Amsterdam's documentary film festival kicks off with royal award for founder

The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam kicked off on Wednesday with a royal award for founder Ally Derks. The departing IDFA director was appointed an Officer in the Order of Oranje-Nassau by Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs on Wednesday evening.

By organizing the IDFA, Ally Derks brought international documentaries to the attention of the general public, and thereby demanded attention for important social themes, the municipality of Amsterdam said in a press statement. "Through the efforts of Ally Derks, the Netherlands is now one of the most productive countries in the field of documentaries", the municipality said. "She also advocated for documentary filmmakers in developing countries."

Derks founded the IDFA in 1987. The festival's first edition attracted around 3 thousand visitors, who came to watch around 80 documentaries. Now the IDFA attracts around 270 thousand visitors and the documentary film festival is considered an international leader.

This year over 300 documentaries can be seen in the festival.