IDFA to expand and develop Online Collection

IDFA to expand and develop Online Collection

 IDFA Creative Director Orwa Nyrabia


IDFA’s Online Collection, first introduced in 2007 as and then relaunched as the IDFA Online Collection in September 2017, received unprecedented audience engagement in March 2020 within the context of global confinement, claims the festival. 


In response therefore to the “exceptional organic interest”, IDFA’s team has “begun developing and optimizing” the online offering. 


Documentary films and new media projects that were previously programmed at various editions of IDFA are regularly added to IDFA’s website for visitors to watch at home. In the coming months, the IDFA Online Collection will be further developed to ensure additional opportunities for audiences and filmmakers alike, the festival states.

Comments Orwa Nyrabia (Artistic Director): “The exceptional surge of interest in watching documentary film online that we’ve experienced in the past few weeks said a lot about audiences’ interest. This will never replace the social experience of going to the cinema, of being together, when that becomes possible again, but it will offer films a better chance at a second life after their initial cycle in the market. The interests of the filmmakers and those of the audience are more aligned now than ever, and this will not be limited to this time of crisis.” 

“Approximately 300 films can already be watched for free and about 500 projects are available for a small contribution,’ he adds. “This contribution will go directly to the filmmakers, distributors and/or other right holders. During this particular period of global confinement, the audience seems to find a meaningful relief in watching documentary film. The number of visitors to has reached a record height for an off-festival period, with 18 times more visits in the past month compared to the same period in 2019.”

“IDFA’s team is actively reaching out to filmmakers about their IDFA-selected films, with the aim to further expand the Collection. Furthermore, IDFA’s online channels will be continually updated with curated sets of films, pathways, and various filters to help viewers navigate the large Collection, in addition to regular programmer tips and newly added titles. Visitors will be guided through the wide range of films and new media projects via various access points and navigation routes, and IDFA’s team will continue to examine the user experience and gradually optimize the platform.”

The program team has developed “pathways” through the Online Collection to help viewers and assist them in making a thematic choice. 


The On the Road pathway section includes such works as Hassan Fazili’s Midnight Traveler (2019) and Georgi Lazarevski’s Travel in G Major (2006). Festival notes on the programme state: “To help us navigate uncertain times, we present a selection of films that prompt us to experience life in motion, where the destination is secondary to life in the present and the landscapes that pass us by. The process of the journey is an opportunity to know better who we are and our courage is being tested by the passage through time and space.” 

The Solidarity in Times of Social Distancing pathway includes Lian Zhao’s Return to the Border (2005) and the playful Poor Us – An Animated History of Poverty (Ben Lewis, 2012). “In a time when “social distancing” is the motto, we are all discovering that ‘solidarity’ is more important than ever. We need to maintain physical distance from one another now, but we will not overcome this crisis as individuals. We need to open our understanding of humanity as a whole,” writes the festival.

The Profession: Journalist pathway includes Malek Bensmaïl’s Checks and Balances (2015) and Piotr W Bernas’ Paparazzi (2011). “Today, the truth is elusive. It is obscured by fake news, algorithms, and echo chambers, making the job of journalists more noble and urgent than it’s ever been before. Here, we meet some of the people who see truth-telling as their calling—voices of clarity that rise above the mediated noise,” writes the festival.” .