20 November: Heddy Honigmann receives Living Legend Award during opening IDFA 2013

The official opening has just taken place of the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) with a screening of Talal Derki’s Return to Homs.
Before the film, the Living Legend Award was presented to documentary maker Heddy Honigmann, and the chair of the Dutch Cultural Media Fund Jacob Kohnstamm announced the winner of the fund’s 2013 Mediafonds Documentary Award. The recipient Xander de Boer received a sum of €125,000 to realize his plan for the film Girls Boys & Me.
In her opening speech, the festival’s director Ally Derks talked about the history and achievements of the IDFA Bertha Fund, which provided financial support for the making of Return to Homs. She also announced the creation of a new award in memory of the Canadian filmmaker Peter Wintonick, who died last Monday: the Peter Wintonick Special Jury Award for First Appearance.

Heddy Honigmann wins Living Legend Award
The Living Legend Award, an oeuvre prize of €5,000, has this year been granted for only the second time. The sole previous recipient, American documentary maker Frederick Wiseman, who won it in 2009, presented it at the opening to Heddy Honigmann (b. 1951, Lima). Honigmann is widely regarded as one of the greatest documentary makers the Netherlands has ever produced. She had a huge impact nationally and internationally with films such as Metal and Melancholy (1993), O Amor Natural (1996), The Underground Orchestra (1997) and Crazy (1999), which won the 1999 IDFA Audience Award. Festival director Ally Derks also invited Honigmann to compile the Top 10 in 2014.

IDFA Mediafonds Workshop
The Dutch Cultural Media Fund makes available a sum of €125,000 annually for the realization of the best film plan developed at the IDFA Mediafonds Workshop. The fund supports the workshop financially and co-organizes it. This year, the filmmakers Menna Laura Meijer and Tom Fassaert led the workshop for the second time.

Girls Boys & Me by Xander de Boer
Girls Boys & Me concerns Jo, a 26-year-old transgender woman searching for her true identity. For the past four years, she has been recording on video her journey, her uncertainties and her questions. Her immediate future will be dominated by the all-important question: shall I stay a woman or become a man? Will the decision she makes bring her the happiness she so longs for?
This year’s jury comprised filmmakers Boris Gerrets and Mijke de Jong, editor Axel Skovdal Roelofs, and Kees Schaap and Laetitia Schoofs representing the public broadcasters. The jury described the plan as, ‘A kaleidoscopic whole. It is a bold adventure, because the filmmaker will need to navigate between poignancy and lachrymosity, between the personal and the individual, and between ambiguity and excessive clarity.’
The workshop participants were selected on the basis of their submitted synopses by a commission that included representatives from public broadcasting companies. One of the public broadcasters will broadcast the winning documentary.

Return to Homs and the IDFA Bertha Fund

In her opening speech, Ally Derks explored the history and achievements of the IDFA Bertha Fund, which was set up as the Jan Vrijman Fund in 1998 and has ever since been supporting documentary projects in developing countries. Derks emphasized the importance of the fund for the development of authentic and independent voices in the countries concerned.

Peter Wintonick Special Jury Award for First Appearance

Ally Derks also talked about the death last Monday of Canadian filmmaker and IDFA talkshow host Peter Wintonick. She announced the presentation of an extra award in his memory: the Peter Wintonick Special Jury Award for First Appearance, a sum of the €2,500. Throughout his career, Peter Wintonick was committed to guiding young filmmakers. This encouragement award is IDFA’s tribute to his work and his spirited enthusiasm.
Jan Röfekamp, sales agent at Canada’s Films Transit provided the financial support for the award.


Watch the IDFA trailer October 29, 2014 | IDFA has unveiled its 2014 poster campaign and trailer, which both highlight the diversity of scope and nationality of the festival program.
IDFA Bertha Fund Harvest 2014 October 28, 2014 | IDFA has selected a total of 10 documentaries made with financial assistance from the IDFA Bertha Fund this year. Each year, the IBF provides support in two selection rounds to documentary projects from developing countries.
IDFA Forum Selection 2014 October 14, 2014 | The complete list of projects selected for IDFA Forum 2014 has been announced.
IDFA Bertha Fund introduces European program September 1, 2014 | The IDFA Bertha Fund is launching a new program: IDFA Bertha Fund – Europe. The new program will support the production and distribution of documentaries realized through co-productions between European producers and producers from developing countries.


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