10 documentaries to watch at IDFA 2019

From Wednesday, November 20 – December 1, Amsterdam will be taken over by the international documentary industry as the 31st International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA).

With hundreds of films, events, panels, workshops, parties, and networking fr everyone from industry to audience, navigating the festival may prove daunting unless you are a seasoned professional. Here, we put together 10 selections to make your IDFA week(s) easier.

The Brink

After losing his job as Donald Trump’s chief strategist, this documentary follows Steve Bannon across the Atlantic as the former Breitbart editor mobilizes leading right-wing politicians for a global populist movement.


IDFA 2019-Colectiv
The fire at Bucharest nightclub Colectiv was one of the worst disasters in Romanian history. This acclaimed documentary follows a number of key figures in its aftermath. One that ultimately led to the resignation of the Social Democratic government.


Across seven locations in North America and Europe, this visually stunning documentary asks the question of how much the planet must make room for our human being’s demanding contemporary lifestyle.

For Sama

The documentary debut of 26-year-old citizen journalist Waad al-Kataeb was made as a dedication to her newborn daughter. She films the inside story of the Syrian war in the form of a letter from a mother to her child.

Heimat is a Space in Time

An essay film of epic proportions, Director Thomas Heise traces a hundred-year narrative of his family, and in turn, of his homeland of Germany.


One of the year’s most renowned documentaries, ‘Honeyland’ follows one of Europe’s last female wild beekeepers.

One Child Nation

Perhaps the most acclaimed documentary of the year (so far), ‘One Child Nation’ follows family members, villagers, midwives, officials, and a journalist, around China’s draconian one child policy.


The lack of affordable housing in most of the world’s major cities may be the defining social issue of our time. In ‘Push’ hidden world of venture capitalists, property speculators and slumlords are investigated across the world seeking an answer to the question, “Who is to blame?”

Talking About Trees

The festival phenomenon, ‘Talking About Trees’ follows four of Sudan’s greatest directors and lifelong friends as they refuse to its decline in their homeland.


Through many of the most influential voices in the field of technology, ‘iHuman’ looks at the ever-developing world of artificial intelligence and who is, and will be, in control of the powerful technology in the future.


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