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Idfa at 30: Nick Broomfield Says ‘Independent Feature Film Is Almost Extinct’ and Docs Are Filling That Space

Amsterdam — As Idfa turns 30, its organizers didn’t have to try too hard to pull in the big guns for a sidebar they called The Visual Voice. Made up of 14 films chosen by 16 filmmakers, the strand gave carte blanche to some of its most famous alumni, with picks by Pirjo Honkasalo, Kim Longinotto, Nick Broomfield, Jørgen Leth, The Yes Men, Maziar Bahari, Heddy Honigmann, John Appel, Hubert Sauper, D. A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus, Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, Frederick Wiseman, Steve James, Victor Kossakovsky and Nishtha Jain.

Idfa veteran Nick Broomfield, who has returned to the festival many times since its launch in 1988, was only too happy to contribute – the festival, he contends, was a bold game-changer, and one that has since been vindicated for its beliefs.

“It was unusual when it started,” he says, “because it was a festival just for documentaries. Before that, most festivals had documentaries as a sort of an appendage to the

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