Film entry

    Entry for IDFA 2017 is now open.

    The 30th International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, including its new media program IDFA DocLab, takes place November 15-26, 2017. The documentary markets Docs for Sale and IDFA Forum will also be held during the festival. 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 FundIDFAcademy or DocLab Academy.

    The online entry form is available through the 'My Entries' section in MyIDFA. Please note that existing MyIDFA accounts have been migrated to our new website, but for security reasons their passwords need to be reset. Existing users can set a new password through the 'forgot password' functionality during login.

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    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 2017

    • May 1, 2017 for documentaries completed between August 1, 2016 and April 30, 2017.
    • August 1, 2017 for documentaries completed after April 2017.

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

    Format, language and version

    • IDFA must receive an online screener, a completed IDFA entry form and payment of the entry fee of €40 (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 the end of the festival (see 4).
    • IDFA does not accept links/submissions via e-mail.
    • IDFA considers creative films and new media projects in any format and of any length. Please check entry requirements per section below (see 2) for any specific length 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.
    • Please note that IDFA will view any film entry (whether submitted as a work-in-progress or a final version) only once. Rejected works-in-progress cannot be resubmitted when a newer version is available, nor for the following year.
    • Films 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.
    • It is the sole responsibility of the applicant to secure clearance from the copyright holders of any copyrighted materials included within the submitted film. IDFA will not be held responsible for the unauthorized inclusion of any copyrighted materials within or relating to the submitted film. IDFA reserves the right to disqualify any film with any 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, divided into various competition and regular programs. The General entry requirements above apply to all program sections, unless it is stated otherwise below.

    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/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 broadcast or streamed on the Internet, or released internationally via any home video or other public distribution platform (Blu-ray, DVD, streaming, video on demand, etc.) are not eligible.

    2.2. IDFA Competition for First Appearance

    • For films longer than 70 minutes.
    • Open to first-time or second-time directors of a feature-length film (longer than 70 minutes). When deciding whether this is your first or second feature-length film, IDFA not only counts your previously directed documentaries, but also fiction, animation and experimental films. Graduation projects from film schools or universities should be submitted for the IDFA Competition for Student Documentary (section 2.7). 
    • 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/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 broadcast or streamed on the Internet, or released internationally via any home video or other public distribution platform (Blu-ray, DVD, streaming, video on demand, etc.) 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/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 broadcast or streamed on the Internet, or released internationally via any home video or other public distribution platform (Blu-ray, DVD, streaming, video on demand, etc.) are not eligible.

    2.4. IDFA Competition for Dutch Documentary

    • For films longer than 40 minutes.
    • Films from the IDFA Competition for Dutch Documentary section plus Dutch productions from the IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary, IDFA Competition for Mid-Length Documentary and IDFA Competition for First Appearance compete for the IDFA Award for Dutch Documentary.
    • Open to Dutch productions. If 50% or more of the film’s financing originated from sources within The Netherlands, the film will be regarded as being a Dutch production.
    • Only world premieres can be accepted.
    • Films that have been broadcast or streamed on the Internet, or released internationally via any home video or other public distribution platform (Blu-ray, DVD, streaming, video on demand, etc.) 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 performance and multimedia projects. For reference, see the IDFA DocLab 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 as part of the competition program are eligible for the IDFA DocLab Award for Digital Storytelling as well as the IDFA DocLab Immersive Non-Fiction Award.
    • We can view projects on most platforms/devices, including MAC, PC, iOS, Android, Steam, Sony Play Station, X-box, Oculus Rift, 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.
    • 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 2016. 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 Cross Media Forum for projects seeking international co-financing. For details and deadlines, see the IDFA DocLab page.

    2.6. IDFA Competition for Short Documentary (NEW)

    • For films shorter than 40 minutes.
    • Screening or TV broadcast in the Netherlands prior to the festival does not exclude the film, although priority will be given to world, international and European premieres.

    2.7. IDFA Competition for Student Documentary

    • Open to (graduation) films for a film school/university. IDFA will not accept documentary exercises. 
    • Open to films of any length. 
    • Screening or TV broadcast in the Netherlands prior to the festival does not exclude the film, although priority will be given to world, international and European premieres.

    2.8. IDFA Competition for Kids & Docs

    • Open to films made for children up to 13 years of age.
    • Open to films of any length. 
    • Screening or broadcast in the Netherlands prior to the festival does not exclude the film, although priority will be given to world, international and European premieres.

    2.9. Best of Fests

    • International non-competitive section containing films that have made an impact on the international festival circuit. 
    • Open to international productions. 
    • Open to films of any length. 
    • Screening or TV broadcast in the Netherlands prior to the festival rules out the film. Priority is given to European premieres. 

    2.10. Masters

    • International non-competitive section containing films made by renowned (documentary) filmmakers. 
    • Open to international productions. 
    • Open to films of any length.
    • Screening or TV broadcast in the Netherlands prior to the festival rules the film out. Priority is given to world, international and European premieres.

    2.11. Panorama

    • For films longer than 40 minutes.
    • International non-competitive section containing films that are thought-provoking in form and/or theme. 
    • Open to international productions. 
    • Screening or TV broadcast in the Netherlands prior to the festival rules the film out. Priority is given to world, international and European premieres.

    2.12. Music Documentary

    • International non-competitive section containing films about music – in the broadest sense of the word.
    • Open to (inter)national productions.
    • Open to films of any length.
    • For Dutch productions only world premieres can be accepted.
    • Screening or TV broadcast in the Netherlands prior to the festival rules out the film. Priority is given to world, international and European premieres.

    2.13. Paradocs 

    • Paradocs is a program made up of experimental documentaries and documentary experiments. 
    • Paradocs is open to films of any length but also to video installations and other media which are not necessarily presented in a cinema. 
    • We also encourage visual artists to submit their documentary projects. 
    • Documentaries may have been presented or broadcast in the Netherlands prior to the festival, but IDFA gives priority to world, international and European premieres.

    3. Requirements for IDFAcademy results and films supported by the IDFA Bertha Fund

    Films that originated from one of the IDFAcademy training and education programs (IDFA-Mediafonds Workshop, IDFA Kids & Docs Workshop or IDFAcademy Summer School) receive the label IDFAcademy Results and can be selected for one of the regular sections as listed above (see 2.1 through 2.13). Before you submit the IDFA entry form we kindly ask you to inform IDFAcademy staff about your upcoming submission at idfacademy@idfa.nl. The General entry requirements and Entry requirements per section also apply to these films.

    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. 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, who will propose the film to IDFA. The General entry requirements and Entry requirements per section also apply to the IDFA Bertha Fund films.

    4. How to enter your film

    IDFA must receive an online screener, a completed IDFA entry form (available through MyIDFA) and payment of the entry fee of €40 (excl. VAT). Please note that the entry fee is non-refundable.

    Disclaimer

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

    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 the end of the festival.

    Your application will be considered once we have received the online screener. We will confirm receipt of your entry by e-mail. If the film is selected, you are expected to provide a high-res video file of the final English version and additional information in a timely manner for the purposes of the festival catalogue, publicity and the screening of the film. 

    A complete entry form is available through MyIDFA. Documentaries may be eligible for several sections. In case of selection, IDFA will decide for which section(s) a film is selected.

    On the entry form, you will be asked to provide a synopsis of the film and a detailed filmography of the director(s).

    5. Selection procedure, required items and authorizations

    Selection Procedure 
    The festival's selection committees select the documentaries that will participate in all program sections. When a film is selected, the festival will notify the applicant, director, producer and distributor of the film no later than October 11, 2017. 
    Once your film has been selected, you may use the IDFA logo and the relevant IDFA laurel for publicity purposes. The file will be sent to you in digital form. 

    Required items for selected films

    • Film stills (jpeg, high resolution, at least 5Mb each). Stills can be uploaded via your MyIDFA account or can be sent by email to your contact person at the Program Department. 
    • Separate electronic press kit (EPK) with a passport-sized photo of the film’s director(s), a synopsis, a list of credits, biography and/or filmography. Additional material is welcome. 
    • A high res video file of the final English version. 
    • A high res video file of the trailer.
    • Please follow Vimeo’s compression guidelines for all submitted video files.

    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. 
    • Program the film free of charge during IDFA sponsor days, e.g. De Volkskrant, VPRO, De Groene Amsterdammer.
    • Program the film free of charge within the framework of The Best of IDFA screenings.
    • Program the film free of charge within the framework of IDFA alliances and partnerships during the festival (e.g. IDFA in arthouse cinema LUX Nijmegen, Groninger Forum, Oxfam Novib Selection, Melkweg, Kleine Komedie, Podium Mozaïek and Bijlmerpark Theater).
    • 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 (Junior) on Tour’ program for a fixed fee. This selection of nominated and/or 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, 2017 (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 1, 2017 – preferably to be shipped by Fedex. Please assign the package a value that does not exceed 10 Euros or 10 dollars.

    DCPs are fragile, please ship them well packed. IDFA cannot be held responsible for harddrive failures resulting from bad packaging. IDFA strongly prefers DCPs to be shipped on CRU carriers.

    Your contact person from the program department will contact the producer, distributor or director about the shipment and the exact shipping address. 

    With regard to films coming from outside the European Union: a pro forma invoice must accompany the print or video, stating the name of the sender, the title of the film, its size and length, the number of reels and whether it is in colour or black-and-white. IDFA’s VAT registration number is NL 008551777B01.

    Please note that all format films coming from outside the European Union should be exported ‘permanently’ (type of export). The festival will return the copy within four weeks after the festival. The recipient will receive a dispatch notice from 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.

    Transport costs
    The costs of transport of DCPs (both from the European Union as well as from outside the European Union) 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, print of the film reel(s) damaged 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, Panorama, Music Documentary 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 travelling expenses are not included in the standard payments made to directors. Occasionally, IDFA is able to make a contribution towards the travelling expenses of directors with a film included in the program.

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

    8. Juries and awards

    • An international jury will choose the winners of the IDFA Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary and the IDFA Special Jury Award for Feature-Length Documentary from the films selected for the IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary. 
    • An international jury will choose the winners of the IDFA Award for First Appearance and the Special Jury Award for First Appearance, in remembrance of Peter Wintonick from the films selected for the IDFA Competition for First Appearance. 
    • An international jury will choose the winners of the IDFA Award for Best Mid-Length Documentary and the IDFA Special Jury Award for Mid-Length Documentary from the films selected for the IDFA Competition for Mid-Length Documentary.
    • An international jury will choose the winners of the IDFA DocLab Award for Digital Storytelling and the IDFA DocLab Immersive Non-Fiction Award from the projects selected for the IDFA DocLab Competition. 
    • An international jury will choose the winners of the Beeld en Geluid IDFA Award for Dutch Documentary and the IDFA Special Jury Award for Dutch Documentary from the IDFA Competition for Dutch Documentary.
    • An international jury will choose the winners of the IDFA Award for Best Short Documentary and the IDFA Special Jury Award for Short Documentary from the films selected for the IDFA Competition for Short Documentary.
    • An international jury will choose the winners of the IDFA Award for Best Student Documentary and the IDFA Special Jury Award for Student Documentary 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 and the IDFA Special Jury Award for Kids & Docs from the films selected for the IDFA Competition for Kids & Docs.
    • Festival audiences can also express their appreciation of the documentaries 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 of documentaries implies unconditional acceptance of the regulations. 

    9. VAT

    All IDFA entries will be charged an administration fee of €40 per entry.

    • In case you fill in a company which is based outside the Netherlands in 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 in your VAT details in the billing address field. For general VAT rules within the EU please go to EU Tax and Customs info.
    • If you have a company 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.