Children’s Documentaries at IDFA Forum

    IDFA Forum presents a special pitch and industry programming focused on children’s documentaries.

    Launched in 2014, the Industry Day for Children’s Documentaries looks to stimulate international development, collaboration, and knowledge-sharing within the field of children’s documentaries. This is done by highlighting children’s documentaries in both the IDFA Forum and IDFA Talks & Sessions programming.

    Details of the 2022 industry programming focusing on children’s documentaries will be announced later in the year. The Forum starts accepting submissions for the 2022 edition of the Children’s Documentary Pitch in June, and the submission deadline is August 1. You can read more about how to submit here.

    Building on IDFA’s overall focus on children’s documentaries and young audiences—through festival programs such as the Kids & Docs/Youth competition and IDFA Junior, as well as year-round activities such as Docschool Online and the IDFA school screenings—these activities aim to support the professionals bringing these documentary stories to life. IDFA Forum gathers filmmakers and industry stakeholders working with documentary content for young audiences and features a number of different pitches and sessions.

    ​ IDFA Forum Pitch for Children’s Documentaries

    Every year, IDFA Forum selects two to three documentary projects aimed for audiences aged 9 to 12, and provides a special round table pitch platform for these projects. Narratives for wider family audiences that can engage children this age and adults alike are also welcome to apply in this pitch category. Presented as part of the overall Forum program, these pitches are open to all attending Forum industry professionals and delegates. For this pitch, the Forum team additionally invites professionals working specifically with documentary content for children, such as broadcasters, online platforms, and consultants.

    Presenting a project at the IDFA Forum Pitch for Children’s Documentaries therefore gives projects the opportunity to reach both children’s media professionals and the wider documentary industry. In doing so, this initiative also encourages the wider documentary industry to support and get involved in narratives for young audiences.

    The Pitch is open to film projects, projects that combine linear and new media components, and projects that tell stories fully through immersive means.

    Recently completed films that have previously pitched in this category include for instance:

    Other industry sessions

    To build on the momentum of the IDFA Forum, additional industry sessions and events are programmed in connection to it to support and inspire professionals working with content for young audiences.

    The program varies year to year, and have previously featured a mix of presentations, panels, and screenings, including a special focus on children’s documentaries in Docs for Sale. 2021 saw an industry session discussing how strategic partnerships in the early development and financing stages of a project can open new horizons for reaching the young audience, followed by a think tank co-hosted by KidsRegio. Other topics from previous years’ panels include alternative outreach for children’s documentaries, the potential of serialized children’s documentary content, and a think tank on more sustainable models for the co-production and distribution of children’s documentaries.

    The Forum has also hosted the Dok Junior Pitch, presented by the Netherlands Film Fund. Launched in 2018, Dok Junior is a collaboration between the Netherlands Film Fund, HUMAN, Cinekid, and IDFA, aimed at the development, production, and distribution of distinctive and original long-form documentaries for children aged 9 to 12 years. Two Dutch teams who had been granted development support through the scheme presented their children’s documentary projects to the attending industry professionals and received recorded feedback from the target group—children.

    Get involved

    Are you an industry professional who would like to attend the Pitch for Children’s Documentaries at the Forum? Do you have ideas for sessions or panels? Then please get in touch with us at forum@idfa.nl.

    The Industry Day for Children’s Documentaries is presented in collaboration with RealYoung—an initiative by IDFA and M:Brane (previously the Financing Forum for Kids Content) to elevate documentaries for children to the next level.

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

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