IDFA Forum goes tailor-made, expands cross-media market for 2019

    Amidst a rapidly changing documentary industry, IDFA’s co-production and co-financing market announces more tailor-made pitch setups and the new IDFA DocLab Forum. Read all the details below and get up to speed for the next IDFA Forum, taking place November 24-27, 2019.

    The documentary world is changing fast; new technologies, big and small players, and many more financing sources. Documentary is more in demand than ever. Budgets are rising as well as acquisition offers. Within this volatile market, filmmakers express themselves in various stylistic and artistic ways. The market reality is an opportunity, but at the same time it can also be a threat.We believe the role of big festivals and their professional platforms is to offer an open platform for filmmakers and other stakeholders creating spaces for debate, and positive negotiations between all parties.

    Changing pitch formats in an adaptive market

    In almost 30 years of existence, IDFA Forum has proven to be an effective market for producers and filmmakers of creative documentaries to find partners and to expand their international network. Keeping in line with the changing documentary landscape and the diversified financing opportunities as well as IDFA’s focus on cinematic and high-quality artistic documentaries, this year IDFA Forum will change the setup of the pitches, ensuring we can offer opportunities for a very diverse group of financiers and projects.

    The presentation (pitch) setup will be more centered towards the specific needs of the pitching teams, paying attention to the uniqueness of each project and team, and inviting the teams to present their projects in the way that best suits their work and stage of development. After the tailor-made public pitch, the teams will get feedback from a hand-picked group of potential financiers matched to each project being pitched, to allow room for in-depth conversations about the artistic intentions and goals of the team. These presentations will (just like before) be followed by individual meetings with potential financiers and other partners who booked meetings in advance or after the presentation.

    Besides this change in format, the Forum will offer more opportunities for documentary projects looking for co-production partners. By doing so, the Forum is adjusting to changing financing structures, while opening up to also include films with less clear-cut narratives and new ways of storytelling. These projects will be presented in a customized format fitting the needs of the team. The teams will have individual meetings with potential co-production partners.

    Welcoming new projects and new media

    IDFA Forum welcomes new projects which are:

    New Media projects in various stages for the IDFA DocLab Forum

    Since 2007, the Forum has given space to documentary projects in the field of new media. These projects range from web-based docs, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence projects to installations, multimedia journalism, and everything else that tells a documentary story or explores unknown realities. In this time, the new media and immersive industries have grown to be full-scale professional documentary industries with their own network of makers and financiers. They are in need of a place where projects can be developed and presented in their own way, with the expertise of a professional market. Following these market developments, IDFA will introduce a new, complete cross-media market called the IDFA DocLab Forum, where the projects presented can find their way to new partnerships, receive in-depth feedback, and explore new ways to move forward. The IDFA DocLab Forum will take place from Sunday, November 24 until Tuesday, November 26.

    Documentary projects in development, production, and post-production stages for IDFA Forum

    Producers with documentary projects (one-offs and series) looking for co-producers, TV and platform commissions, Funds, or a combination of these, are encouraged to submit. We are specifically looking for artistic and innovative ways of storytelling and cutting-edge stories. Projects (also) aiming for cinema release are importunately invited to submit. Documentaries in the realm of arts and culture as well as those made for children aged 9-12 are also invited to submit their projects to present in our genre-based programs.

    Projects in the rough cut stage will have presentations on Sunday, November 24, targeting TV pre-sales, festivals, sales agents, and distribution.

    For our makers and decision-makers

    These changes will ensure that IDFA Forum selects and contributes to a broad range of projects for the different outlets in a global market. IDFA’s spearheads of innovation, inclusion, and recognition of a broad range of cinematic films and their makers will be better served through these changes. Consequently, the Forum audience will gain more in-depth market insight, be inspired, and experience the pluriformity of what the documentary industry has to offer—in style, topics, geographic diversity, and talent.

    IDFA Forum is made possible by Creative Europe Media and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.

    Save the dates

    IDFA Forum project presentations (for all projects from early development to post-production): November 25-27
    Rough Cut screenings: November 24
    IDFA DocLab Forum for new media projects: November 24-26
    Presentations of documentaries for children: November 27
    One-on-one meetings: November 25-27


    The new IDFA Forum kicks off Sunday

    • Festival
    • November 22, 2019
    • The staff

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