10 documentary projects have been selected for the 2021 IDFA Bertha Fund (IDF). The films cover all of the IDF regions – Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe, and includes four projects in development and six in production or post-production. Each selected project will receive financial support, as well as tailor-made support from IDFA’s Filmmaker Support department. Read more about the selected projects below (some loglines unavailable at the time of publication).
- Germano Black Society (dir. Everlane Moraes) – Brazil
The absence of black personalities in Brazilian high society took Germano de Souza to organize and promote events for notorious black individuals in places traditionally occupied by the white elites.
- Niñxs (dir. Kani Lapuerta) – Mexico
In the magical town of Tepoztlán, Mexico, Mati faces a binary society that tries to fit them into one gender or another. Between games and prejudices, this child is in the middle of their journey to adolescence, taking off a timid but certain flight towards the construction of their own identity.
- The Wall of Death (dir. Amine Sabir) – Morocco
Hassan and Khadra have been living from the motorcycle show for 40 years, but they refuse to let their daughter Zahra, passionate about football and motorcycles, take over. At 27, Zahra is torn between solidarity with her family and the desire to assert her personality by choosing another path.
- Zoo (dir. Evgeniia Marchenko) – Georgia, Russia
A dozen or so single girls from remote provinces of Russia live together in a communal apartment in the center of St. Petersburg trying to survive harsh economic conditions while dreaming of happiness, love and family.
Production & Post-Production
- Abo Zabala Prison 1989 (dir. Bassam Mortada) – Egypt, Germany
Bassam, a filmmaker, reaches out to his estranged father. He reconstructs traumatic memories of events in 1989, which were devastating for his father and had a huge impact on him and his mother. Can an artistic recreation of the past help them confront their traumas?
- Cutting Through Rocks (dir. Mohammad Eyni & dir. Sara Khaki) – Iran, Germany
- Eat Bitter 吃苦 (dir. Pascala Appora-Gnekindy & Ningyi Sun) – Central African Republic, United States
Against the backdrop of civil war in the poverty-stricken Central African Republic, a Chinese construction manager and a local African laborer work on opposite ends of the spectrum to construct a sparkling new bank. As deadlines loom, unexpected twists threaten their jobs, relationships, and plans for a better life.
- I, Poppy (dir. Vivek H. Chaudhary) – India
- The Nights Still Smell of Gunpowder (dir. Inadelso Cossa) – Mozambique, France, Germany, Portugal, Norway
- We Are Inside (dir. Farah Kassem) – Lebanon, Qatar, Denmark
After more than a decade, Farah returns to her hometown Tripoli in Lebanon to stay with her widowed aging father Mustapha. It’s her last chance to reconcile with him though it must be through the only language he understands, poetry.