The new IDFA Forum kicks off Sunday

    • Festival
    • November 22, 2019
    • By Vladan Petkovic

    We bring you an overview of this year's IDFA Forum, where 60 projects will be presented across several sections, including the DocLab Forum for new media.

    IDFA Forum was the first event of its kind when it started in the early nineties, and over the years it has become the leading model for the pitching and development of new documentary projects that basically all international co-production markets have adopted. But times are changing, and so is the Forum.

    The projects are no longer being presented in a Central Pitch to all decision makers and industry attendees, but are split into tailor-made Round Table Pitches, with ten pre-selected experts at each table. Project teams get 20 minutes for their presentation: the pitch, including visual material such as a trailer or selected scenes, lasts around ten minutes; the following ten minutes are set aside for feedback from the panel.

    Still, observers are welcome at each table and, depending on the specific pitching room, there is space for between 50 and 250 people, including potential co-producers and financiers.

    Out of the 60 projects, seven will be presented at the DocLab Forum Round Table Pitch. Additionally, six linear documentary projects in the editing stage are being shown at Sunday's Rough Cut Screenings, and ten demo DocLab Forum entries will have their own presentation, also on Sunday. These projects range from web-based docs, VR, and AI projects to installations, multimedia journalism, and everything else that tells a documentary story or explores unknown realities.

    "With this new, more tailor-made pitch setup at the Forum, we want to do justice to the diversity of the documentary genre and the uniqueness of each project. With a wide selection, we also serve the wide variety of potential financial partners," says Head of IDFA Industry Adriek van Nieuwenhuyzen.

    Gender parity and geographic diversity

    More than 50% of the pitching teams (director and producer) are women, and all regions of the world are represented.

    Western Europe has the most projects at the Forum, with a notable majority in the DocLab Forum, but a growing number of documentaries are being made through co-productions between Western countries and Asian, African, or South American partners.

    North America has eight projects, with six from the US and one co-production between Canada and Colombia, plus a co-production from the US and Bangladesh.

    There are six projects from Latin America, two of which are coming from Chile, with others from Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia, as well as one Portuguese-Brazilian co-production.

    Six projects are also coming out of Eastern Europe, with projects from Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Russia, and Turkey, plus a co-production between Serbia and Croatia.

    Asia has five projects, including one from Afghanistan and one from India, plus co-productions between Bangladesh and the US; Nepal, Germany, and the US; and China and France.

    Finally, two projects are representing Africa: one from South Africa and one France-Mali co-production.

    One project from Australia wraps up the selection.

    All the projects, accompanying industry activities, and more detailed descriptions of the pitch setups can be found in the IDFA Forum Catalogue as well as online.

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

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