IDFAcademy 2014

IDFAcademy, the training course intended for emerging documentary filmmakers and producers, running between 20-23 November during the first days of the festival, was received with great success. 80 Participants from 20 different countries were selected to attend the program that took place in the heart of Amsterdam.

The participants first met on Thursday November 20 in De Brakke Grond. After a short introduction by IDFA’s Meike Statema, the Young Producers were asked on stage one by one to introduce themselves. They are a group of six Dutch producers that have been selected by the Netherlands Film Fund to participate in a special program at IDFA which includes IDFAcademy. After their introduction the video’s that they made of their group of participants were shown. It turned out to be a great way of getting to know each other from the beginning. After the introduction, the session took off with an inspiring conversation between renowned filmmaker Phie Ambo and rising talent Teodora Ana Mihai. After the session, the participants had the chance to meet up during the IDFAcademy welcome drinks. Some of the participants headed to Café De Jaren for the Guests Meet Guests drinks, but others went to the screening of Ambo's Good Things Await in De Kleine Komedie.

On Friday morning the group woke up with coffee and croissants in the Compagnietheater, a former church-turned-into-theater located along the picturesque Kloveniersburgwal. During the plenary session ‘When the Going Gets Tough…,’ producer Sigrid Dyekjær (Danish Documentary)  and director Hanna Polak talked about their film Something Better to Come (2014) and how you stay strong when you “live” your film over a long period of time. Hanna Polak shared her approach and experiences very openly with the participants. After a quick lunch, the participants divided into two groups. Both groups attended one of the following small sessions: ‘Whose story is it?’ and ‘Sustainable Leadership.’ The small sessions were followed by the Meet the Professionals rounds and the Guests Meet Guests drinks. Many participants went to see the documentary Waiting for August (Teodora Ana Mihai, Belgium, 2014, 90 min.) on Friday night in Pathé de Munt, this screening was prior to the session on Thursday in which the director Teodora Ana Mihai was invited to talk about her film.

On Saturday morning the participants started with the plenary session ‘Outreach Campaigns – An Impact Field Guide.’ They were blown away by moderators Beadie Finzi (BRITDOC) and Rebecca Lichtenfeld (Bertha Foundation) and their talk with Julia Bacha (Budrus and My Neighbourhood) and Joanna Natasegara (No Fire Zone and Virunga). In the afternoon everyone proceeded to one of the small sessions, the ‘Pitch and Trailer Workshop’ and ‘Introduction to Interactive and Immersive Film Production.’ Participants Coen Soepboer, Lorena Kraus, and Joël Curtz had the chance to pitch their project and received feedback by a panel of professionals – Mikael Opstrup, Jesper Osmund, Kate Townsend, Daniel Cross and Cynthia Kane. Mikael Opstrup surprised participant Jelena Gernert when he picked her name out of the moderators hat to be the fourth participant to pitch. After the small sessions the participants had the opportunity to talk with the professionals during the Meet the Professionals rounds and attend the Meet the Professionals Special with renowned documentary filmmaker Nick Broomfield. The day closed with the Guests Meet Guests drinks.

On Sunday the 23th, the program consisted of the plenary session ‘Go Digital,’ in which Jeremy Boxer (Vimeo) and Salma Abdalla (Autlook Filmsales) talked about up-and-coming digital platforms. The small sessions ‘Rights & Revenues’ by Stefan Kloos and ‘The Filmmaker’s Guide to the Distribution Galaxy’ both focused on different strategies for selling your film. Again the participants had Round Table Meetings and One-on-One Meetings with professionals who were willing to help them with their projects. The Meet the Professionals Special was with director Leonard Retel Helmrich. On Saturday and Sunday afternoon the participants had the opportunity to have a general consult with Flora Gregory. They could ask her for advice about their projects and the Documentary Industry in general. The last IDFAcademy day concluded with the IDFAcademy closing drinks.

IDFAcademy 2014 Program

Thursday, November 20 - IDFAcademy Day 1

Welcome & Introduction: Meet the Participants

Official welcome & meet and greet with all IDFAcademy 2014 participants.
13:30-15:00 | De Brakke Grond – Rode Zaal

Plenary session: Starting off Like a Rocket with Phie Ambo & Teodora Ana Mihai
IDFAcademy kicks off with an inspiring conversation between renowned filmmaker Phie Ambo and rising talent Teodora Ana Mihai. Ambo's latest film Good Things Await and Mihai's Waiting for August are both screening at IDFA.
15:00-17:00 | De Brakke Grond – Rode Zaal

IDFAcademy Welcome Drinks
17:00-18:00 | De Brakke Grond - Rode Zaal


Guests Meet Guests (drinks)
18:00-19:30 | Café De Jaren



Friday, November 21 - IDFAcademy Day 2

Coffee and croissants - Meet the Programmers
09:30-10:00 | Compagnietheater – Foyer


Plenary Session: When the Going Gets Tough...
Producer Sigrid Dyekjaer (Danish Documentary) visits IDFA regularly with many documentary premieres, including this year’s Something Better to Come. For this film, director Hanna Polak spent 14 years following a teenager named Yula and her friends, who live on Europe’s biggest landfill. Dyekjaer and Polak talk about how you stay strong when you "live" your film over such a long period of time. How and where do you start choosing your team, including creative partners and financiers?
10:00-12:00 | Compagnietheater – Grote Zaal

Small Session: Whose Story Is it?
How do you define your strength as a filmmaker when external influences like money are playing a role? Ben Knight and Travis Rummel (DamNation) are onstage to talk about how they got their film financed in its entirety by the outdoor gear brand Patagonia. They are joined by filmmakers Femke and Ilse van Velzen, who fight injustice by using their documentaries as sustainable educational projects. They realize their films with alternative sources, such as financing from NGOs. How do brands and NGOs relate to the creative power of films? And how do you stay in control of your film when a broadcaster is the main financier?
Moderator Sigrid Dyekjaer
13:00-15:00 | Compagnietheater – Grote Zaal

Small Session: Sustainable Leadership
A session on how to manage your film company based on your own social engagement. For a successful change towards a more sustainable way of working, you need well-developed leadership capacities. Chai Locher (project leader of the Green Film Making Project) shares his knowledge that stems from his background in organization development consultancy and his experiences as a documentary filmmaker.
13:00-15:00 | Compagnietheater – Kleine Zaal

Meet the Professionals
Round table meetings and one-on-one meetings with renowned professionals.
15:30-17:30 | Compagnietheater – Grote Zaal and Foyer

Guests Meet Guests (drinks)
18:00-19:30 | Café De Jaren


Saturday, November 22 - IDFAcademy Day 3

Coffee and croissants
09:30-10:00 | Compagnietheater – Foyer


Plenary Session: Outreach Campaigns: An Impact Field Guide
This has been the decade in which the power of documentary film to change the world has become impossible to ignore. Through the hard work of thousands of dedicated individuals, we’ve seen major artistic achievements in film combined with radical experimentation and innovation in distribution and impact strategy, creating serious societal change. Come and meet filmmakers, funders and campaigners who are trailblazing in this field. Moderators Beadie Finzi (BRITDOC) and Rebecca Lichtenfeld (Bertha Foundation) talk with Julia Bacha (Budrus and My Neighbourhood) and Joanna Natasegara (No Fire Zone and Virunga).
10:00-12:00 | Compagnietheater – Grote Zaal

Small Session: Pitch & Trailer Workshop
The Pitch & Trailer Workshop, one of last year’s IDFAcademy’s biggest hits, is introduced by Mikael Opstrup. Film editor Jesper Osmund then elaborates on the makings of a successful pitch trailer by showing examples and offering explicit advice. Three participants get the opportunity to pitch their project and receive feedback from a panel including Kate Townsend (BBC), Cynthia Kane (Al Jazeera America) and Daniel Cross (EyeSteelFilm). Ultimately, the audience can voice its thoughts, suggestions and questions.
13:00-15:00 | Compagnietheater – Grote Zaal

Small Session: Introduction to Interactive and Immersive Film Production
Thomas Wallner, owner of DEEP Inc., walks us through the ins and out of Virtual Reality filmmaking, ouching on technology and work methods used in his project Polar Sea 360, presented in the IDFA DocLab Competition this year. He is joined by Janine Steele, who manages production at the National Film Board of Canada's Digital Studio. She gives us tips and tricks for the budgeting, workflow, platform and media challenges of interactive production, through lessons learned on projects like the webby award winning Bear 71, Circa 1948 and Seven Digital Deadly Sins – also in the IDFA DocLab Competition.
13:00-15:00 | Compagnietheater – Kleine Zaal

Meet the Professionals
Round table meetings and one-on-one meetings with renowned professionals.
15:30-17:30 | Compagnietheater – Grote Zaal and Foyer

Meet the Professionals Special: Nick Broomfield
Renowned director Nick Broomfield has been making award-winning films since the early 1970s, many involving controversial subjects that he approaches in an investigative way. This style has become his trademark. This year, he is at IDFA with his latest film Tales of the Grim Sleeper, in which he digs into the case of the notorious serial killer who terrorized South Central Los Angeles over a span of 25 years. In this Meet the Professional Special, Broomfield discusses the way his shooting style has developed over the years and speaks with participants.
15:30-17:30 | Compagnietheater – Kleine Zaal 

Guests Meet Guests (drinks)
18:00-19:30 | Café De Jaren



Sunday, November 23 - IDFAcademy Day 4

Coffee and croissants
09:30-10:00 | Compagnietheater – Foyer

Plenary Session: Go Digital
Jeremy Boxer (Vimeo) and Salma Abdalla (Autlook Filmsales) give an overview of up-and-coming digital platforms, how they relate to cinema and TV, and the different strategies you can implement as a filmmaker or producer to reap the benefits of them.
Moderator Andrea Prenghyova (DOK.Incubator)
10:00-12:00 | Compagnietheater – Grote Zaal

Small Session: Rights & Revenues
Distribution rights are all linked to each other. How can you make sure you do not miss an opportunity to sell any of these rights? And most importantly, how do you avoid mistakes in selling and handling the complete rights to your film? Sales and distribution expert Stefan Kloos (Rise and Shine) talks about this and offers insider information on developing a festival strategy, which one can use to launch the commercial life of a film.
13:00-15:00 | Compagnietheater – Grote Zaal

Small Session: The Filmmaker's Guide to the Distribution Galaxy
To stay relevant, producers can no longer just deliver a finished program to a broadcaster or stock DVDs on the shelves of a supermarket. This session will discuss the rise of the entrepreneur filmmaker, how to leverage tools for direct distribution (like Vimeo On Demand), how to engage fans through social media and how to measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. A hands-on workshop using worksheets and other tools to help build strategies for film distribution, with Jeremy Boxer (Vimeo).
Session in collaboration with Docs for Sale.
13:00-15:00 | Compagnietheater – Kleine Zaal

Meet the Professionals
Round table meetings and one-on-one meetings with renowned professionals.
15:30-17:00 | Compagnietheater – Grote Zaal and Foyer

Meet the Professionals Special: Leonard Retel Helmrich
In this hands-on workshop by Leonard Retel Helmrich (The Eye of the Day, Shape of the Moon, Position among the Stars) we explore the vocabulary of the moving camera by creating smooth and flexible camera movements intuitively with Canon camera’s on the special designed Comodo Orbit camera rig. We discover how to use camera movements as a narrative tool and what can be the dramatic impact of the long, single take. Hosted by Canon.
15:30-17:00 | Compagnietheater – Kleine Zaal

IDFAcademy Closing Drinks
Hosted by Canon.
17:00-18:00 | Compagnietheater – Café

Guests Meet Guests (drinks)
18:00-19:30 | Café De Jaren

IDFAcademy 2014 is supported by

Call for Entry: IDFA Bertha Fund December 8, 2014 | The IDFA Bertha Fund has announced its first selection round for 2015. The deadline for project entry is February 1, 2015.
Help crowdfund Lyari Notes November 26, 2014 | In the IDFA Bertha Fund-supported Lyari Notes, a rock star teaches a group of girls from the most volatile district of Karachi, Pakistan how to express themselves through music. The directors need your help to finish their film!
And the winners are... November 28, 2014 | The winners of IDFA's seven competitions and two audience awards have been announced.
The Female Gaze: IDFA statistics As part of the theme program The Female Gaze, IDFA investigated its own gendered history: are female filmmakers equally represented in the program?

Twitter

IDFAindustry @IDFAindustry 1 day ago
RT @FilmmakerMag: Doc pitching advice day: @postbrooklyn w/ 10 Tips from the @idfa Forum. http://t.co/6Yamra3ZVl
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IDFAindustry @IDFAindustry 1 day ago
Rock star Hamza opens a music school to give guitar lessons ánd hope to young girls from violent neighborhood Lyari: http://t.co/c3COAMoHdG
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VPRO Oxfam Novib de Volkskrant BankGiro Loterij Fonds 21 Fonds 21