Amsterdam is one of the leading cities in the world to hear music from all corners of the globe. The Amsterdam public’s appetite from everything from classical music to progressive dance grooves to regal world music is ravenous, with so many music clubs catering to a public with progressive and eclectic tastes. To further deepen the marriage between music and film, IDFA, the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam which runs through November 27, has joined forces with International Music + Film Festival PLAY to present a new competition for international music documentaries. Seventeen documentaries from around the world are competing for the IDFA PLAY Award for Best Music Documentary. A five-member international jury is evaluating thee films, and will select a winner that will receive a sculptured award and a cash prize of 2500 Euros.
The breadth of the program is truly astonishing, bridging traditional and alternative music styles, with a range of personalities that give the music its special lift. Among the highlights of the program are ANDA UNION: FROM THE STEPPES TO THE CITY, a UK documentary about the Mongolian band Anda Union and the search for their musical roots; BEATS, RHYMES & LIFE: THE TRAVELS OF A TRIBE CALLED QUEST, actor-turned-director Michael Rapaport’s incisive look at the influential hip hop band A Tribe Called Quest; CURE FOR THE PAIN: THE MARK SANDMAN STORY, a profile of the charismatic singer and songwriter Mark Sandman, the founder of the 1990s rock group Morphine; IBIZA OCCIDENT, a steamy look at the dj club culture on the Spanish island resort; MAMA AFRICA, a biopic homage to pioneering African singer Miriam Makebe, by Finnish director Mika Kaurismaki; acclaimed UK director Michael Radford’s MICHEL PETRUCCIANI, a portrait of the French jazz pianist who was born with a genetic mutation disease that cut short his life and musical career at age 37; PARADISO: AN AMSTERDAM STAGE AFFAIR, a time-travelling documentary tribute to the greatest music venue in the Netherlands and an ode to the magic of pop concerts; UTOPIA LTD., a look at the Hamburg-based trio 1000 Robota and their cult following; and WHEN THE DRUM IS BEATING, a powerful look at the resilience of the people of Haiti as represented by the band Septentrional, which has introduced Cuban beat-meets-Haitian voodoo music since the 1950s. Hopefully, many of these energetic musical documentaries will be coming to a theater near you, but if not, check out IDFA’s online film library (http://www.idfa.nl/industry/idfa-tv.aspx) to catch a preview. Your ears and eyes will thank you…….