Five Australian documentaries have been selected to screen at the 27th International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), held 19–30 November.
Screen Australia’s CEO Graeme Mason said, “To have five Australian projects selected for one of the world’s leading documentary festivals is a great honour. It is an important platform for documentary filmmakers and great recognition that reflects the wealth of talent creating Australian documentaries.”
Thought-provoking feature documentary That Sugar Film, from first-time feature director Damon Gameau and producers Nick Batzias and Rory Williamson, will have its world premiere in Competition for Feature-length Documentary and will screen alongside 15 other international titles. The film is an engaging and saccharine ride exploring what really happens when a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. That Sugar Film is a delightful combination of academia, irreverence, experiment, celebrity, science and vibrant entertainment. It will have a significant impact on the way the public views the most dominant food item in the world and help them to start a new life without it.
The confronting documentary I Will Not Be Silenced will have its international premiere screening in the Panorama section of the festival. The account of one young Australian woman’s horrific gang rape has led to a seven-year battle for justice with the Kenyan legal system. Supported in her quest by a courageous high-ranking Kenyan police officer and some senior legal officials, much is at stake as Charlotte seeks justice against all odds. Her life is in constant danger. Her indomitable strength and her sense of outrage at the lack of rights for Kenyan women have been her inspiration and brought many silenced women out of the dark to stand at her side. The film was directed and produced by Judy Rymer and also produced by Lois Harris.
In competition for the IDFA DocLab Award for Digital Storytelling, Jiao Chen’s After 6/4 for SBS Online is an interactive website marking the 25th anniversary of the events that occurred in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, in 1989. The project features information based entirely on sourced, archival media material, and offers multiple perspectives highlighting the diversity of opinions around these significant historical events and is designed to explore the complexity of talking about this period 25 years on.
Oscar Raby’s Assent will be featured in the DocLab: Immersive Reality program, a section that celebrates interactive documentary and the digital revolution. The project is based on Raby’s father and his experience in 1973 witnessing the execution of a group of prisoners captured by the military regime in Chile, the army that he was part of.
Australian producer Ty Johnson’s music documentary Austin to Boston, from USA/England/Australia, is one of 15 projects selected to screen in the Music Documentary program and compete for the IDFA Music Documentary Audience Award. The adventure starts on the final night at Austin’s SXSW Music Festival, and follows four bands in five old VW camper vans, journey 3,000 miles in two weeks, playing everywhere from bars to barns, rooms to rooftops, packing out tiny venues and wowing crowds with their unique sounds.