[press release from Screen Australia]

The prestigious International Documentary Festival of Amsterdam (IDFA) has announced the selection of six Australian titles that reflect the diversity of Australian documentary filmmaking.

In My Father’s Country (d: Tom Murray) will screen in the First Appearance competition, where it will compete with 15 films for the First Appearance and IDFA Audience Awards. This screening will be the international premiere of the film. In 2007, director Robert Nugent received the First Appearance Award for his film End of the Rainbow – a first for an Australian film.

Selected to screen in Reflecting Images: Best of Fests is the sports documentary Solo (d: David Michod, Jen Peedom), which charts the brave attempt of Andrew McAuley to cross the wild Southern Ocean from Australia to New Zealand in a kayak. This screening follows the European premiere of Solo at the Sheffield Doc/Fest earlier this month.

Skin (d: Rhys Graham), an intimate and confronting film exploring art, the body and mortality, will have its international premiere when it screens in the Silver Cub competition – a competitive section for short documentaries. Wanja (d: Angie Abdilla), a documentary about the block in Redfern, has also been selected to screen in the Silver Cub competition and will have its European premiere at the festival. Wanja received development funding from Screen Australia’s Indigenous Branch.

Twelve Canoes (d: Molly Reynolds, Rolf de Heer), made for release on the internet and comprising of 12 shorts that portray the history, culture and homeland of the Yolngu people of the Arafura Swamp, will screen in the Reflecting Images: Masters program of IDFA.

The final film in selection is Indonesia Calling, a film by famous Dutch documentary maker Joris Ivens. Made in 1946, the film was sponsored by the Waterside Worker’s Federation of Australia and is about the refusal of seamen and waterside workers in Australia to man Dutch ships containing arms and ammunition for attacks on the Indonesia Republic.

The International Documentary Festival of Amsterdam runs 20–30 November 2008.