From 17–28 November, the 34th IDFA will be an in-person event and has announced its first details.
The 2021 Guest of Honor will be Hito Steyerl. The distinction will see Steyerl curate a Top 10 programme of films that have influenced her and give a public Filmmaker Talk. An innovator of the essay documentary, Steyerl will return to IDFA 23 years after screening her graduation film Die leere Mitte at the festival, which was then met with embarrassed silence.
There will also be a retrospective of Armenian filmmaker Artavazd Pelechian, honouring him with a Lifetime Achievement Award. A prodigal figure in the heyday of Soviet filmmaking, Pelechian’s work first graced Western screens in the 1980s, garnering praise from luminaries such as Jean-Luc Godard and Patti Smith, yet his films remain rarely shown to this day. Now, after 27 years away from the public eye, the visionary returns with a prayer to nature in his new film La Nature, set to have its European premiere at IDFA
Finally, in recognition of the late documentary icon Johan van der Keuken, IDFA will present a curated program inspired by his lyrical four-hour masterpiece Amsterdam Global Village, one of the most influential films of the Dutch documentary tradition.