’s subject and theme. Collectively these outstanding films illustrate the many ways in which narrative filmmaking techniques can be used in documentary filmmaking without compromising the genre’s standards of authenticity, transparency and journalistic ethics.

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Movie Review: THE COVE

Movie Review: THE COVE

This Oscar-winning animal rights documentary plays like a thriller thanks to the dramatic use of infra red night vision photography and other cinematic effects that authentically represent actual events as protagonist Richard O’Barry campaigns to save dolphins from the annual hunt and slaughter taking place in Taiji, Japan. The film’s mission and position are substantiated with ample verite coverage of International Whaling Commission conferences, and on camera testimony from animal experts and politicians.

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Movie Review – BLESSED IS THE MATCH: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF HANNAH SENESH

Movie Review – BLESSED IS THE MATCH: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF HANNAH SENESH

Blessed Is The Match – The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh is the heartbreaking World War II story of a young Jewish women, Hannah Senesh, who emigrated from Hungary to Palestine, but later tried to sneak back to her home country in a valiant attempt to save Jewis–including her mother–from death at the hands of Hungarian Nazis. Filmmaker Roberta Grossman creates a truly moving memorial to Hannah by using archival footage, photographs and reenactments that show us how her comfortable well-to-do childhood changed with the death of her father and increasing influence of fascism in Hungary. Hannah was joyful and courageous, a gifted poet and diarist. Her death is a Holocaust tragedy.

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Movie Review: THE ARBOR

Movie Review: THE ARBOR

In her first documentary feature, London-based artist Clio Bernard experiments with nonfiction form, using actors to lip sync to audio-only recordings of interviews she’d made with playwright Andrea Dunbar’s surviving family and the circle of acquaintances who knew her and shared her difficult circumstances in ‘The Arbor,’ a tough working poor ‘estate’ neighborhood of Bradford in the North of England. The effect of the perfect lip syncing is eerie, especially since the entire film was shot on location in Bradford, at the very places frequented by Dunbar and her circle.

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