Amsterdam documentary festival boasts 97 world premieres
AMSTERDAM — The 25th Intl. Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam opens Wednesday with Dutch director John Appel’s world preeming “Wrong Time Wrong Place” unspooling at 25 theaters across Holland.In the crowded calendar, the 12-day IDFA remains the world’s top docu fest, mart and confab with 97 world preems among 317 titles and 2,100 registered film pros, including 187 U.S. attendees. Alan Berliner’s “First Cousin Once Removed” is the sole U.S. entry in the 16-feature competition. The fest is a key Euro launchpad for U.S. features; this year’s slate includes Ken Burns’ “Central Park Five,” Janet Tobias’ “No Place on Earth,” Steve James’ “Head Games” and “Mea Maxima Culpa” from Alex Gibney, whose “Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream” is one of several IDFA-preeming pics in the Why Poverty? cross-media initiative run by nonprofit Steps. Jay Bulger’s “Beware of Mr. Baker,” Poull Brien’s “Charles Bradley: Soul of America” and Drew DeNicola’s “Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me” are U.S. features vying for the music docu prize. The IDFA Forum, the co-financing and co-production event unfolding Nov. 19-21, will see 50 teams pitch projects to docu decisionmakers. Lucy Walker’s untitled snowboarding docu and Nancy Kates’ “Regarding Susan Sontag” are U.S. titles screening as works-in-progress at the Forum. Docs for Sale, the market hub, has 1,000-plus available titles for 250 buyers, sellers and programmers to view.