IDFA unveils new award structure and first jury members

    Today it gives us great pleasure to present the new IDFA award structure and the first jury members for IDFA 2019. With more awards in our Feature-Length and First Appearance competitions, streamlined awards in our other competition programs, and several prestigious collaborations on board, the new award structure promises to increase attention for future award winners, applaud the broad scope of documentary talent working today, and celebrate the best and brightest documentary films of our generation.

    Makhmalbaf, Simon, and Kaboré among first jury members announced

    As a special preview to this year’s jury, we offer the names of our first jury members. One of the leading filmmakers in Iran, Mohsen Makhmalbaf will sit on the IDFA 2019 jury, marking a momentous first visit to the festival. Master French filmmaker Claire Simon will join him, after screening her new documentary series The Village at our last festival edition. From Burkina Faso, the iconic director Gaston Kaboré comes to IDFA for the first time this year as a jury member, building on a lifetime of achievement in West Africa. Finally, celebrated Dutch editor Barbara Hin rounds out the first confirmed names for this year’s jury, with her long and impressive career that spans historical masterpieces such as Amsterdam Global Village (dir. Johan van der Keuken, 1996) and new films such as IDFA 2018 opener Kabul, City in the Wind (Aboozar Amini, 2018). The complete jury lineup will be announced this autumn and will bring together, once again, jurors that we are proud to have with us. Expect some of the world’s most influential filmmakers, editors, critics, authors, and festival directors, among others.

    More awards in Feature-Length competition

    In our flagship Feature-Length competition, we are delighted to announce new IDFA awards for Best Director, Best Editor, and Best Cinematographer, in addition to our longstanding award for Best Feature-Length Documentary. With the introduction of these three new awards, we aim to recognize documentary filmmaking as a collaboration between different team members. Alongside the award for best feature film, an award that will be shared between producer and director, we will celebrate the world’s leading directors, editors, and cinematographers.

    FIPRESCI Award comes to First Appearance

    In the IDFA Competition for First Appearance, we welcome a new collaboration with FIPRESCI, the esteemed journalists of the International Federation for Film Critics. The First Appearance competition will now include the FIPRESCI Award and the IDFA Award for Best First Appearance, further honing our focus of uplifting the next generation of filmmaking talent on a world stage.

    New archive award across all programs

    Our ongoing collaboration with The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (Beeld en Geluid) also results in a new competition and award this year, this time for the use of archival material in a documentary film. The IDFA Competition for Best Use of Archive Material, made possible by The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, is a new juried competition that spans all IDFA program sections. Drawing from a competing selection of up to 8 films, the winning title will win the inaugural Beeld en Geluid IDFA ReFrame Award for best creative use of archive material in a documentary film. Any new, IDFA-selected film or project will be eligible for this award that pays tribute to one of the pillars of documentary filmmaking: the archive.

    Streamlined competitions, additional awards round out IDFA 2019

    Our Mid-Length, Dutch, Shorts, Student, and Kids & Docs competitions will now include one major award only in each section. Moving forward, these five competition sections will be more competitive than ever before. Increased attention is anticipated for the sole winner of each competition.

    Continuing the IDFA tradition, the coming festival will include a number of additional awards as well. Once again, the VPRO IDFA Audience Award will go to the top-rated film by the audience, The NPO Fund - Karen de Bok Talent Award to a participating filmmaker in the IDFAcademy & NPO Fund Workshop, and The Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds Documentaire Stipendium to an emerging documentary filmmaker selected by the Cultuurfonds. Last but not least, the previously announced IF/Then Global Pitch at IDFA 2019 will conclude with a production grant from RYOT films awarded to one winning project, as well as the opportunity to participate in Tribeca Film Institute’s IF/Then Shorts Program; additionally, a second project will be awarded an honorable mention prize.

    The IDFA competition program is made possible by Ammodo. The IDFA Competition for First Appearance is made possible by the Friends of IDFA.