Amsterdam

23-25 JANUARY 2019 

In the first conference in Amsterdam, the focus concentrates on increasing awareness on a personal level and in general terms of diversity and inclusiveness in our film school communities. We will scrutinize aspects that are relevant to our communities such as representation, power and politics, our selection processes as well as curriculum design and how these influence our communities and the films we are producing.

Beginning with keynote speakers and continuing with parallel workshops, culminating on the second day in a plenary discussion, participants are invited to share their experiences and discuss the events of the conference. The design of the workshops in Amsterdam allow us to gather questions and make an inventory of the status quo, especially but not exclusively with a focus on cultural diversity. This will be our foundation for the conference in Cologne. With a focus on gender diversity, in Cologne we will take a more active role in looking at perspectives for the future in terms of potential solutions and perhaps new implications of diversity issues that were identified in the first conference

To ensure the continuity and connection between both conferences, both days in Amsterdam will be supported with a conceptual summary (by Elonka Soros) and a visual protocol (graphic recording by Christiane Brückner) that sum up the significant aspects as well as findings of the conference. The two parts are relatively close together (Amsterdam in January 2019 and Cologne in March 2019) and provide a completed process for the participants (although both conferences are standing on their own and can be visited separately).

 Amsterdam registration deadline: 20th December

Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | 23-25 JANUARY 2019

Download Schedule Amsterdam
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24 January 2019


Elonka Soros, Diversity and Unconscious Bias Specialist





Abstract will follow asap.

Elonka Soros is a diversity and inclusion specialist working in the broadcast, media, creative and cultural industries. She is a former BBC News Editor and programme maker with over 25 years of practice working in multi-media production studios and newsrooms. She is an honorary member of the European Broadcasting Union Intercultural & Diversity Group and developed the 'Unconscious Bias Project Europe' in collaboration with colleagues from Denmark and Holland. As an expert in cultural intelligence and the impact of demographic change in the creative sectors, Elonka is working with businesses and organisations to support sustainable futures through the development of new talent and creation of inclusive cultures in the workplace.

25 January 2019


Orwa Nyrabia, Director of IDFA




Abstract will follow asap.

Orwa Nyrabia (1977) is the new artistic director of IDFA. Nyrabia, who was born in Syria, is well-known in the documentary world as a producer, festival director, curator and mentor.
Nyrabia started his career as an actor and journalist. In 2004, he started producing independent documentary films, including successful titles such as Return to Homs (which opened IDFA 2013 and was an award-winner at Sundance Film Festival) and Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait (Cannes 2014). In 2008, Nyrabia and his partner Diana el-Jeiroudi set up the first documentary festival in Syria, DOX BOX, bringing renowned filmmakers such as D. A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus, Patricio Guzmán and Nicolas Philibert to Damascus. To focus attention on the violation of human rights in his country, in March 2012 and 2013 he organised with his team a Global Day for Syria, with Syrian films being screened in cities around the world. In 2012, Nyrabia was arrested in Damascus for his political activism. Prominent figures from the film world, including Jeremy Irons, Mike Leigh and Danny Boyle, protested against his arrest in a letter to the Syrian government. Following release he fled the country, going on to work as a producer in Egypt and Berlin. Nyrabia is a member of the Academy for Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, the Deutsche Filmakademie, the International Documentary Association and the European Documentary Network. He has received several awards and distinctions during his career, including the George Polk Award for Documentary Film and a European Documentary Network Award. Orwa Nyrabia has been involved with IDFA for some time now, in a variety of roles. He worked as a programmer on the theme programme Shifting Perspectives: The Arab World (2017), has sat on the festival jury and was active as a mentor and advisor for IDFAacademy and the IDFA Bertha Fund.

Arrival day, 23 January 2019 from 2-6 pm

Kick off workshop – Multiple realities (optional)

A first opportunity to explore the theme of representation and to experience Amsterdam subcultures through an exploratory ‘photo walk’ in the Nieuw-West district. Participants will photograph the objects, situations and people that catch their eyes, before selecting a couple of images, and adding a title and description of what can be seen. The workshop will end with a discussion providing an opportunity for self-reflection (fascinating to see how everyone sees the same but still has their own view of reality).

Method: PAPA (Participating Artists’ Press Agency) method of world mapping through photography. PAPA is an international, curated network of artists-correspondents based in the Netherlands, initiated and led by Lino Hellings. Correspondents go out with a camera and record street-level observations with a clear question in mind. Past projects have, for example, focused on urban newcomers in different countries.

Moderator: Lino Hellings.

(optional - please see registration form)

24 January 2019

Inclusive schools require inclusive communication skills. In this workshop, participants will hold conversations/ interviews with invited guests. The aim is to create awareness for the unconscious bias we exhibit every day in our language and body language, how we communicate through this and the effect thereof.

Moderators: Maartje Nevejan & Babs Gons

24 January 2019

In this workshop, participants will take a critical look at their present curriculum and discuss the challenges faced when reframing that curriculum in order for it to be more inclusive in its content as well as its teaching methods. The aim of the workshop is to map the questions, risks and consequences that come with a curriculum design that is fundamentally inclusive. 

Moderators: Jyoti Mistry & Mieke Bernink

24 January 2019

Participants will map out the politics and power dynamics that play out within European Film Schools. During these analytical phases, each team will work together to build a frame; a common understanding of the systems in which they operate. By introducing the theme of diversity, each team will identify what they see as being the challenges and opportunities on which new strategies could be based.

Moderator: Paul Tyler


24 January 2019

Following an introduction to the topic of representation and a short discussion of the photos taken during the arrival day- workshop called ‘Multiple realities’, participants will be invited to a debate about 'cultural appropriation in storytelling' vs 'imagination', as well as discussing concerns about representation within their institutions. The aim is to create more awareness about cultural diversity and what it means within the media world in terms of representation.

Moderator: Zoë Papaikonomou

24 January 2019

Directors and other heads or supervisors from the film school community will discuss and answer questions from an audience of students and participants about their inclusiveness policy. How do they make sure all stories can be told? Topics will be expanded upon to cover policy on all aspects within the film community (from HR, application and selection to PR and language). The discussion will shed light on the difficulties faced in setting up ‘fair’ rules and regulations, as well as leading to ideas on how these complex issues can be tackled.

Moderator - morning: Bart Römer | Moderator - afternoon: Margo van der Valk.