«Cinema is about transcending us»

IDFA: Artistic Director Orwa Nyrabia on the safety measures, the new competition approach, and the current IDFA experience.

The 34th International Documentary Festival Amsterdam kicks off today through 28 November 2021 on-site in Amsterdam, Netherlands, with additional online options and events.

For the 34th time, IDFA offers their unique, independent and inspiring meeting place for audiences and professionals to engage with a diverse and high-quality program of documentary films, events, workshops, and talks. For 2021, IDFA returns to Amsterdam, and travels across various Dutch cinemas, with a full slate of programming, while select industry activities and screenings remain online. With this edition also come some changes to the IDFA structure, most significantly with the addition of new «Envision» competition, while the volatile nature of the Netherlands coronavirus situation has also required certain adaptations along the way.

Modern Times Review spoke with IDFA Artistic Director Orwa Nyrabia on these safety measures, the new competition approach, the current IDFA experience, and more in this far-reaching interview ahead of the festival.

PC: Roos Trommelen

Data has shown a stark rise in COVID-19 cases in the Netherlands as of late, much like most of Europe, which led to some new measures. As it stands right now, what sort of form is IDFA going to take, and how have the measures from last week impacted you?

We will keep the occupancy rate of 70% in all market-related events and screenings and will continue with the 80% occupancy for all audience screenings. We will also introduce masks as an extra safety measure for all industry related events, as well as Press&Industry screenings.

We have also made sure that we have a team of specialists on-site, so there is a COVID-19 response team in place with people who have the scientific knowledge and the event management experience we need. They will be all around the festival checking everything in detail.

Then comes the point . . .

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Steve Rickinson
Communications Manager at Modern Times Review.

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