Competitions and awards

    Every year, outstanding new films compete for IDFA’s coveted awards. Learn about our renowned competition programs, supported by Ammodo. To see our non-competitive program sections, click here.

    Read the IDFA 2019 jury reports

    ​IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary

    IDFA's flagship competition presents titles from established filmmakers. From intense visual experiences to intimate portraits, a great diversity of style and form typifies the yearly selection.

    IDFA Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary
    IDFA Award for Best Directing
    IDFA Award for Best Editing
    IDFA Award for Best Cinematography

    IDFA Competition for First Appearance

    The Competition for First Appearance offers a strong selection of documentaries from emerging filmmakers who put heart and soul into their debut feature film.

    IDFA Award for Best First Appearance
    FIPRESCI Award

    IDFA Award for Best First Appearance is made possible by the Friends of IDFA.

    ​IDFA Competition for Mid-Length Documentary

    The films in the Competition for Mid-Length Documentary take the one-hour documentary to new places. These films stick to no predictable rules, abandon traditional conventions, and carve out a new space for imagination.

    IDFA Award for Best Mid-Length Documentary

    IDFA DocLab Competition for Digital Storytelling

    The projects in the IDFA DocLab Competition for Digital Storytelling reveal the latest selection of beautiful interactive stories and unexpected artistic applications created for the digital screens and devices around us.

    IDFA DocLab Award for Digital Storytelling
    Special Jury Award for Creative Technology

    ​IDFA DocLab Competition for Immersive Non-Fiction

    The definitions of documentary are challenged in the IDFA DocLab Competition for Immersive Non-Fiction. Makers immerse you in diverse sensory experiences and experimental technology.

    IDFA DocLab Award for Immersive Non-Fiction
    Special Jury Award for Creative Technology

    IDFA Competition for Dutch Documentary

    The best and brightest Dutch filmmakers compete in the IDFA Competition for Dutch documentary, including both well-known filmmakers and promising new talent.

    2Doc IDFA Award for Best Dutch Documentary

    The 2Doc IDFA Award for Best Dutch Documentary is made possible by NPO 2Doc.

    IDFA Competition for Short Documentary

    A selection of international short films compete in the IDFA Competition for Short Documentary, reflecting an aesthetic and remarkably bold approach to documentary filmmaking.

    IDFA Award for Best Short Documentary

    ​IDFA Competition for Student Documentary

    The filmmakers of the future are already here… with a fresh view of the world, and of filmmaking. All selected for the IDFA Competition for Student Documentary have in common that they are searching for a cinematic signature.

    IDFA Award for Best Student Documentary

    IDFA Competition for Kids & Docs

    IDFA takes young audiences seriously, offering them the best and most entertaining documentary films in the IDFA Competition for Kids & Docs.

    IDFA Award for Best Children’s Documentary

    IDFA Competition for Creative Use of Archive

    Our new competition supported by The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, Beeld en Geluid, the IDFA Competition for Creative Use of Archive pays tribute to one of the pillars of documentary filmmaking: the archive.

    Beeld en Geluid IDFA ReFrame Award for best creative use of archive

    Additional awards

    VPRO IDFA Audience Award
    All films that screen in the competition programs, as well as all films made in the past year that screen in other program sections, compete for the VPRO IDFA Audience Award worth €5.000.

    NPO Fund - Karen de Bok Talent Award
    This prize is awarded to one of the projects in the IDFAcademy & NPO Fund Workshop, and consists of a grant of €25.000 for the development of the project and €5.000 for the production of a teaser.

    Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds Documentary Stipend
    With this stipend, the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds awards a documentary talent with a grant of €50.000 that allows the recipient to make a documentary about a subject of their choice. The award is intended for a documentary filmmaker with a proven track record who has already earned modest recognition in the documentary field.

    See all past award winners & juries