Festival entry regulations 2019

    Entry for IDFA 2019 is now open. Read the regulations below.

    The 32nd International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, including its new media program IDFA DocLab, takes place November 20-December 1, 2019. The regulations stated here apply only to IDFA; for further information and the regulations of IDFA's markets and educational programs, go to Docs for Sale, IDFA Forum, IDFA Bertha Fund, IDFAcademy or DocLab Academy.

    Go to the IDFA entry form
    Go to the DocLab entry form
    1. General entry requirements
    2. Entry requirements per section
    3. Requirements for IDFAcademy results and films supported by the IDFA Bertha Fund
    4. How to enter your film
    5. Selection procedure, required items, and authorizations
    6. Transport and insurance
    7. Accommodation expenses
    8. Juries and awards
    9. VAT
    10. Address and contact information

    1. General entry requirements

    Deadlines for entry 2019

    • May 1, 2019 for documentaries completed between August 1, 2018 and April 30, 2019.
    • August 1, 2019 for documentaries completed after April 2019.

    We encourage you to submit your documentary as soon as it is completed.

    Format, language and version

    • IDFA must receive a completed IDFA entry form, an online screener, and payment of the €50 entry fee (excl. VAT). Please note that the entry fee is non-refundable.
    • Details for your online screener should be filled out in the entry form. Please note that it is your responsibility to make sure the password is valid up until December 2019 (see 4).
    • IDFA does not accept links or submissions via e-mail.
    • IDFA considers creative films and new media projects in any format and of any duration. Please check entry requirements per section below (see 2) for specific duration requirements.
    • If your film is selected for the festival, IDFA accepts the following screening format: DCP (2K/4K). IDFA requires all DCPs to be in XYZ colorspace encoded in JPEG2000. Presentation of other formats and video systems requires authorization from the Festival. These requirements do not apply to new media projects submitted to IDFA DocLab (see below).
    • Documentaries will be presented to a general audience as well as professionals. The documentaries will be presented with English dialogue or in their original versions with English subtitles. We advise you to also subtitle films if they are spoken in English which is hard to grasp for non-native speakers, i.e. an accent or slang.
    • Rejected works-in-progress cannot be resubmitted when a newer version is available, nor for the following year.
    • Documentaries that have been submitted for consideration in previous years are not eligible, not even if the film has changed significantly since the last time it was submitted.
    • The applicant will guarantee to have secured clearance from the copyright holders of any copyrighted materials included within the submitted film and any photographs submitted relating to the film for all purposes for which the material will be used, including screening, promotion during the IDFA festival, press publications and inclusion in the online IDFA Collection, among other purposes. The applicant will guarantee to hold IDFA harmless from any claims from copyright holders in relation to use of the submitted film by IDFA for the agreed purposes. IDFA reserves the right to disqualify any film with unauthorized inclusion of copyrighted materials.
    • IDFA is under no obligation to provide comments or feedback regarding the submitted film to the applicant or any other representative of the submitted film.

    If the documentary does not meet all of these requirements, it will not be eligible for selection.

    2. Entry requirements per section

    IDFA selects some 250 new documentaries each year for various competition, regular and focus programs. The general entry requirements above apply to all program sections, unless it is stated otherwise below. Please see our FAQ page in case you are unsure about the premiere status or country of production of your film.

    2.1. IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary

    • For films longer than 70 minutes.
    • Only world, international and European premieres are accepted; priority is given to world premieres.
    • For Dutch productions only world premieres can be accepted.
    • IDFA allows a maximum of two festival or market screenings prior to IDFA. Market screenings within Europe require authorization from the festival.
    • National theatrical release or television broadcast is permitted.
    • Films that have been internationally broadcast, are available online, or have been released via streaming, home video or any other public platform are not eligible.
    • In addition to regular screenings all films selected for our IDFA Competition for Feature-Length documentary will have a Press & Industry screening

    2.2. IDFA Competition for First Appearance

    • For films longer than 70 minutes.
    • Open to first feature-length films only. Graduation projects from film schools or universities should be submitted for the IDFA Competition for Student Documentary (section 2.7). First feature-length films made after film school are eligible for the IDFA Competition for First Appearance.
    • Only world, international, and European premieres are accepted; priority is given to world premieres.
    • For Dutch productions only world premieres can be accepted.
    • IDFA allows a maximum of two festival or market screenings prior to IDFA. Market screenings within Europe require authorization from the festival.
    • National theatrical release or television broadcast is permitted.
    • Films that have been internationally broadcast, are available online, or have been released via streaming, home video or any other public platform are not eligible.

    2.3. IDFA Competition for Mid-Length Documentary

    • For films between 40 and 70 minutes.
    • Only world, international, and European premieres are accepted; priority is given to world premieres.
    • For Dutch productions only world premieres can be accepted.
    • IDFA allows a maximum of two festival or market screenings prior to IDFA. Market screenings within Europe require authorization from the festival.
    • National theatrical release or television broadcast is permitted.
    • Films that have been internationally broadcast, are available online, or have been released via streaming, home video or any other public platform are not eligible.

    2.4. IDFA Competition for Dutch Documentary

    • For films longer than 40 minutes.
    • Open to Dutch productions only. If the film’s director(s) and/or main producer(s) are based in The Netherlands, the film will be regarded as being a Dutch production.
    • Only world premieres can be accepted.
    • Films that have been internationally broadcast, are available online, or have been released via streaming, home video or any other public platform are not eligible.

    2.5. IDFA DocLab Competition & IDFA DocLab New Media Program

    • IDFA DocLab is open to all sorts of works that use new media to represent reality, ranging from digital non-fiction storytelling and art to physical installations, virtual reality experiences, live performances, and multimedia projects. 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,
      (2) as an installation for our festival exhibition,
      (3) as a performance at our live cinema events and/or
      (4) for the IDFA DocLab Online Database.
    • Projects selected for the competition program are eligible for the IDFA DocLab Award for Digital Storytelling or the IDFA DocLab Immersive Non-Fiction Award.
    • We can view projects on most platforms/devices, including MAC, PC, iOS, Android, Steam, Sony Playstation, Xbox, Oculus Go, Samsung Gear, HTC Vive or Google Daydream/cardboard.
    • 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.
    • 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 August 2018. Priority is given to projects that have not yet been presented at other events or festivals.
    • Other new media activities at IDFA include the DocLab Academy training program, the DocLab Interactive Conference, and the Crossmedia Forum for projects seeking international co-financing. For further details and deadlines, see the IDFA DocLab page.

    2.6. IDFA Competition for Short Documentary

    • For films up to 40 minutes.
    • Only world, international, and European premieres are accepted; priority is given to world premieres.
    • Films that have been internationally broadcast, are available online, or have been released via streaming, home video or any other public platform are not eligible.

    2.7. IDFA Competition for Student Documentary

    • Open to films of any duration.
    • Open to (graduation) films for a film school/university. IDFA will not accept documentary exercises.
    • World, international, European and Dutch premieres are eligible.
    • Dutch productions may have been screened or broadcast in the Netherlands prior to being presented to an international audience at IDFA, although priority will be given to world, international and European premieres.

    2.8. IDFA Competition for Kids & Docs

    • Open to films of any duration.
    • Open to films made for children up to 13 years of age.
    • World, international, European and Dutch premieres are eligible.
    • Dutch productions may have been screened in the Netherlands prior to being presented to an international audience at IDFA, although priority will be given to world, international and European premieres.

    2.9. Best of Fests

    International non-competitive section consisting of films that have made an impact on the international film festival circuit.

    • Open to films of any duration.
    • Screening or TV broadcast in the Netherlands prior to the festival makes the submission ineligible. Priority is given to European premieres.
    • Films that are available online or have been released via streaming, home video or any other public platform are not eligible.

    2.10. Masters

    International non-competitive section consisting of films made by renowned (documentary) filmmakers.

    • Open to films of any duration.
    • Screening or TV broadcast in the Netherlands prior to the festival makes the submission ineligible. Priority is given to world, international and European premieres.
    • Films that are available online or have been released via streaming, home video or any other public platform are not eligible.

    2.11. Frontlight

    Films in Frontlight are mostly topic-driven and examine, present and provide context for stories which are not covered by mainstream media, or explore familiar stories in greater depth.

    • Open to films of any duration.
    • International non-competitive section.
    • Only world, international and European premieres are accepted; priority is given to world premieres.
    • Films that are available online or have been released via streaming, home video or any other public platform are not eligible.

    2.12. Luminous

    Films in Luminous immerse the viewer in a cinematic experience. These films are character-, story- or author-driven, and make the universal tangible through the individual.

    • Open to films of any duration.
    • International non-competitive section.
    • Only world, international and European premieres are accepted; priority is given to world premieres.
    • Films that are available online or have been released via streaming, home video or any other public platform are not eligible.

    2.13. 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.

    • 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).
    • For all submissions, written documentation is required (e.g. project outline, proposal, technical rider/specifications, link to video registration).
    • Priority is given to world, international, and European premieres.

    2.14. Paradocs

    International non-competitive section consisting of experimental documentaries and documentary experiments. Also open to video installations and other media which are not necessarily presented in a cinema.

    • Open to films of any duration.
    • We also encourage visual artists to submit their documentary projects.
    • World, international, European and Dutch premieres are eligible.
    • Dutch productions may have been screened in the Netherlands prior to being presented to an international audience at IDFA, although priority will be given to world, international and European premieres.

    3. Requirements for IDFAcademy results, films supported by the IDFA Bertha Fund, and films that pitched at IDFA Forum

    Films that originated from one of the IDFAcademy training and education programs (IDFA-Mediafonds Workshop, IDFA Kids & Docs Workshop, IDFAcademy & NPU Fund Workshop or IDFAcademy Summer School) can be selected for one of the regular sections as listed above (see 2.1 through 2.14 and general entry requirements). 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 regular sections as listed above (see 2.1 through 2.14 and general entry requirements). 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.

    4. How to enter your film

    IDFA must receive a completed IDFA entry form (available through MyIDFA), an online screener and payment of the entry fee of €50 (excl. VAT).

    Disclaimer

    • Your entry will not be taken into consideration until we receive your payment.
    • Your payment will be handled by Adyen. This name may appear on your bank statement.
    • We apply a NO REFUND policy to which we can make no exceptions.

    Details for your online screener should be filled out in the entry form. Please note that it is your responsibility to make sure the password is valid up until December 2019. Without receiving an online screener and valid password we will not be able to take your application into consideration. We will confirm receipt of your entry by e-mail.

    5. Selection procedure, required items, and authorizations

    Selection Procedure
    Documentaries may be eligible for several sections. In case of selection, IDFA’s committees will decide for which section(s) a film is invited.

    The festival will notify the applicant, director, producer, sales representative, and distributor of the film of their decision no later than October 11, 2019.

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

    Required materials for selected films:

    • Film stills (jpeg, high resolution, at least 5Mb each).
    • Separate electronic press kit (EPK).
    • A high res video file of the final English version.
    • A high res video file of the trailer.

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

    • Use a maximum of 10 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 within the framework of The Best of IDFA screenings and Audience Favorites screenings.
    • Program the film free of charge within the framework of IDFA alliances and partnerships during the festival (e.g. IDFA in LUX Nijmegen, Groninger Forum, Podium Mozaïek, Bijlmerpark Theater, and Oxfam Novib Selection).
    • Program the film free of charge within the framework of the IDFA Educational Programs.
    • IDFA may screen nominated and/or 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 Benelux after the festival.
    • Rights holders of selected films that have a Dutch distributor are kindly asked to contact the Festival before October 4, 2019 (see contacts in section 10).

    6. Transport and insurance

    Transport of screening copy
    The festival must receive the screening copy of the documentary by November 8, 2019 – preferably digitally delivered via FilmFetch.

    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 Descriptive Sound where possible.

    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.

    FilmFetch
    In order to make film transport less time-consuming and more sustainable, we encourage filmmakers to deliver DCPs digitally via our technical partner FilmFetch. Filmmakers will receive more information as well as a link by mid-October through which the DCP can be uploaded directly to our servers.

    Shipment of hard disk
    If you decide to send your DCP to IDFA on a hard disk, please make sure it arrives by November 2 and regard the following instructions:

    • Ship the parcel using FedEx and assign a value that does not exceed 10 euros or 10 dollars.
    • DCPs are fragile, so please ship them well packed. IDFA cannot be held responsible for hard drive failures resulting from bad packaging.
    • Mark the shipment as a permanent export
    • Describe the content as follows: no commercial value, for cultural purposes only, and includes no explicit content.
    • For hard disks being shipped from outside of the European Union, a pro forma invoice must accompany the DCP.

    Your contact person from the program department will reach out to the screening copy contact about the shipment and the exact shipping address.

    The festival will return the copy within four weeks after the festival. The recipient will receive a dispatch notice from the festival.

    Transport costs
    The transport costs of DCPs to the festival office are the responsibility of the applicant, but IDFA will pay for their return to the destination of choice.

    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.

    7. Accommodation expenses

    The festival will do its utmost to provide free hotel accommodation for directors whose documentaries have been selected for the IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary, IDFA Competition for First Appearance, IDFA Competition for Mid-Length Documentary, IDFA DocLab Competition, IDFA Competition for Short Documentary, IDFA Competition for Student Documentary, IDFA Competition for Kids & Docs, Best of Fests, Masters, Frontlight, Luminous, IDFA on Stage, and Paradocs only in case they are non-Dutch residents. After selection IDFA will inform directors about all guest arrangements.

    In case there are several directors involved per film at least one of the directors will receive free hotel accommodation.

    Contributions to travel expenses are not included in the standard payments made to directors. Occasionally, IDFA is able to make a contribution towards the travel expenses of directors of a film included in the program.

    Anyone who wants to attend the festival must fill out an accreditation form via MyIDFA.

    8. Juries and awards

    The IDFA award structure is being further developed in 2019. We look forward to sharing the details of these developments with you soon.

    9. VAT

    All IDFA entries will be charged an administration fee of €50 per entry.

    • 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 details in the billing address field. For general VAT rules within the EU please go to EU Tax and Customs info.
      • If your company is based outside the EU, IDFA will not charge VAT but you will need to check your tax regulations in your own country and act accordingly.
    • All Dutch submissions and all submissions done by private persons only (with no company attached) will need to pay VAT and will be charged in the IDFA invoice.

    10. 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.