We already know the full programme of the festival IDFA. You can find Polish productions in several different sections, and three films have a chance to win awards.

The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam IDFA is the largest and one of the most important documentary film festivals in the world. Every year, it attracts over 280 thousand viewers, including over 3000 guests from the documentary film industry, and the films shown at the IDFA often become festival favourites later on. This year, the IDFA starts on the 20th of November and lasts until the 1st of December.

As many as two Polish films are invited to the medium-length documentary film competition. The jury will evaluate "Sonny" by Paweł Chorzępa and "The Whale from Lorino" directed by Maciej Cuske. Both productions will have their world premieres at the festival.  

The main protagonist of the film by Chorzępa is Marcin. The boy was badly hurt by his parents. His mother drank during her pregnancy, which is why he was born with fetal alcohol syndrome, and when he was twelve years old, he was taken from his parents because of their alcohol addiction. The orphanage took his childhood away. He felt there as if he were in the army. In spite of all bad experiences, after reaching majority he decided to come back to his father and attempt to build anew the relationship with him. Finding one's own place, his own sanctuary, which Marcin discovers in the aviary, fills him with hope.  However, the constant care of his alcoholic father continues to clip his wings.

In turn, the latest documentary film by Maciej Cuske tells the story of the people who live in one of the most inaccessible and the most difficult places to live on Earth, the Chukchi Peninsula. Separated by a narrow strait from Alaska, the Peninsula lies at the northeastern tip of Eurasia, on the Bering Sea and the Chukchi Sea. Currently, Russians, Chukchi and Eskimos live here. The film shows how the ancient tradition of whale hunting brings various representatives of the local community together.

Małgorzata Goliszewska and Kasia Mateja will show their debut film at the IDFA. Their "Lessons of Love" will have its world premiere at the Dutch festival in the competition section First Appearance. The main protagonist of the documentary film is 67-year-old Jola, a woman who decided to regain control over her own life after years of an unhappy marriage. She moves from Italy, where she has lived so far, to Szczecin, the city of her childhood. Here, everything does not turn out to be just like she might have dreamed of. However, there are good sides to the decision as well. Jola pursues her passions: dance and creating songs and poems. Friendship is also support for her. 

In the IDFA DocLab Competition for Digital Storytelling the IDFA audience will have a chance to see Polish-German co-production, “The happiest thought” by Agnieszka Polska. “The happiest thought” was how Albert Einstein described the insight that inspired him to write his General Theory of Relativity: the idea that from the perspective of someone in free-fall, gravity seems not to exist. Relativity is also the point of departure for this visual essay by Agnieszka Polska, in which she directs our gaze towards the world as it once was, in an utterly different context: 250 million years ago, when the Permian-Triassic extinction event occurred.This piece is part of the “The New Infinity” programme, co-produced with Berliner Festspiele / Immersion and Planetarium Hamburg.

There will be no lack of Polish films in the non-competing sections, too. The documentary film "A Day in the People's Republic of Poland" by Maciej Drygas will be presented within the frames of the programme Focus: Re-releasing History, and the short film "The Tough" by Marcin Polar, after numerous festival successes, goes to the section Best of Fests (more here).

You can find more information about the festival on its official website.