In 2022, the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) celebrated its 35th edition, and we're ready to take the next steps in 2023. We want to open our very own documentary film theater in Amsterdam’s historic Vondelpark Pavillion building built in 1881—the former site of the film museum, right in the heart of the city. Our goal is to establish a unique location that offers all documentary film lovers the chance to see outstanding films year-round.
IDFA has been looking for a suitable new office location, together with the Municipality of Amsterdam, for years. A year ago today, we were asked whether we’d be interested in moving into the Vondelpark Pavilion. We didn’t need to think twice! This was the opportunity to realize a dormant but long-cherished dream: in addition to a new office space, the opportunity to make our own cinema a reality! A space where we can offer audiences, professionals, and school children an IDFA program all year round.
The perfect next step to further actualize our ambitions of developing beyond an annual festival and establishing IDFA as an institute for creative documentary film—which includes a fund, talent programs, two documentary markets, an R&D Lab, and an educational department. And finally, a wonderful opportunity to bring back film to the historic former site of the city's film museum. After an exciting pitch, our concept was selected!
Now, we find ourselves a year down the line. We have developed plans, sought and found partners, brainstormed about programs, and conducted negotiations. Architects have made and modified designs and contractors have put together estimates and quotes. Founding partner Fonds 21 Extra committed to supporting our plans from the get-go, and promising conversations have been had with other partners who warmed to our ideas. Now it’s time for the next step. Because we believe in our plans and know others share our enthusiasm. That’s why we had a crowdfunding campaign in November 2022 to launch the IDFA Cinema. More than 500 passionate people gave a donation of 125,000 euros in total.
It’s almost time to start with our renovations, and then open the doors to the new IDFA Cinema in the second half iof 2023. We hope we can transform our vision into a reality: A space dedicated to creative documentary film for filmmakers, loyal friends, and new audiences. Embark on this new chapter in IDFA’s history!