A Festival of Documentaries

IDFA (The International Documentary Film Festival of Amsterdam) begins tomorrow! One of my favorite events of the year, IDFA showcases an array of documentaries across a diverse range of topics from filmmakers around the globe.  The festival runs from 19-29 November and already a few films have caught my interest:

Constatin and Elena (Andrei Dascalescu, Romania/Spain, 2008) A chronicle of the love of a Romanian couple, married for 55 years, as they fill their days and accept their mortality.

Countryside 35x45 (Evgeny Solomin, Russia, 2009) This documentary follows the man that has to photograph the inhabitants of the remote villages in Siberia, profiling the people he meets along the way, in the process to replace all Soviet passports with Russian identity papers.

Pianomania (Lilian Franck and Robert Cibis, Germany/Austria, 2009) These filmmakers document the work of concert technician and piano tuner Stefan Knüpfer. 'Armed with humor, patience, and a generous dose of creativity, he fiddles with the grand pianos as long as it takes for their sound to seduce the pianists.'

The Red Chapel (Mads Brügger, Denmark, 2009) Comics Jacob and Simon, North Korean by birth and adopted by Danish parents as children, head to Pyeongyang after they receive permission to perform a vaudeville act.

Tapped (Stephanie Soechtig, Canada/USA, 2009) This documentary is a critique of the growing bottled water industry, outlining the environmental problems and the rising power of corporations.

Taqwacore: The Birth of Punk Islam (Omar Majeed, Canada, 2009) Taqwa is an Arabic word that means 'piety' or 'god-fearing'. This film documents the journey of Islamic punks in the United States whose music blends punk and hip hop inspirations with ancient Arabic culture and instruments.

View the full festival program here.