Bianca is a freelance journalist and documentary critic. She is a regular contributor to Modern Times Review.

The new artistic director at IDFA talks about the new features of the documentary industry and how watching a documentary can turn into a life-changing experience.

1.What is the focus of the 31st edition of IDFA?

 «IDFA is big enough to carry multiple focuses, but if there is one I would mention

it would be that ‘inclusion’ is our overall focus. Our key priority now is geographical and gender inclusion.»

«Every time we look to the masters of documentary film, we come up with names of great male filmmakers. But if we challenge ourselves more, we find out that there is more to be found if we’re not enslaved by a [particular] system of perception.»

«The same applies to films from Africa, South East Asia, parts of Latin America, and the Arab world. If you look at the usual pool of films coming from these regions, the first impression is that there are not so many good films being made. But with more persistence you discover that there are films, but they are not seen in festivals, television or platforms, and that makes hunting them down harder.»

«Investing in finding these talents and meeting these masters we haven’t heard of is now a priority for IDFA. With this in mind, we expanded our viewing committee to include experts from around the world, and now our first filter is a truly wide and inclusive group. Through this filter we understand more about perceptions, ways of judging a film, and different ways of seeing. This all adds up to an interesting debate.»

2. What else is new this year?

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