Festival entry regulations 2020

    The 33rd International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, including its new media program IDFA DocLab, takes place 18 - 29 November 2020. The regulations stated here apply only to IDFA. 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 DocLab R&D Proposals.

    1. General entry requirements for all submissions

    Deadlines for entry 2020

    • May 1, 2020 for documentary films completed between August 1, 2019 and April 30, 2020.
    • July 1, 2020 for new media projects and performances
    • August 1, 2020 for documentary films completed after April 2020.

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

    Films completed before August 1, 2019 are not eligible for IDFA 2020.

    How to submit

    • To consider your entry for the festival, IDFA must receive a completed IDFA entry form, a screener that is English spoken or subtitled in English, and payment of the €50 entry fee (excl. VAT).
    • Details for your 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 December 2020. Without receiving an online screener and valid password we will not be able to take your application into consideration. See section 2 for the formats, including additional accepted formats for immersive and interactive projects. All submissions should have English dialogue or be subtitled in English.
    • If you wish to not submit your screener via a link, but instead would like to send a dvd, bluray, harddrive, DCP, or other format please contact the program department at program@idfa.nl.
    • Submissions or links sent to IDFA via e-mail will not be accepted.
    • To complete the submission process, it is required to complete payment of the entry fee of €50 (excl. VAT). If the main country or countries of production is on the IBF country list your entry is eligible for a discount based on IDFA's discretion upon receiving a request via program@idfa.nl.
    • You will receive an automated email including a copy of the filled-out entry form via e-mail after submitting the form via e-mail. Once the payment has been received and the entry is processed you will receive another e-mail confirming receipt of your entry.

    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. These are required 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 per program section please see 2.

    Eligibility

    • IDFA considers creative films and new media projects in any format and of any duration. Please check entry requirements per section below (see 2).
    • Rejected works-in-progress cannot be resubmitted for the current edition 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. Films that have already been screened in the Netherlands, been broadcast on Dutch television or are available to watch online are not eligible for the festival. For premiere requirements and regulations for specific program sections please see 2.
    • 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 prior to and 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 requirements as stated in this section, it will not be eligible for selection. Please see section two for (additional) eligibility criteria of immersive/interactive projects to IDFA DocLab.

    Commitment

    • Entry and participation imply unconditional acceptance of the regulations. 
    • 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.
    • Failing to keep the premiere status as agreed on between both parties will result in the festival reconsidering selection and placement of the film.
    • Any costs incurred as a result of cancellation or change of our initial agreement will be the liability of the filmmaker.
    • Any exceptions to these regulations or decisions on cases not covered in these articles can be made by the Artistic Director of IDFA.

    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.

    2. Entry requirements per program section

    IDFA selects some 250 new documentaries each year for various competitions, regular and focus programs. The general entry requirements above 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.

    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.
    • A director’s first film of 70 minutes or longer will be eligible for the IDFA Competition for First Appearance (section 2.2) and not for the IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary.
    • For non-Dutch productions, 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.
    • Films selected for the IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary are eligible for the IDFA Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary (awarded to the director and producer), IDFA Award for Best Directing (awarded to the director), IDFA Award for Best Editing (awarded to the editor) and IDFA Award for Best Cinematography (awarded to the cinematographer).

    2.2. IDFA Competition for First Appearance

    • For films longer than 70 minutes.
    • Open to a director’s first film of 70 minutes or longer only. In case of multiple directors, the film must be the first film of 70 minutes or longer for all directors involved.
    • 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.
    • Graduation projects from film schools or universities should be submitted for the IDFA Competition for Student Documentary (section 2.7).
    • For non-Dutch productions, 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.
    • Films selected for the IDFA Competition for First Appearance are eligible for the IDFA Award for First Appearance (to be awarded to the director) and the the FIPRESCI Award (to be awarded to the director).

    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.
    • For non-Dutch productions, 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.
    • Films selected for the IDFA Competition for Mid-Length Documentary are eligible for the IDFA Award for Best Mid-Length Documentary (to be awarded to the director).

    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 broadcast, are available online, or have been released via streaming, home video or any other public platform are not eligible.
    • Films selected for the IDFA Competition for Dutch Documentary are eligible for the IDFA Award for Dutch Documentary (to be awarded to the director).

    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, XR experiences, live performances, games and multimedia projects. For reference, see the IDFA DocLab page. For frequently asked questions, see the DocLab FAQ page. [check links in final stage]
    • 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 as well as the Special Jury Award for Creative Technology.
    • We can preview interactive/immersive projects on most platforms/devices, including MAC, PC, iOS, Android, Steam, Sony Playstation, Xbox, Oculus Rift, Quest and Go, Samsung Gear and HTC Vive Pro. We can also consider projects for Magic Leap, Hololens or any other type of AR headset. For projects using custom hardware, please get in touch.
    • 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 2019. Priority is given to projects that have not yet been presented at other events or festivals.
    • In some cases, we will reconsider projects or works-in-progress that have been submitted in previous years. Please check with the team if this is possible: doclab@idfa.nl


    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.
    • For Dutch productions 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.
    • Films selected for the IDFA Competition for Short Documentary are eligible for the IDFA Award for Best Short Documentary (to be awarded to the director).

    2.7. IDFA Competition for Student Documentary

    • Open to films of any duration.
    • Open to graduation films for a film school/university.
    • Only world, international, and European premieres are eligible. Student films that would be a Dutch premiere at IDFA are eligible for our Best of Fests section.
    • 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.
    • Films selected for the IDFA Competition for Student Documentary are eligible for the IDFA Award for Best Student Documentary (to be awarded to the director).

    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.
    • Films selected for the IDFA Competition for Kids & Docs are eligible for the IDFA Award for Best Children’s Documentary (to be awarded to the director).

    2.9. 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.

    2.10. 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.

    2.11. 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.
    • Films that are available online or have been released via streaming, home video or any other public platform are not eligible.

    2.12. Masters

    • International non-competitive section consisting of films made by renowned 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.

    2.13. 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 works.
    • 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 & NPO Fund Workshop, ZappDoc LAB 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 program 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. Selection procedure, required items for selected films, and authorizations

    Selection procedure

    Documentaries may be eligible for several sections. In case of selection, IDFA’s selection 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 9, 2020.

    Agreement

    • 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.
    • Failing to keep the premiere status as agreed on between both parties will result in the festival reconsidering selection and placement of the film.
    • Any costs incurred as a result of cancellation or change of our initial agreement will be the liability of the filmmaker.
    • Any exceptions to these regulations or decisions on cases not covered in these articles can be made by the Artistic Director of IDFA.

    After IDFA Selection

    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)
    • Credit list
    • A high res video file of the final English version
    • A high res video file of the trailer
    • A DCP for festival screenings
    • For immersive/interactive projects any of the required materials to bring your project to life in the festival exhibition

    Authorizations

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

    • Use a maximum of 4 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, Podium Mozaïek, Bijlmerpark Theater, and Oxfam Novib Selection).
    • Program the film free of charge in 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 2, 2020 (see contacts in section 9).

    5. Festival screening copy

    • If your film is selected for the festival, IDFA accepts the following screening formats: DCP (2K/4K), 35mm or 16mm. IDFA requires all DCPs to be in XYZ colorspace encoded in JPEG2000. Presentation of other formats requires authorization from the festival. These requirements do not apply to new media projects submitted to IDFA DocLab, deliverables depend on the format of the project.
    • Films will be presented to an international audience as well as professionals. Therefore, without exception, all films that are not (entirely) English-spoken must be subtitled in 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.

    Transport of screening copy

    • The festival must receive the screening copy of the documentary film by November 6, 2020 – preferably digitally delivered via FilmFetch.
    • 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. DCPs will be deleted from the festival’s servers after the festival.

    Shipment of hard disk

    If you decide to send your DCP to IDFA on a hard disk, please make sure it arrives by November 6 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. Please provide your contact person with the tracking number once a shipment has been planned.

    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 inbound transport costs of DCPs to the festival office are the responsibility of the applicant. IDFA will pay for the outbound transport to a 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.

    6. 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.
    • 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 Digital Storytelling Competition, IDFA DocLab Immersive Non-Fiction Competition, IDFA Competition for Short Documentary, IDFA Competition for Student Documentary, IDFA Competition for Kids & Docs, Frontlight, Luminous, Best of Fests, Masters, IDFA on Stage, and Paradocs only in case they are non-Dutch residents. After selection IDFA’s guest services department 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.

    7. Juries and awards

    • An international jury will choose the winners of the IDFA Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary (awarded to the director and producer), IDFA Award for Best Directing (awarded to the director), IDFA Award for Best Editing (awarded to the editor) and IDFA Award for Best Cinematography (awarded to the cinematographer) from the films selected for the IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary.
    • An international jury will choose the winner of the IDFA Award for First Appearance (to be awarded to the director) from the films selected for the IDFA Competition for First Appearance.
    • An international FIPRESCI jury will choose the winner of the FIPRESCI Award (to be awarded to the director) from the films selected for the IDFA Competition for First Appearance.
    • An international jury will choose the winner of the IDFA Award for Best Mid-Length Documentary (to be awarded to the director) from the films selected for the IDFA Competition for Mid-Length Documentary.
    • From the projects selected for the IDFA Doclab Competition for Digital Storytelling, an international jury will choose the winners of the IDFA Doclab Award for Best Digital Storytelling (awarded to the creator(s) of the project) and the Special Jury Award for Creative Technology in Digital Storytelling (awarded to the creator(s) responsible for creative technology).
    • From the projects selected for the IDFA Doclab Competition for Immersive Non-Fiction, an international jury will choose the winners of the IDFA Doclab Award for Best Immersive Non-Fiction (awarded to the creator(s) of the project) and the Special Jury Award for Creative Technology in Immersive Non-Fiction (awarded to the creator(s) responsible for creative technology).
    • An international jury will choose the winner of the IDFA Award for Dutch Documentary (to be awarded to the director) from the IDFA Competition for Dutch Documentary.
    • An international jury will choose the winner of the IDFA Award for Best Short Documentary (to be awarded to the director) from the films selected for the IDFA Competition for Short Documentary.
    • An international jury will choose the winner of the IDFA Award for Best Student Documentary (to be awarded to the director) from the films selected for the IDFA Competition for Student Documentary.
    • An international jury will choose the winner of the IDFA Award for Best Children’s Documentary (to be awarded to the directorr) from the films selected for the IDFA Competition for Kids & Docs.
    • An international jury will choose the winner of the Beeld en Geluid IDFA ReFrame Award (to be awarded to the director) from the films selected for the IDFA Competition for Creative Use of Archive.
    • Festival audiences can also express their appreciation of the films by voting in 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.

    8. 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.

    9. 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.