Jørgen Leth and Eva Marie Rødbro in competition at IDFA

IDFA 2019. Jørgen Leth's 'I Walk' is selected for the main Feature Length competition at IDFA, while Eva Marie Rødbro's 'I Love You I Miss You I Hope I See You Before I Die' is revealed for the First Appearance competition. A total of nine Danish titles will take part in this year's prominent doc festival running from 20 November.

The world's largest doc fest, IDFA in Amsterdam, has revealed the competition titles for this year's edition, including films by Danish documentary film's grand old man Jørgen Leth and debuting director Eva Marie Rødbro. Both films will be making their world premiere at the festival. 

Jørgen Leth's 'I Walk' is selected for the ​IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary. As previously announced, Leth will be honoured with IDFA's Lifetime Achievement Award for his extensive and versatile body of work.

Eva Marie Rødbro's 'I Love You I Miss You I Hope I See You Before I Die', which is the director's first film in feature length after a number of shorts and television series, is revealed for the IDFA Competition for First Appearance.

The full programme for IDFA 2019 is hereby announced. A total of nine Danish titles will be participating this year, in addition to a number of international co-productions with Danish participation. Get the full view below.

About a life spent

Filmmaker, sports journalist and poet Jørgen Leth survived an earthquake in Haiti, but since then he has shuffled unsteadily through life. 'I Walk' is a personal documentary about dealing with old age when the hunger for life hasn’t been satisfied yet. 

IDFA's Lifetime Achievement Award goes to the Danish documentarian for having "inspired generations of filmmakers with his strong auteur voice and fearless perspective on reality". The honorary award will be given during the festival. 

The 82-year-old director, poet, journalist, author, cycling commentator and much more has been a regular at IDFA over the years.

Jørgen Leth is renowned for a string of key works in Danish cinema since the early 1960s, from 'The Perfect Human' (1968) and 'Life in Denmark' (1972) to his 70s' cycling films 'Stars and Water Carriers' (1974) and 'A Sunday in Hell' (1977) and later classics like '66 Scenes from America' (1982), 'Haiti. Untitled' (1996), 'The Five Obstructions' (2003) with Lars von Trier and 'The Erotic Human' (2010) – and many more. 

Eva Marie Rødbro's 'I Love You I Miss You I Hope I See You Before I Die' will be making its world premiere at IDFA. Photo: Troels Rasmus Jensen

Portraying marginalised lives

In 'I Love You I Miss You I Hope I See You Before I Die', we follow Betty, a young mother-of-two living below the poverty line and sharing a house with ten others in suburban Colorado Springs. Resilient and emotionally sensitive, Betty is nonetheless continually tested by the realities of her daily life; mounting debts, a troubling partner and the expectations of motherhood.

With uncertainty always looming on the horizon, Eva Marie Rødbro’s privileged and inquisitive footage gently observes the female camaraderie and fleeting moments of joy that illuminate these marginalised lives. 

The director has a Bachelor's degree, from 2008, in photography from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie for Fine Arts and Design in Amsterdam. In 2015, she graduated as documentary director from the National Film School of Denmark. Her graduation film, 'We Chose the Milky Way', formed the basis for a popular series on national broadcaster DR about a group of girls from the Copenhagen Psy-Trance scene, 'Princesses from the Block' (2016). She has also directed a number of short films about wild teens, including 'I Touched Her Legs' (2010), 'Warrior' (2013) and 'Dan Mark' (2014).

'I Love You I Miss You I Hope I See You Before I Die' is produced by Julie Friis Walenciak for Paloma Productions with support from the Danish Film Institute's talent scheme New Danish Screen.

Danish directors have received the main prize in the First Appearance competition twice in recent years. In 2016, Sine Skibsholt won for 'Who We Were', and in 2017 Simon Lereng Wilmont was awarded for 'The Distant Barking of Dogs'.

IDFA in Amsterdam

IDFA, the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, is the world's largest documentary film festival held annually since 1988.

Over the years, Danish film has been strongly represented at the festival, winning a total of 14 awards since 2001. See overview.

IDFA 2019 runs from 20 November to 1 December. See more at idfa.nl.

Danish films and filmmakers at  IDFA 2019

Here is a summary of the Danish films and filmmakers for this year's festival:

Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Jørgen Leth receives honorary award for his complete oeuvre.

​IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary

  • I Walk by Jørgen Leth. Produced by Sigrid Dyekjær for Danish Documentary Production.

IDFA Competition for First Appearance

  • I Love You I Miss You I Hope I See You Before I Die by Eva Marie Rødbro. Produced by Julie Friis Walenciak for Paloma Productions.

IDFA Competition for Kids & Docs

  • Bird Boy by Simon Lereng Wilmont. Produced by Maria Stevnbak Westergren for Toolbox Film.


  • Fat Front by Louise Unmack Kjeldsen and Louise Detlefsen. Produced by Malene Flindt Pedersen for Hansen & Pedersen Film og Fjernsyn.

Best of Fests

  • The Cave by Feras Fayyad. Produced by Kirstine Barfod and Sigrid Dyekjær for Danish Documentary Production.
  • Hunting for Hedonia by Pernille Rose Grønkjær. Produced by Sigrid Dyekjær for Danish Documentary Production.


  • Love Child by Eva Mulvad. Produced by Sigrid Dyekjær for Danish Documentary Production.
  • The Winter Journey by Anders Østergaard. Produced by Mette Heide for Plus Pictures.

Focus: The Villain

  • The Look of Silence by Joshua Oppenheimer. Produced by Signe Byrge Sørensen for Final Cut for Real.


  • A Comedian in a Syrian Tragedy by Rami Farah (France, Denmark, Syria, Jordan, Norway). Danish co-producer is Signe Byrge Sørensen for Final Cut for Real. Festival series: Luminous.
  • In Mansourah, You Separated Us by Dorothée Myriam Kellou (Algeria, France, Denmark). Danish co-producer is Sara Stockmann for Sonntag Pictures. Festival series: Focus: It Still Hurts, Best of Fests.
  • Khartoum Offside by Marwa Zein (Sudan, Danmark, Norge, Frankrig). Danish co-producer is Henrik Underbjerg for Stray Dog Productions. Festival series: Best of Fests, Spotlight: Sudan.
  • The Kingmaker by Lauren Greenfield (USA, Danmark). Danish co-producer is Sigrid Dyekjær for Danish Documentary Production. Festival series: Best of Fests, Focus: The Villain.
  • My Darling Supermarket by Tali Yankelevich (Brazil, Denmark). Dansk co-producer: Good Company Pictures. Festival series: IDFA Competition for First Appearance.