Danish documentaries at IDFA

IDFA. Two Danish documentaries will screen at IDFA in the International Competition and one in the IDFA Competition for Short Documentary. Get the full overview of the six Danish films and the filmmakers at the leading documentary festival.

The IDFA festival opened in Amsterdam yesterday with films from more than 80 countries. Representing Denmark are six films – three of these are competing in the main sections of the festival. See the complete list below. 

International Competition

'Apolonia, Apolonia' by Lea Glob and 'Dreaming Arizona' by Jon Bang Carlsen will have their world premiere in the International Competition of IDFA. 

'Apolonia, Apolonia' is shot over 13 years and is an existential voyage into the mind of three young women and their thoughts on sexuality, art, idealism and love as they live and rethink them through their twenties and thirties. This coming-of-age story portrays their different destinies in life and art – seen through the time of the female spring.

'Apolonia, Apolonia' is the first feature length documentary by Lea Glob outside co-direction. The film is produced by Sidsel Lønvig Siersted for Danish Documentary Production.

Jon Bang Carlsen is one of the grand old men of Danish documentary who has directed more than 40 films. His latest is 'Dreaming Arizona' which is set in an all-American small-town in the Arizona desert along Route 66. At the local high school, the audience gets to know five teenagers, each with their dream of the future. Like all teenagers, they are in a transition where they have to shape their own lives, find a way out of childhood and create a new identity as adults. Their desire for freedom is strong, and there are consequences when parents, society or their conscience restrict it.

IDFA 2022

IDFA is short for International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. The festival was founded in 1988 and is considered the world's biggest festival for documentaries. 

The festival runs this year from 9-20 November. Read more at idfa.nl.

Danish films have been strongly represented at the festival through the years. See our historical overview.

The film is produced by Heidi Elise Christensen and Signe Byrge Sørensen for Final Cut for Real.

IDFA Competition for Short Documentary

IDFA's international competition for short films includes 'Wild Wounded Animals' by Jakob Pagel Andersen, which is about life as a parent and how a child awakens the fear of loss and changes your relationship with death. When the director becomes a father, he is overwhelmed by fierce anxiety attacks, which become a threat to his new little family. To understand the anxiety running in the family bloodline, he seeks out his father.

The film is produced by Jesper Jack for House of Real.

Best of Fest

The festival also screens some highlights of the year from other festivals such as Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Sundance and CPH:DOX, which are presented in the Best of Fest programme.

Both Simon Lereng Wilmont's 'A House Made of Splinters' and Guy Davidi's 'Innocence' are selected for the Best of Fest programme. 

'A House Made of Splinters' takes place in the war-worn of Eastern Ukraine at a safe haven for children temporarily removed from their parents. Here three children are awaiting their fate — will they go back or move on to a new home while a group of dedicated social workers do their best to create small moments of joy and respite from childhoods all but lost?

Monica Hellström has produced for Final Cut for Real. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in early 2022.

'Innocence' tackles the issue of militarization and its impact on the lives of young Israeli people who are forced to serve in the army against their own identity and values. Through a narration based on the haunting diaries of soldiers who died in uniform and home videos they left behind, the film depicts their inner turmoil. Interwoven with first-hand training videos and unique filmed moments the film shows how children and young people are being tracked and pressured step by step from early childhood into military enrolment. 

Sigrid Jonsson Dyekjær has produced for Danish Documentary Production. The film had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival in late summer.


Both Jørgen Leth and Andreas Koefoed are veterans at IDFA. They are invited to the Masters program with their cinematic improvisation piece 'Music for Black Pigeons'. The film is about being present in the now, about playing and improvising, about carrying on the heritage from generations of jazz pioneers and creating something, unlike anything you’ve ever heard before. 

The film features some of the most influential jazz musicians of our time like Bill Frisell, Lee Konitz and Midori Takada. The film is produced by Emile Hertling Péronard for Anórâk Film Denmark.

For more information

Anne Marie Kürstein
Festivalkonsulent, dokumentar
Tlf. +45 4041 4697


IDFA each year hosts the IDFAcademy which gives emerging international filmmakers the opportunity to meet a broad spectrum of highly esteemed documentary professionals willing to share their knowledge of the industry. This year director Emil Nørgaard Munk and producers Kasper Lykke Schultz and Signe Skov Thomsen are invited to participate.

Danish jury members

Rasmus Steen, Head of Documentaries for International Media Support (IMS) in Copenhagen, is a member of the jury for the IDFA Award for Best First Feature. Niklas Engstrøm, Artistic Director of CPH:DOX, is a jury member for the Beeld & Geluid IDFA ReFrame Award, which is given for the best use of archival footage.