IDFA Congress: Dutch Docs Conquer the World!

For 25 years IDFA has been considered a festival of ideas and film for thought. The first IDFA Congress is one of the central events of this 25th anniversary year, offering Dutch and international film professionals an opportunity to visualize the future and optimize the success of Dutch documentaries in the international marketplace. It’s also a chance to apply these ideas to other film cultures where global thinking and coproductions are now keys to survival.

The first IDFA Congress is made possible by the Mediafonds (Dutch Cultural Media Fund), the Netherlands Film Fund, EYE International, VEVAM, HUMAN, AVRO and NCRV (Television).

The conference consists of five short inspirational keynote speeches, interlocking panels, feedback and clips presented over the course of the day. A small admission fee will help cover costs. Complimentary refreshments, lunch and post-conference drinks will be provided.

The day is co-moderated by Jess Search, Executive Director of BritDoc, a UK-based non-profit foundation supported by Channel 4, Bertha Foundation, and PUMA Creative. The innovative Britdoc supports filmmakers with such initiatives as the Good Pitch, which it convenes together with Sundance. The IDFA Congress will also feature Jan Jaap van der Wal, the famous Dutch stand-up comedian, television and radio host and performer.

Topics covered
Keynote speakers and panelists will cover such topics as Why Documentaries Matter, presented by BBC Storyville's Nick Fraser; a session on Marketing and Branding presented by Dutch communications guru Erik Kessels of KesselsKramer; a comparative study of the successful Danish Model by Karolina Lidin of the Nordic Film and Television Fund; and a reverse angle view of the international gaze presented by the top producer from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Djo Tunda Wa Munga. There will also be a special appearance by the world-class director and storyteller Tom Tykwer, who will tell us all how to create better stories. The day concludes with celebrating the new Mediafonds Kids & Docs Award, and of course drinks.

One goal of the IDFA Congress is to figure out how Dutch films, documentary media and TV programming can better catch the world’s attention. The conference offers ideas, case studies and simulations. It sets out to ask and answer questions: What factors are needed to come together to ensure that Dutch films can make bigger impacts? Can producers consciously set out to win the next Oscar, Emmy, Golden Bear or European Film Award?

What determines why some Dutch films, programs and media are successful at home and abroad while others are not? What defines success? What has changed in the last 25 years in terms of image making and storytelling? And how does the situation compare to countries like Denmark, which consistently encourages such high levels of quality production year after year, building an enhanced worldwide reputation in terms of documentary?

What subjects and forms appeal best to domestic and international audiences? To what extent are marketing and branding important tools? How do you sell artistic success? What is the current situation of the Dutch documentary from an international perspective? In what way could it achieve greater recognition?

The intention is not to make the IDFA Congress into a complaints box. It is not the age-old discussion about inadequate funding. This is a time for reflective brainstorming, fresh ideas and collective, interactive responses. The conference will focus on different perspectives of creativity, storytelling, content, imagery, form and aesthetics, courage and perseverance, promotion and marketing. It will open one's eyes to a wide world of opportunities and challenges.

The audience will consist of Dutch documentary, film, TV, media and documentary media professionals, along with a sample of international commissioning editors, agents, distributors, producers, journalists, and those interested in documentary culture. Everyone in the Dutch industry is welcome to spend a valuable day of professional development at the IDFA Congress.

The IDFA Congress: Dutch Docs Conquer the World! is made possible by the Mediafonds (Dutch Cultural Media Fund), the Netherlands Film Fund, EYE International, VEVAM, HUMAN, AVRO  and NCRV (Television).

Location and costs
It will take place on Thursday, November 22, 2012 at the Compagnie Theater (Kloveniersburgwal 50, Amsterdam). Doors open at 9:00 am, and the conference starts at 9:30 am. Complimentary coffee, lunch, refreshments and post-conference drinks will be served.

There is a modest admission fee of 35 euros (also for pass holders). Act quickly and buy your tickets using the link below. For more information contact
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The IDFA Forum 2014 selection has been announced!
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