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Founder & Managing Director Ally Derks to Leave IDFA in 2017


After nearly thirty years, IDFA Founder and Managing Director Ally Derks decided to leave IDFA in 2017. Next year, Derks will be invited by the prestigious German Robert Bosch Stiftung "for a year as a fellow to work and live in Berlin". Also in 2017, IDFA will celebrate its 30th anniversary. "That's a good time to say goodbye and hand over the baton to a new generation," says Ally Derks.

IDFA Founder and Managing Director Ally Derks
(Image credit:

On behalf of the board of IDFA, Derk Sauer stated in a press release: "Ally Derks (...) is one of the most influential people in the Dutch film industry. In 1988, she founded the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA). During the first festival, 80 films were shown to around three thousand visitors. Meanwhile, IDFA has become the leading documentary festival in the world. Last year, the festival welcomed 271,000 attendees. For this feat, Ally Derks received the Bannink Cock medal for her achievement for the city of Amsterdam.

In 2011, Derks received the prestigious Doc Mogul Award during the Canadian documentary festival Hot Docs. In 2015, Derks was honoured with the title Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres by the French ambassador to the Netherlands. She was also called 'The High Priestess of Documentaries' by Indiewire, a leading news site of the independent film community."

The full press release (in Dutch) is available here.


The entire EDN team congratulates Ally on the occasion of this new direction in her career and wishes her all the best for this new endeavor. We would further like to express our gratitude for the fruitful collaboration over the past years.


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