For the first time in ten years, the grants for documentary films in production will jump from €17,500 to € 25,000 and those for project development from €5,000 to €7,500. In addition, now 25 projects will be supported each year instead of 20.
The IDFA Bertha Fund, which offers grants and tailor-made support for documentary projects from Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean (IBF regions), has announced that the amount and number of grants for IBF Classic scheme will increase for the first time in ten years.
Thanks to strengthened backing from Bertha Foundation and Ford Foundation, the IDFA Bertha Fund will now be able to grant €25,000 to projects in production or post-production, which is a 43% rise compared to the €17,500 it has been giving out for the last ten years. Similarly, grants for project development will jump 50%, from €5,000 to €7,500, and will now cater specifically to directors.
Bertha Foundation has supported the IBF since 2013, and is now extending the backing from 2022 to 2024. On the other hand, Ford Foundation has funded IDFA for several years and will now become a partner to the IBF for 2022 and 2023.
Moreover, the IDFA Bertha Fund will now be able to offer grants to 25 instead of 20 projects each year through the IBF Classic scheme. This financial boost is complemented by the tailor-made support these filmmakers receive through IDFA’s Filmmaker Support Department. By giving them access to talent development opportunities and inviting them to the festival while they are still working on their projects, the IBF tries to ensure that filmmakers find the knowledge and experts they might need, watch new films, meet peers from around the world, seek potential collaborations, and experience an environment which provides equal opportunity.
"We are happy that together with Bertha Foundation and Ford Foundation we can respond to dramatic changes in the production landscape in this way," says Isabel Arrate Fernandez, IDFA Bertha Fund Managing Director and IDFA Deputy Director. "Even before the pandemic, many countries were cutting down budgets for culture and film, while at the same time international markets are gradually opening up to filmmakers from IBF regions. Supporting directors in the development of their projects is meant to strengthen them in this often-vulnerable stage for a project.
“Involving international co-production partners in their projects is opening up new funding opportunities but also raising the priority of developing more balanced and fair co-productions models. Producers from so-called small production countries, who rarely have strong backers at home, are at a disadvantage from the start of almost any new collaboration, so alternative sources of funding are becoming more and more important. With the new increase in grant amounts, the IBF aims to strengthen the position and international visibility of directors and producers from IBF regions, to help empower their creative freedom and foster a more balanced co-production environment."
The IDFA Bertha Fund offers grants and tailor-made support to documentary filmmakers from Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Oceania (IBF regions) with the aim of stimulating and empowering the creative documentary sector in these regions. The Fund provides development, production, and distribution grants through two funding schemes: IBF Classic for filmmakers from and living in the above-mentioned regions, and IBF Europe for European co-producers of documentaries from these regions.
Pictured on top: Ruslan Fedotow's IBF-supported film Where Are We Headed world-premieres at IDFA 2021