Festival entry regulations 2022

    The 35th International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, including its new media program IDFA DocLab, takes place November 9 to 20, 2022. The regulations stated here apply only to submissions to IDFA's 2022 festival edition. For further information and the regulations of IDFA's markets and other programs go to Docs for Sale, IDFA Forum, IDFA Bertha Fund, IDFAcademy or IDFA DocLab.

    1. General entry requirements for all submissions

    1.1 Deadlines and fees for entry 2022

    • Early entry deadline May 5, 2022 (entry fee for student films €20, films shorter than 40 minutes €35, films 40 minutes or longer €50)
    • Final entry deadline July 14, 2022 (entry fee for student films €20, films shorter than 40 minutes €35, films 40 minutes or longer €65). Screeners for films submitted in time for the final entry deadline need to reach IDFA by July 21, 2022 at the latest.
    • Deadline for new media projects and performances June 28, 2022 (entry fee for students €20, for others €50)
    • If the main country of production is on the IBF country list your entry is eligible for a fee waiver based on IDFA's discretion. In this case, we encourage you to send an email stating the main country of production and requesting a fee waiver to program@idfa.nl for film submissions or to doclab@idfa.nl if you are submitting a project to IDFA DocLab.

    1.2 Eligibility

    • IDFA considers documentary films and new media projects in any format and of any duration. IDFA understands documentary film in a broad sense, as a film that deals with reality, including hybrid films and films that rely on real elements as a core component. Please check entry requirements per section below (see 2.3).
    • All films completed after July 15, 2021 are eligible for IDFA 2022. Projects submitted fo IDFA DocLab are eligible only if completed after July 1, 2021.
    • Unless approved in writing by IDFA program department, only one version of a film will be considered. It is therefore highly preferred that the submitted screener is at least a picture-lock. Rejected works-in-progress cannot be resubmitted for the current edition when a newer version is available, nor for the following year.
    • Films that have been submitted for consideration in previous years are not eligible, even if the film has changed significantly since the last time it was submitted.
    • Films that have already been screened in the Netherlands, been broadcast on Dutch television or are available via VOD, SVOD or any online platform in the Netherlands are not eligible for the festival. For premiere requirements and regulations for specific program sections please see 2.3.
    • If there is any possible conflict of interest that connects your film to any member of the IDFA team, please be sure to inform us before submitting your film by writing to program@idfa.nl. The program team will then contact you about eligibility.
    • If the film does not meet all requirements as stated in this section, it will not be eligible for selection. Please see section 2.3.3 for (additional) eligibility criteria of immersive/interactive projects to IDFA DocLab.

    1.3 Premiere status

    IDFA welcomes all documentary films that are a world, international, European or Dutch premiere. On average, half of all films selected for IDFA’s program are a Dutch premiere. The other half of IDFA’s program consists of films that are a world, international or European premiere. This is a requirement for films submitted to one of IDFA’s competitions, Luminous or Frontlight sections.

    Our program sections and competitions each have specific requirements regarding the premiere status. A world premiere would mean that a screening at IDFA is the first screening ever. The international premiere is the first screening outside the country of production, a European premiere is the first screening in Europe and a Dutch premiere the first screening in the Netherlands. For the specific requirements for our different competitions and program sections please see section 2.3 of the regulations.

    1.4 How to submit

    • To consider your entry for the festival, IDFA must receive a completed entry form, a screener that is subtitled in English unless the film's language is English, and payment of the entry fee.
    • New media projects and performances should be submitted via the separate entry form here.
    • Details for your online screener should be filled out in the entry form. Please note that it is your responsibility to make sure the video and password are available and valid up until October 20, 2022. In case that the screener platform you use defines the number of views, kindly make sure to allow no less than 12 views of the film valid until the end of October, 2022.
    • If you wish to not submit your screener via a link, but instead would like to send a DVD, Blu-ray, hard drive, DCP, or other format please contact the program department at program@idfa.nl.
    • See section 2.3.3 for additional accepted formats for immersive and interactive projects.
    • Submissions or links sent to IDFA via e-mail will not be accepted, unless clearly requested via e-mail by the IDFA program department team.
    • You will receive an automated e-mail including a copy of the filled-out entry form after submitting the form. Once the payment has been received and the entry is processed you will receive another e-mail confirming receipt of your entry.


    2. Submission regulations

    2.1 Applicant Commitments

    • By submitting your film or project to IDFA, you are accepting these entry regulations.
    • The applicant will inform the festival in case of any changes to the premiere status of the film as indicated in the entry form.
    • When a film is submitted, IDFA requires that the applicant has the full legal and moral right to submit the film and that the film's team are aware of this, are in agreement, and are in good understanding of IDFA's entry regulations.
    • When a film is submitted, IDFA expects that all connected rights are already secured or in the process of being secured. This includes, but is not limited to, the informed consent of the people and the entities portrayed in the film and the clearance of any material not originally produced for the film (e.g. archival material and music) within the generally accepted norms of the film industry, the law, and fair use principles. Should the film be selected, IDFA will be examining these conditions closer with the film team. See also section 3.2
    • Any exceptions to these regulations or decisions on cases not covered in these articles can be made by the Artistic Director of IDFA.

    2.2 Selection procedure

    All films submitted to IDFA are carefully considered by our international team of programmers, associate programmers, and program advisors.

    Communication regarding submitted films will be sent by email to the main contact as indicated in the entry form. IDFA will inform the applicants about the status of their films as follows:

    • Filmmakers who submitted their film by the first entry deadline on May 5 will be informed that their film is selected, still in consideration, or not selected by mid-July.
    • Filmmakers who submitted their film by the final entry deadline on July 14 will be informed that their film is selected, still in consideration, or not selected by the end of August.
    • Creators who submitted their immersive/interactive project by the final deadline of June 28 will be informed that their project is selected, still in consideration, or not selected by the end of August.
    • All final decisions will be communicated no later than September 30, 2022.

    2.3 Disclaimer

    • Your entry will not be taken into consideration until we receive the completed entry form, screener, and payment of the entry fee.
    • Your payment will be handled by our payment service providers at the company Adyen. This name may appear on your bank statement.
    • We apply a no refund policy, to which we can make no exceptions.
    • Unfortunately, due to the large number of submitted films, IDFA regrets not being able to provide comments, feedback or explanation to rejected film teams.

    2.4 Entry regulations per program section

    IDFA selects between 250 new documentary films and projects for its 2022 edition. In the following paragraphs you will find the profiles and requirements for each of our program sections. The general entry requirements apply to all program sections, unless stated otherwise below.

    Please see our FAQ page in case you are unsure about the premiere status or country of production of your film. Please see the FAQ page for IDFA DocLab for frequently asked questions about submitting an interactive/immersive project.

    2.4.1 International Competition and Envision Competition

    The International Competition presents about 15 films, over 60 minutes in duration each, in world, international or European premiere. This is the best of an art that matured over time and the work of a filmmaker that masters it with all its sophistication and refinement. Here are films that are artistically confident, well-rounded, and in their unique ways, universally relevant.

    The Envision Competition presents about 15 films, over 40 minutes in duration each, in world, international or European premiere. With stylistic integrity and courage, each one of these films searches for its own language. Here is a polyphony of proposals, giving us signs of what the future of documentary film can be, helping us realize the present moment of reality, and of the art itself.

    Films selected for IDFA’s competitions are eligible for IDFA awards. Please see section 4. Juries and awards.

    2.4.2. Luminous and Frontlight

    Luminous and Frontlight are international non-competitive sections for films longer than 40 minutes, in world, international or European premiere. Short films (under 40 minutes) are eligible for Frontlight.

    Read more about the programs here.

    2.4.3. IDFA DocLab Competition & IDFA DocLab New Media Program 

    • IDFA DocLab is open to all sorts of non-fiction artworks that use emerging media to represent reality, including web experiences, digital art, games, audio experiences, immersive experiences (such as VR/AR/MR, social VR and fulldome films), physical installations, live performances and immersive theatre. For reference, see the IDFA DocLab page. For frequently asked questions see the DocLab FAQ page.
    • Submitted projects will be considered:
        • (1) for the IDFA DocLab Competition program,
        • (2) for our physical festival exhibition,
        • (3) for our live events program,
        • (4) for our online and virtual exhibition program.
    • Projects selected for the IDFA DocLab competition program are eligible for one of this year’s IDFA DocLab Awards. In total, €15.000 will be distributed among the winners to celebrate artistic excellence across immersive art, digital art and interdisciplinary installations and performances.
    • We can preview interactive/immersive projects on most platforms/devices, such as MAC, PC, iOS, Android, Oculus, VIVE, Steam, Playstation, Xbox, etc. We can also consider projects made for other platforms, devices, and VR/AR headsets. For projects using custom platforms or devices, please specify what's required in the online entry form.
    • Projects should be submitted via a password-protected (streaming) link, a download link to the VR build/360 video file (preferably by Dropbox/Google Drive), an app download package, or game install.
    • For performances, installations or for projects that cannot be sent digitally, please provide extensive visual and written documentation. For instance description of the audience experience, platform(s) used, script, score, installation design, or any other relevant (production) details to showcase the work.
    • The IDFA DocLab program and competition are open to unreleased projects, as well as projects that have been made publicly available on the internet after July 1, 2021. Priority is given to projects that have not yet been presented at other events or festivals.
    • In exceptional cases, we will reconsider projects or works-in-progress that have been submitted in previous years.

    2.4.4. IDFA Competition for Short Documentary

    Competition for films up to 40 minutes, in world, international, or European premiere. For Dutch productions only world premieres can be accepted.

    Films selected for IDFA’s competitions are eligible for IDFA awards. Please see section 4. Juries and awards.

    2.4.5. IDFA Competition for Youth Documentary

    The IDFA Competition for Youth Documentary invites young audiences (between 8 and 14 years old) to discover art of documentary film. Filmmakers who take young audiences seriously with films that do not shy away from difficult subject matter and vast artistic expression are the cornerstones of this competition.

    Films of any duration are eligible. World, international, European and Dutch premieres are given priority for this competition. Dutch productions may have been screened in the Netherlands prior to being presented at IDFA.

    Films selected for IDFA’s competitions are eligible for IDFA awards. Please see section 4. Juries and awards.

    2.4.6. Best of Fests and Masters

    Two non-competitive programs that bring the highlights of the year to Amsterdam. This is IDFA’s showcase of the films that have made an impact on the international filmfestival circuit and the latest films made by renowned filmmakers. Read more about the programs here.

    The sections are open to films of any duration and require films to be at minimum a Dutch premiere at time of the screening at IDFA. Screening, TV broadcast or availability through streaming platforms in the Netherlands prior to the festival makes the submission ineligible.

    2.4.7. Paradocs

    International non-competitive section that brings a showcase of the year's best experimental documentary art. This program is open to films of any duration and can also include single- or multi-channel video installations that can be presented in a cinema. World, international, European and Dutch premieres are eligible. Dutch productions may have been screened in the Netherlands prior to being presented at IDFA.

    2.4.8. IDFA on Stage

    A highly selective program of unique live events in which we explore the space between documentary film and performing arts, that bridges IDFA's film and new media programs. This section is open to projects that combine documentary film elements with music, theatre, dance, new media, etc. (e.g., Live Cinema projects, Experiential Cinema projects, Immersive Theater). Priority is given to world, international, and European premieres.

    For all submissions, written documentation is required (e.g., project outline, proposal, technical rider/specifications, link to video registration).

    2.5 Requirements for films supported by IDFA’s Filmmaker Support programs, IBF and IDFA Forum

    Films that already benefited from one of the IDFAcademy training programs (IDFAcademy & NPO Fund Workshop, ZappDoc LAB, IDFAcademy Summer School or IDFA Project Space) can be selected for one of the regular sections as listed above (see 2.3.1 through 2.3.8). Before you submit the IDFA entry form we kindly ask you to inform IDFAcademy staff about your upcoming submission at idfacademy@idfa.nl.

    All films made with financial support from the IDFA Bertha Fund will be taken into consideration for one of the program sections as listed above (see 2.3.1 through 2.3.8). Before you submit the IDFA entry form we kindly ask you to inform IBF staff about your upcoming submission at idfaberthafund@idfa.nl. The right of first screening of the film in the Benelux territories is granted to the IDFA Bertha Fund, which will propose the film to IDFA.

    If you are submitting a film or new media project that was pitched at a previous edition of the IDFA Forum, please contact the Forum team for more information at forum@idfa.nl.


    3. Selected films regulations

    3.1 Selected films agreement

    • Films may be eligible for several sections. In case of selection, IDFA's artistic director supported by the programming team will decide for which section(s) a film is invited.
    • Upon selection, the applicant will receive an invitation email from IDFA asking for confirmation of accepting the invitation before a deadline. Failing to confirm within the deadline could result in the annulment of the invitation.
    • After accepting IDFA’s invitation a film can no longer be withdrawn from the program. Accepting the invitation means that the filmmaker, producer, distributor and other people or parties involved with the film all agree to participating in the festival.
    • Should there be concerns of ethical wrongdoing such as putting the safety of characters at substantial risk, not disclosing important information to IDFA about the team behind the film, or similar misconduct, IDFA reserves the right to closely examine the concerns through internal and external consultation. Should such concerns be substantiated, further action may be taken at IDFA's discretion, including possible withdrawal of a film's invitation.
    • Failing to keep the premiere status as agreed on between both parties will result in the festival reconsidering selection and placement of the film.
    • Upon accepting the invitation, the film's team guarantees to have secured clearance of any copyrighted materials included in the film and any photographs submitted related to the film for all purposes for which the material will be used, including screening, promotion prior to and during the festival, press publications and inclusion in the online IDFA collection, among other purposes. IDFA expects to be indemnified against any future claims pertaining to copyright, personality rights, panorama rights, music rights, archive licensing, photography licensing, as well as ancillary rights or the like, all in accordance with the common industry standards.
    • Any costs incurred as a result of cancellation or change of our initial agreement will be the liability of the filmmaker.
    • Immersive/interactive projects selected for IDFA DocLab will be showcased as part of the annual IDFA DocLab physical exhibition, the online/virtual exhibition program, or our live events program.
    • A sub-selection of films made by the IDFA program team will be invited for the online program of the festival.
    • Unless requested otherwise in writing by the rightsholder, all films in the festival selection will be made available for accredited guests in IDFA’s Press & Industry library, hosted on the festival’s website.
    • Rightsholders of selected films that have a Dutch distributor will inform the festival before September 23, 2022.
    • Any exceptions to these regulations or decisions on cases not covered in these articles can be made by the Artistic Director of IDFA.

    3.2 Authorizations

    After selection of a documentary, the festival has the right to:

    • Use a maximum of 3 minutes of video from the documentary for publicity and online purposes.
    • Use all publicity material to promote the festival.
    • Keep the high-res video files of selected documentaries in its archive for non-circulating use and educational purposes.
    • Record special events and Talks organized alongside screenings and publish these online.
    • Program the film free of charge during IDFA partner days, e.g. De Volkskrant, VPRO, De Groene Amsterdammer.
    • Program the film free of charge in Best of IDFA: Award Winners and Best of IDFA: Audience Favorites screenings.
    • Program the film free of charge in IDFA alliances and partnerships during the festival (e.g. IDFA in LUX Nijmegen, Groninger Forum, Lantaren Venster, Podium Mozaïek, Bijlmerpark Theater, and Oxfam Novib Selection).
    • Program the film free of charge in the IDFA Educational Programs.
    • IDFA may screen award-winning films after the festival in its ‘Best of IDFA on Tour’ program for a fixed fee. This selection of award-winning festival films will be screened in a limited number of theaters throughout the Netherlands after the festival.

    3.3 Required materials after selection

    Once your film has been selected, you may use the IDFA logo and the relevant IDFA laurel for publicity purposes.

    IDFA requires the following materials for selected films and projects:

    • Film stills (jpeg, high resolution, at least 5MB each)
    • Credit list
    • A high res video file of the final English version
    • A high res video file of the trailer
    • A DCP, 35mm or 16mm film print for festival screenings in cinemas
    • A ProRes or H.264 file for online screenings if your film is selected for the online festival program
    • For immersive/interactive projects any of the required materials to bring your project to life in the festival exhibition

    3.4 Festival screening copy

    3.4.1 Requirements for festival screening copy

    • If your film is selected for the festival, IDFA accepts the following screening formats for screenings in cinema: DCP (2K/4K), 35mm or 16mm film print. IDFA requires all DCPs to be in XYZ colorspace encoded in JPEG2000.
    • These requirements do not apply to new media projects submitted to IDFA DocLab and IDFA on Stage, deliverables depend on the format of the project.
    • If your film is selected for the online festival program, IDFA requires a h.264 or ProRes 422 file for online screening.
    • Films will be presented to an international audience as well as professionals. Therefore, without exception, all films must be subtitled in English unless the spoken language of the film is English. We require you to also subtitle films if they are spoken in English which is hard to understand for non-native speakers, i.e. an accent or slang.
    • IDFA is committed to delivering an inclusive festival experience. In case of selection we encourage you to (also for English spoken films) provide English subtitles, Closed Captioning and/or Audio Description where possible.

    3.4.2 Transport of screening copy

    • The festival must receive the screening copy of the documentary film by October 31, 2022 – preferably digitally delivered via FilmFetch.
    • If you are unable to digitally deliver the screening copy of your film it can also be shipped to the festival. The inbound transport costs to the festival office are the responsibility of the applicant. IDFA will pay for the outbound transport to a destination of choice.
    • All files will be deleted from the festival's servers after the festival.
    • All screening copies that were shipped to IDFA will be returned within four weeks after the festival.
    • In case of a new media project, your contact person at IDFA DocLab will be in close contact about the required materials, technical specifications and production details to bring your project to life in the festival exhibition.
    • For performances selected in the IDFA on Stage program, your contact person will be in close contact about the required materials, technical specifications and production details to present your project in the festival.

    3.4.3 Insurance

    • Insurance for the shipping of films to and from the Netherlands is entirely the responsibility of the participants.
    • Upon gaining possession of the films from the courier or shipping company, the festival can only accept limited liability, extending to the time that the festival organization returns the film to the shipping company. The definition of this limited liability includes a refund of laboratory expenses for making a new DCP, a refund for damaged film reels or, in the case of video, duplication of the videotape. This refund will be calculated according to the current Dutch laboratory prices. It does not extend to negatives, positives, or master videotapes.
    • In the case of faulty projection, the festival cannot be held liable for intangible losses incurred by director, producer, or distributor. Complaints will only be considered if they are filed within six weeks following the festival.
    • Guests of the festival are not covered by the festival’s insurance. Publicity material and other related items are not included under the limited insurance liability.

    3.5. Attending IDFA

    IDFA invites all directors of selected films to attend the festival and represent their film in Q&A’s. Directors will receive free festival accreditation. For more information about attending IDFA please see our FAQs for film or immersive/interactive projects.


    4. Juries and awards

    International juries will award films selected for the International Competition, Envision Competition, DocLab Competitions, IDFA Competition for Short Documentary and IDFA Competition for Youth Documentary. Each competition has its own international jury that is appointed by IDFA’s Artistic Director.

    • From the films selected for the International Competition an international jury consisting of five jurors will award a best film award (to be shared equally between director(s) and main producer(s)), IDFA Award for Best Directing (awarded to the director(s)), the IDFA Award for Best Editing (awarded to the editor(s)), and the IDFA Award for Best Cinematography (awarded to the cinematographer(s)). The jury may opt to also make a special mention of one additional film.
    • From the films selected for the Envision Competition an international jury consisting of five jurors will award a best film award (to be shared equally between director(s) and main producer(s)), IDFA Award for Best Directing (awarded to the director(s)), and the IDFA Award for Outstanding Artistic Contribution. The jury may opt to also make a special mention of one additional film.
    • Projects selected for the IDFA DocLab competition program are eligible for one of this year’s IDFA DocLab Awards. In total, €15.000 will be distributed among the winners to celebrate artistic excellence across immersive art, digital art and interdisciplinary installations and performances.
    • From the films selected for the IDFA Competition for Short Documentary an international jury consisting of three jurors will choose the winner of the IDFA Award for Best Short Documentary (awarded to the director). The jury may opt to also make a special mention of one additional film.
    • From the films selected for the IDFA Competition for Youth Documentary an international jury consisting of three jurors will choose the winner of the IDFA Award for Best Youth Documentary (awarded to the director). The jury may opt to also make a special mention of one additional film.

    A number of films will also be nominated for cross-section awards by IDFA’s Artistic Director and programmers. Three international juries, with three members each, appointed for these awards will choose the winners of the:

    • IDFA Award for Best First Feature: First features (films 60 minutes or longer) selected for International Competition, Envision Competition, Frontlight or Luminous can be nominated for the IDFA Award for Best First Feature. The jury may opt to also make a special mention of one additional film.
    • IDFA Award for Best Dutch Documentary: Dutch productions that are a world premiere and 40 minutes or longer can be nominated for the IDFA Award for Best Dutch Documentary. The jury may opt to also make a special mention of one additional film.
    • Beeld en Geluid IDFA ReFrame Award (to be awarded to the director): Films of 40 minutes or longer and interactive/immersive projects can be nominated for this award for best creative use of archive. The jury may opt to also make a special mention of one additional film.

    An international FIPRESCI jury will choose the winner of the FIPRESCI Award (to be awarded to the director).

    Festival audiences can also express their appreciation of the films by voting for the Audience Award. The film rated highest will receive the VPRO IDFA Audience Award.

    All decisions made by the juries are final. Entry and participation implies unconditional acceptance of the regulations.


    5. VAT

    The invoice for your entry may include VAT.

    • In case you fill out a company which is based outside the Netherlands as the billing address, you will not be charged additional VAT by IDFA, but you will have to pay your VAT duties in your own country.
    • If this is within the European Union, you need to fill out your VAT ID in the billing address field. For general VAT rules within the EU please go to EU Tax and Customs info.
    • All Dutch submissions and all submissions done by private persons only (with no company attached) will need to pay VAT and will receive an invoice that inclues VAT from IDFA.


    6. Address and contact information

    International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam Frederiksplein 52 1017 XN Amsterdam The Netherlands

    Phone +31 20 6273329 E-mail info@idfa.nl Website www.idfa.nl

    VAT number: NL 008551777B01

    Questions concerning regulations and/or entry forms should be directed to program@idfa.nl.

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