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Years running: 31 (since 1988)

IDFA

International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam.

About

The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) is the world's largest documentary film festival held annually since 1988 in Amsterdam.

The festival was initially held at the Leidseplein area in the centre of Amsterdam. The festival has since spread to a number of other locations. Cinemas and other institutes that have hosted the festival are: de Balie, Pathé City Theater, Filmmuseum Cinerama, Stadsschouwburg AmsterdamParadiso, the Ketelhuis, the Hotel American, Tuschinski Cinema, Pathé De Munt multiplex, Theatercompagnie and Arti et Amicitiae.

The objective of the IDFA is to promote creative documentaries and to present them to as wide an audience as possible. It started as a small festival and has grown to an eleven-day festival, screening more than 200 documentaries and attracting nearly 120,000 visitors.

Apart from its international film program, the variety of genres and the many European and world premieres featured each year, the festival also hosts debates, forums and workshops.

Competitive sections:

  • Feature-Length Documentary,
  • First Appearance,
  • Mid-Length Documentary,
  • Dutch Documentary,
  • Student Documentary,
  • DocLab Competition for Digital Storytelling,
  • DOC U Competition (competitive and non-competitive programs),

Non-competitive sections:

  • Best of Fests,
  • Masters,
  • Panorama,
  • Music Documentary,
  • Paradocs,
  • Kids & Docs,
  • IDFAcademy Results (label).

Awards

  • IDFA Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary (€12.500)
  • IDFA Special Jury Award for Feature-Length Documentary (€2.500) 
  • IDFA Award for First Appearance (€7.500)
  • Special Jury Award for First Appearance, in remembrance of Peter Wintonick (€2.500) 
  • IDFA Award for Best Mid-Length Documentary (€10.000)
  • IDFA Special Jury Award for Mid-Length Documentary (€2.500)
  • IDFA DocLab Award for Digital Storytelling (€5.000)
  • IDFA DocLab Immersive Non-Fiction Award (€2.500)
  • IDFA Award for Dutch Documentary (€7.500)
  • IDFA Special Jury Award for Dutch Documentary (€2.500)
  • IDFA Award for Best Student Documentary (€5.000)
  • IDFA Special Jury Award for Student Documentary (€2.500)
  • Best Children's Documentary (€2.500)
  • IDFA Audience Award (€5.000)

Rules

IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary

  • Only world, international and European premieres are accepted; priority is given to world premieres.
  • For films longer than 70 minutes.
  • IDFA allows a maximum of two festival/market screenings prior to IDFA. Market screenings within Europe require authorization from the Festival.
  • National theatrical release or television broadcast is permitted.
  • Films that have been broadcast or streamed on the Internet, or released internationally via any home video or other public distribution platform (Blu-ray, DVD, streaming, video on demand, etc.) are not eligible.

IDFA Competition for First Appearance

  • For films longer than 70 minutes.
  • Open to first feature-length films only (longer than 70 minutes). Graduation projects from film schools or universities should be submitted for the IDFA Competition for Student Documentary (section 2.7). 
  • Only world, international and European premieres are accepted; priority is given to world premieres.
  • For Dutch productions only world premieres can be accepted.
  • IDFA allows a maximum of two festival/market screenings prior to IDFA. Market screenings within Europe require authorization from the Festival.
  • National theatrical release or television broadcast is permitted.
  • Films that have been broadcast or streamed on the Internet, or released internationally via any home video or other public distribution platform (Blu-ray, DVD, streaming, video on demand, etc.) are not eligible.

IDFA Competition for Mid-Length Documentary

  • For films between 40 and 70 minutes.
  • Only world, international and European premieres are accepted; priority is given to world premieres.
  • For Dutch productions only world premieres can be accepted.
  • IDFA allows a maximum of two festival/market screenings prior to IDFA. Market screenings within Europe require authorization from the Festival.
  • National theatrical release or television broadcast is permitted.
  • Films that have been broadcast or streamed on the Internet, or released internationally via any home video or other public distribution platform (Blu-ray, DVD, streaming, video on demand, etc.) are not eligible.

IDFA Competition for Dutch Documentary

  • For films longer than 40 minutes.
  • Films that have been internationally broadcast, are publicly available online, or have been released via any home video formats are not eligible.
  • Open to Dutch productions. If 50% or more of the film’s financing originated from sources within The Netherlands, the film will be regarded as being a Dutch production.
  • Only world premieres can be accepted.

New media Competition (projects that represent reality, ranging from digital non-fiction storytelling and art to physical installations, virtual reality experiences, live performances and multimedia projects):

  • Projects should be submitted via a password-protected (streaming) link, a download link to the VR build/360 video file (preferably by Dropbox/Google Drive), an app download package or game install.
  • The IDFA DocLab program and competition are open to unreleased projects, as well as projects that have been made publicly available on the internet after August 2017. Priority is given to projects that have not yet been presented at other events or festivals.

IDFA DocLab is open to all sorts of works that use new media to represent reality, ranging from digital non-fiction storytelling and art to physical installations, virtual reality experiences, live performance and multimedia projects. For reference, see the IDFA DocLab page.

IDFA Competition for Short Documentary

  • For films shorter than 40 minutes.
  • Screening or TV broadcast in the Netherlands prior to the festival does not exclude the film, although priority will be given to world, international and European premieres.

IDFA Competition for Student Documentary

  • Open to (graduation) films for a film school/university. IDFA will not accept documentary exercises. 
  • Open to films of any length (films under 40 minutes could also be included in this section). 
  • Screening or TV broadcast in the Netherlands prior to the festival does not exclude the film, although priority will be given to world, international and European premieres.

IDFA Competition for Kids & Docs

  • Open to films made for children up to 13 years of age.
  • Open to films of any length. 
  • Screening or broadcast in the Netherlands prior to the festival does not exclude the film, although priority will be given to world, international and European premieres. 

Documents and Other Requisite Items

  • Complete the entry form in English, 
  • fulfill your payment for the entry fee,
  • Send an online screener.

Subtitles language: English

Premiere Requirements

Continental premiere required.

Jury and Organizers

Organizers

Documents

Place

Netherlands
Amsterdam

Official website

idfa.nl

Contacts

Address:

International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam 
Frederiksplein 52 
1017 XN Amsterdam 
The Netherlands

Phone: +31 20 6273329
Email: info@idfa.nl

Social Networks:

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Dates & Deadlines
  • Deadline (films completed before April 30)
    May 01, 2018
  • Deadline (films completed after April)
    August 01, 2018
  • Event dates
    14 — 25 November 2018
Categories & Fees

Open to films made for children up to 13 years of age. Open to films of any length. Screening or broadcast in the Netherlands prior to the festival does not exclude the film, although priority will be given to world, international and European premieres.

  • Deadline (films completed before April 30) — €50
  • Deadline (films completed after April) — €50

For films between 45 and 60 minutes.

  • Deadline (films completed before April 30) — €50
  • Deadline (films completed after April) — €50

Films from the IDFA Competition for Dutch Documentary section plus Dutch productions from the IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary, IDFA Competition for Mid-Length Documentary and IDFA Competition for First Appearance compete for the IDFA Award for Dutch Documentary. Open to Dutch productions. If 50% or more of the film’s financing originated from sources within The Netherlands, the film will be regarded as being a Dutch production.

  • Deadline (films completed before April 30) — €50
  • Deadline (films completed after April) — €50

Open to first-time or second-time directors. When deciding whether this is your first or second film, IDFA not only counts your previously directed documentaries, but also fiction, animation and experimental films. Graduation projects from film schools or universities should be submitted for the IDFA Competition for Student Documentary. Open to films of any length.

  • Deadline (films completed before April 30) — €50
  • Deadline (films completed after April) — €50

For films longer than 60 minutes.

  • Deadline (films completed before April 30) — €50
  • Deadline (films completed after April) — €50

Open to (graduation) films for a film school/university. IDFA will not accept documentary exercises. Open to films of any length (films under 30 minutes could also be included in this section). Screening or broadcast in the Netherlands prior to the festival does not exclude the film, although priority will be given to world, international and European premieres.

  • Deadline (films completed before April 30) — €50
  • Deadline (films completed after April) — €50

International non-competitive section containing films that have made an impact on the international festival circuit. Open to international productions. Open to films of any length. Screening or broadcast in the Netherlands prior to the festival rules out the film. Priority is given to European premieres. Short films (under 45 minutes) may have had any number of public theatrical exhibitions, been released on DVD, and may have been broadcast on television or the internet and still retain eligibility. Priority is still given to European premieres.

  • Deadline (films completed before April 30) — €50
  • Deadline (films completed after April) — €50

International non-competitive section containing films made by renowned (documentary) filmmakers. Open to international productions. Open to films of any length. Screening or broadcast in the Netherlands prior to the festival rules the film out. Priority is given to world, international and European premieres. Short films (under 45 minutes) may have had any number of public theatrical exhibitions, been released on DVD, and may have been broadcast on television or the internet and still retain eligibility. Priority is still given to world, international and European premieres.

  • Deadline (films completed before April 30) — €50
  • Deadline (films completed after April) — €50

International non-competitive section containing films that are thought-provoking in form and/or theme. Open to international productions. Open to films of any length. Screening or broadcast in the Netherlands prior to the festival rules the film out. Priority is given to world, international and European premieres. Short films (under 45 minutes) may have had any number of public theatrical exhibitions, been released on DVD, and may have been broadcast on television or the internet and still retain eligibility. Priority is still given to world, international and European premieres.

  • Deadline (films completed before April 30) — €50
  • Deadline (films completed after April) — €50

International non-competitive section containing films about music – in the broadest sense of the word. Open to (inter)national productions. Open to films of any length. For Dutch productions only world premieres can be accepted. Screening or broadcast in the Netherlands prior to the festival rules out the film. Priority is given to world, international and European premieres. Short films (under 45 minutes) may have had any number of public theatrical exhibitions, been released on DVD, and may have been broadcast on television or the internet and still retain eligibility. Priority is still given to world, international and European premieres.

  • Deadline (films completed before April 30) — €50
  • Deadline (films completed after April) — €50

Paradocs is a program made up of experimental documentaries and documentary experiments. The form and content of these projects vary considerably from the conventional, dominant documentary formats suited to TV and the cinema. Paradocs is open to films of any length but also to video installations and other media which are not necessarily presented in a cinema. We also encourage visual artists to submit their documentary projects. Documentaries may have been presented or broadcast in the Netherlands prior to the festival, but IDFA gives priority to premieres.

  • Deadline (films completed before April 30) — €50
  • Deadline (films completed after April) — €50

Films that originated from one of the training and education programs of IDFA (IDFA-Mediafonds Workshop, IDFA Kids & Docs Workshop or the IDFAcademy Summer School) receive the label IDFAcademy Results and can be selected for one of the regular sections as listed above (see 2.1 through 2.12). Open to films of any length. Only Dutch documentaries may have been screened or broadcast in the Netherlands prior to the festival, but IDFA gives priority to premieres. Documentaries will be presented to visitors and professionals. The documentaries will be presented with English dialogue or in their original versions with English subtitles.

  • Deadline (films completed before April 30) — €50
  • Deadline (films completed after April) — €50

For films shorter than 40 minutes.

  • Deadline (films completed before April 30) — €50
  • Deadline (films completed after April) — €50

All sorts of works that use new media to represent reality, ranging from digital non-fiction storytelling and art to physical installations, virtual reality experiences, live performance and multimedia projects. The IDFA DocLab program and competition are open to unreleased projects, as well as projects that have been made publicly available on the internet after August 2015. Priority is given to projects that have not yet been presented at other events or festivals.

  • Deadline (films completed before April 30) — €50
  • Deadline (films completed after April) — €50
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