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November 11, 2016

IDFA x Volkshotel

Art & Cult

From 16 till 27 November Volkshotel will host film makers and film lovers alike during International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. Expect a buzzing vibe and two mini-cinema’s with comfy sofa’s at Werkplaats. Here we’ll show short films of the makers that call Volkshotel their home during IDFA. Open 09:00-21:00 and free for everyone.


// Flying Anne
// My Olympic Summer
// Hidden Wounds
// Pouters
// Public Solitude
// My Enemy, My Brother
// Via Dolorosa
// Plank
// Rehearsal
// Record Breaker
// The Queen
// Surfing the Waste
// Torre David
// Slaves


// Well Fed (directed by Hidde Boersma)*
// Song of Exile (directed by John Albert Jansen)*
// Banana Pancakes and the Children of Sticky Rice (directed by Daan Veldhuizen)*
// Buba and Sharon (directed by Chiel Aldershoff) [nl]
// Discrimination (directed by Rebekka van Hartskamp and Marjolein Busstra)*
// Who am I? (directed by Harro Henkemans)* [nl]
// Drone Invasion (directed by Daan Veldhuizen)* [nl]
// The Passing Years (directed by John Albert Jansen)* [nl]
// Canvas (directed by Chiel Aldershoff)
// Everything that Sounds (directed by Marieke Rodenburg)* [nl]
// Making a Difference (directed by Brechtje Boeke, Reinier Vriend, Kuba Szutkowski)*
// Khadija’s Mokum (directed by Marjolein Busstra)*
// Stories from Lakka Beach (directed by Daan Veldhuizen)*
// Bonjour Stromae (directed by Emma Lesuis)* [nl]
// Let Me Go Home (directed by Chiel Aldershoff)
// Do it Together (directed by Alek Riquelme)*

* showing a 15 minute excerpt of the full length film
[nl] only in Dutch / no subtitles

The Record Breaker (2012)
Ashrita Furman made his first Guinness World Record in 1979. He jumped 27,000 times in 6 hours, 45 minutes and 26 seconds. Since then, the American has made more than 300 other records and now holds the most Guinness World Records. And to this day, this store manager from Queens still delights in a new record and the kick that comes with it. Hula hooping with the biggest hula hoop in the world, climbing Machu Picchu Mountain on stilts, skippy-balling great distances or walking in the heaviest shoes in the world – Furman takes on all kinds of physical challenges. With a bit of regret in their voices, his parents talk about how he could have easily gotten into Harvard. When he was younger, he was a real bookworm, but things turned out differently. During his early search for meaning in life, he ended up meeting the guru Sri Chinmay, who was both a spiritual leader and an avid sportsman. In order to honor him, Furman began breaking Guinness World Records, and he became more of a fanatic with every successful attempt. In The Record Breaker, we follow this exceedingly happy fellow as he demonstrates some occasionally absurd feats, as well as during training for new challenges. This is an inspiring, comic portrait of a man who wins us over with his positivity, humor and lust for life.

Pouters (2012)

POUTERS_DanyIt is estimated that around 1,000 Scottish people, mostly men, engage in “doo fleein,” a highly competitive hobby that involves stealing each other’s pigeons. The sport is practiced mostly in the poorer areas, where fallow land offers ample space for imposing dovecotes equipped with ingenious mechanisms to trap competitor’s birds. This short documentary focuses on two of these men living in a working-class neighborhood in Glasgow. Rab and Danny have been battling it out for 25 years. Hilarity ensues when we follow them during their hunt, with the two men exchanging mating calls and foul-mouthed diatribes with their birds, and celebrating triumphantly when they manage to catch a prized bird. Even during the interviews, in which the heavily accented duo speak about their sport and their never-ending rivalry, they always have at least one eye pointed at the sky.

The Queen (2013)

The Queen 1We are in a village somewhere in Argentina, and it’s carnival time. Memi is around 11 years old, and she’s preparing to be Queen of the Carnival, a dazzling honor accompanied by costumes, sequins and a magnificent headdress. “The crown is huge, weighs four kilos, studded with rhinestones and amethysts,” Memi’s mother proudly explains. While the mother and her girlfriends are lost in the excitement, Memi’s head is reeling from the tension. The camera watches the young girl in close-up. She is stoical – regal, even – as she suffers the attentions of the adults who are always offscreen. Memi’s face betrays nothing but her eyes speak volumes, such as when her mother extols the virtues of hair spray containing the anesthetic Lidocaine. In this case, it’s clear you really do have to suffer for beauty – a lesson Memi learns early on. The camera captures Memi’s mixed expression of fear, pride and resignation perfectly. “Memi, a bit tighter?” asks her mother, to which the girl replies, “I don’t know, I don’t feel my head anymore.”

My Enemy, My Brother (2015)

My Enemy My Brother_[Brendan_Uegama]_2The war between Iran and Iraq spanned almost the entire 1980s and cost 1.5 million lives. As young men, Iranian Zahed and Iraqi Najah fought on opposing sides of the front. They survived the war, both physically and mentally, because of each other. When Najah was badly wounded on the battlefield, Zahed risked his own life to save him. It was a decision that gave Zahed back his sense of humanity – he was still just a child at the time, and he had been forced to carry out unimaginable cruelties. Now, after 25 years and many trials and tribulations, they meet again by chance in Canada. Zahed and Najah each tell their own story of loss, destiny and redemption. In subdued tones, the film reveals their gripping and miraculous tale. With great creativity and subtlety, the filmmakers use animations and photographic effects to bring the two men’s recollections to life. The result is compact and lucid. My Enemy, My Brother also exists as a web series and is currently being developed into a feature-length documentary about Zahed and Najah and their search for lost loves.

IDFA shorts cinema
16-27 November // 09:00-21:00 // Werkplaats // Free entrance
Besides IDFA we’re also showing films from our Broedplaats film makers.
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