The nominees for IDFA's main award include two Danish titles: Camilla Nielsson's "Democrats" and Hanna Polak's "Something Better to Come." The remaining two nominees in the Feature-Length Competition are "Of Men and War" by Laurent Bécue-Renard of France and "Those Who Feel the Fire Burning" by Dutch filmmaker Morgan Knibbe.
Announced at Wednesday's nominations party at the De Brakke Grond arts centre, the list of films in the run for Friday's awards also includes a nomination for "Something Better to Come" in the DOC U Competition, a programme that aims at introducing young audiences to documentary cinema.
On the Bumpy Road to Democracy
Over the course of more than three years director Camilla Nielsson was up close in the inner circles of politics in Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe. With the process of creating a new constitution as its narrative backbone, "Democrats" tells the story of the political elite in Zimbabwe fighting the battle over the founding principles defining the country's possible future.
"Even the slyest political satire couldn't outdo this riveting docu study of Zimbabwe's troubled coalition government," writes Variety's Guy Lodge. See full review
Camilla Nielsson is making her first feature documentary with "Democrats," produced by Henrik Veileborg for Upfront Films. The film received two awards at CPH:DOX earlier this month and is enjoying its international premiere at IDFA.
Read our interview with the director: On the Road to Democracy
Hanna Polak's "Something Better to Come" was filmed over the course of 14 years. Photo: Hanna Polak.
Human Beauty in a Garbage Dump
Not far from Moscow's city centre lies Europe's biggest landfill. Here, Yula lives with her mother, her friends, drunkards and outcasts. Life is tough, but the garbage dump is also a place where beauty and humanity can arise from the most unlikely conditions. It is from this place that Yula dreams of escaping and changing her life, even if it seems impossible.
Oscar-nominated Polish director Hanna Polak followed Yula for 14 years, from she is 11 until she turns 25 and finally leaves the garbage dump. "Something Better to Come" is produced by Sigrid Dyekjær for Danish Documentary Production and is world premiering at IDFA.
"I didn't want to make a clichéd film about Russia and its social problems. I wanted to make a film about human dignity, about the beauty in people. In that sense my film is a modern fairytale," says director Hanna Polak. Read the full interview in our FILM magazine: Human Beauty in a Russian Garbage Dump
Winners Announced Friday
A record-breaking number of 15 Danish films are selected for this year's IDFA. The winners of the various programmes will be announced on the evening of Friday, 28 November during the Awards Ceremony at the Compagnietheater.