The Best of IDFA on Tour 2019 – 2020 (English subs)

Award winners and festival favourites of the 2019 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam tours throughout the country. The films, with origins from around the world, are judged based on a.o. cinematography and urgency of the topic – resulting in a unique film programme.

Tickets can only be purchased for the entire day programme. It is not possible to get tickets for just one of the film. Cineville card holders do not pay a premium this edition. BankGiro Loterij VIP card holders enjoy a €5,50 discount (maximum 2 persons per card).

Lunch to go?

Around 12AM a 40 minute lunch break is scheduled.

For €12 you can order a lunch meal to go at De Balie – consisting of a vegan sandwich, fruit, a lemon / poppy seeds cupcake and orange juice. Simply add the lunch to your cart while shopping for The Best of IDFA on Tour tickets.


Special mention of the jury within the IDFA Competition for Kids & Docs
The Netherlands – 2019 – Anne van Campenhout – 15 min.
Spoken in Dutch. Subtitles in English.

The most uncomfortable but also the most exciting subject for school kids has to be sex education. Foreplay shows what these classes are like at five Dutch junior high schools. The filmmakers focus on the reactions of the young teenagers, who snigger and make wisecracks, but also listen with curiosity, while the teachers generally take a cheerful, no-nonsense approach. They talk about genital anatomy, and the kids unroll condoms onto fake penises and pass on liquids in plastic cups to simulate STDs.

In interviews, the students answer questions like “Are you looking forward to it?,” and “Do boys realize if a girl doesn’t want to do it?” And what do they think about pornography? They also talk about sexting and sharing revenge porn. Many have no sexual experience yet, but they’ve undoubtedly seen it all online. They are often frank, sometimes surprising, and disarmingly naive and streetwise at the same time.

Sunless Shadows

Winner of the IDFA Award for Best Directing and opening film of IDFA 2019
Iran, Norway – 2019 – Mehrdad Oskouei – 74 min.
Spoken in Persian. Subtitles in English.

In an Iranian juvenile detention center, a group of adolescent girls serve their sentence for the grave crime of murdering their father, their husband or another male family member. Filmmaker Mehrdad Oskouei built a remarkable relationship with these inmates, whose frank conversations and playful interactions he observes, and who privately open up about the consequences of, and sometimes the reasons for, their action.

Occasionally he leaves them alone with the camera, allowing it to become a tool for them to address both their victims in the afterlife and their accomplices—three of the girls committed their father’s killing together with their mothers, who are now on death row.

Contrasting with the much gloomier situation of these mothers, the atmosphere in the girls’ living quarters—a shared cell with a teenage bedroom feel, a classroom and a green courtyard where a bunch of ducklings scuttle about—seems almost carefree. It gradually starts to dawn on us that apart from being a prison, this closed, all-female environment is also a shelter from an aggressively male-dominated society.


Sweden – 2019 – Fredrik Gertten – 92 min.
Spoken in English, Spanish, Italian, German, Korean. Subtitles in English.

Gentrification is a fatal phenomenon affecting many cities, transforming low-class neighborhoods into highly desirable districts, gradually driving house prices up and the original inhabitants out. Are the new wealthy occupants to blame for the price hikes, or is something else going on?

Filmmaker Fredrik Gertten (Bananas!Bikes vs Cars) follows the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing as she investigates the shrouded world of venture capitalists, property speculators and slumlords. She visits major cities in Great Britain, Spain, Chile and South Korea to see how such a variety of locations are beset with pretty much identical problems: tenants facing a tripling of their rent while luxury homes—or even entire developments—are left vacant on purpose.

Bricks are the new currency, and the big cities are playgrounds for the rich, claims one of the interviewees. Can anything be done to push back on this “property Mafia”? Committed citizens living on different continents point out that a city center is more than just a desirable location. They’re fighting for better regulations in the hope of turning the tide. Perhaps all that’s needed is a push in the right direction.

In a Whisper

Winner of the IDFA Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary
Spain, France, Switzerland, Cuba – 2019 – Heidi Hassan, Patricia Pérez Fernández – 80 min.
Spoken in Spanish, French. Subtitles in English.

Childhood friends Patricia and Heidi grew up in Cuba, where they both went to the film academy. As children of the 1970s, they were brought up with the communist ideals of Che Guevara, but the promised bright future failed to materialize. Independently of each other, they fled the malaise and censorship of their homeland. Heidi ended up in Switzerland, Patricia in Spain. They had no contact for years.

Now both 40, they seek a way to approach each other again, choosing the medium that suits them best: video letters. Both have continued to film their lives, even though it seemed unlikely that they would ever work in film again. In their frank audiovisual communication, the two migrants recount all the roundabout routes they have taken in their lives: Patricia’s years selling mojitos, Heidi’s search for work and connection with society in Geneva, and the struggle with alienation and nostalgia for a country that no longer exists.

The result of the letters, ingeniously edited into a chronological yet freewheeling whole, is a sensitive, two-sided account of uprootedness, motherhood, love of film, friendship and freedom.