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IDFA presents Based on the Same Story: a program of documentary and fiction films in EYE


During the upcoming IDFA, a special themed program will screen, comparing documentaries to fiction films on the same topic. Various aspects of documentaries and fiction films will be investigated within this program, which IDFA is presenting in cooperation with Amsterdamís EYE film institute. Following the screening of the documentaries, an in-depth discussion chaired by film journalist Nicolas Rapold will take place with the filmmakers present, including director Kevin MacDonald and director of photography Ed Lachman.

Based on the Same Story
This program consists of seven documentaries on a topic about which a fiction film has also been made. Both the documentaries and the fiction films will screen in EYE during IDFA, and the screenings of the documentaries will be followed by an in-depth discussion with the filmmaker in the cinema. The similarities and differences between the two films will be investigated using clips from the fiction film. A central question will be whether a documentary is by definition more truthful than its fictional counterpart, or whether interpretations within fiction can in fact lead to a greater understanding of reality.
Scottish director Kevin Macdonald, who has both a documentary (One Day in September, 1999) and a fiction film (The Last King of Scotland, 2006) in the program, will attend the discussion following the screening of the documentary General Idi Amin Dada (1974) by Barbet Schroeder to talk about the different approaches taken to the same character, Ugandan dictator Idi Amin. He will also give a Q&A after the screening of One Day in September, which deals with the hostage drama during the Olympic Games in Munich. Steven Spielbergís Munich (2005) could be seen as the fictionalised follow-up to this film, showing what subsequently happened to the perpetrators.
After the screening of the documentary Blind Spot. Hitlerís Secretary (2001), which consists of an interview with Hitlerís private secretary, director Othmar Schmiderer will talk about the role of memories in the representation of reality. The fiction film Downfall (2004), about Hitlerís last days, is based in part on these memories. D.A. Pennebakerís documentary Donít Look Back from 1967, also included in Rithy Panhís Top 10, is a classic of the Direct Cinema genre about Bob Dylan. Ed Lachman, who was director of photography on Todd Haynesí Dylan biopic Iím Not There, will talk about different visual approaches to a cultural icon.
Director Greg Barker will be interviewed about his documentary Manhunt (2013), in which three CIA agents talk about the years they spent hunting Osama Bin Laden. The fiction film Zero Dark Thirty, on the same subject, will also screen. In two cases, the fiction film and the documentary were made by the same director: Little Dieter Needs to Fly (1997) and Rescue Dawn (2006) by Werner Herzog, and Girls (2006) and Everybody Dies, But Me (2008) by Russian director Valeriya GaÔ Germanika.

The discussions following the screenings will be chaired by Nicolas Rapold, senior editor at Film Comment magazine and a regular contributor to The New York Times. His writing has also appeared in Sight & Sound, the Village Voice, and Artforum. He has programmed work at the Museum of the Moving Image, the Film Society of Lincoln Center, and UnionDocs.

Based on the Same Story was made possible thanks to financial support from the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds.


To be eligible for a press pass for IDFA, you must complete the accreditation process before 1 November.

The IDFA press conference will take place on Friday, 1 November. Festival director Ally Derks will announce the latest festival news and talk about the programme. The opening film of IDFA 2013 will then be screened. The press conference and press screening will take place from 10.30 a.m. to approx. 1.30 p.m. in the IDFA screening room at Frederiksplein 52 in Amsterdam. If you wish to attend, please contact Eva van Barneveld in advance.


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