In 2008 the Chinese government issued a 586 billion US dollar plan as an attempt to minimise the impact of the global financial crisis on the world's second largest economy. The plan was to invest in infrastructure. Since then, China has built 122,000 kilometers of highway, the longest in the world.
For three years director Zanbo Zhang filmed the making of one section of the highway through a village in Hunan in central China, resulting in The Road, a Chinese-Danish co-production that gives a rare insight into the tragedies, corruption and conflict arising during the construction. Chinese producer is Galaxion Films, and besides producer Mette Heide (The Queen of Versailles, Rent a Family Inc.), the Danish crew includes editor Steen Johannesen, sound engineer Henrik Gugge Garnov and grader Anders Vadgaard.
IDFA's opening film is Dutch director Tom Fassaert's A Family Affair, a Dutch-Belgian-Danish production between Conijn Films and co-producers Clin d'oeil and Danish Documentary Production. The film captures the director's encounter with his grandmother who left her family to start a new life in South Africa. The film also takes part in the Dutch Competition and the young audience competition Doc U.