IBF Classic: Regulations for Documentary Projects
The IDFA Bertha Fund supports documentary filmmakers in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Middle East and parts of Eastern Europe (see IBF Country List) by offering them financial contributions, assistance and coaching to complete their projects. Projects can be submitted in two categories:
- Project development: The maximum contribution for project development is €5,000, which must be spent in a country on the IBF Country List.
- Production & post-production: The maximum contribution for production & post-production is €17,500, which must be spent in a country on the IBF Country List.
Please read the Regulations below carefully to see if your project meets the basic criteria before filling out the entry form, which will be available through MyIDFA a month before each deadline. All steps must be completed by the day of the deadline. If you are struggling while writing your proposal read our tips for writing a proposal.
Next deadline: February 1, 2018.
What is a creative documentary?
Creative documentaries are films that are interesting from a stylistic point of view, or are particularly innovative, relevant to social issues and successfully manage to communicate with their audiences. The creative documentary is an art form, which means that the documentary filmmaker is an artist, not a journalist. The fund is not dedicated to documentaries about art forms (applied arts or portraits about artists), cultural heritage and cultural traditions. More information about creative documentaries can be found in IDFA's Mission Statement.
- The director of the project should have the nationality of a country as defined on the IBF Country List and primarily live and work in this country. In addition the production company attached to the project must be based in a country on the IBF Country List.
- In the category Production & Post-production the following countries cannot apply: Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico.
- Filmmakers from Brazil can apply for development, but only when they've completed a film education.
- Eastern Europe: only projects from Belarus, Kosovo, Moldova, Turkey and Ukraine can apply. Filmmakers from all other Eastern European countries have access to funding from the MEDIA programme.
- Filmmakers from the Caucasus can all apply: Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan (untill the moment they'll have access to funding from the MEDIA programme)
- NEW in 2017 are the countries listed on the 2016 World Press Freedom Index ranking from 114 to 180 (orange and black). Some of these countries are not included on the DAC-list, but the situation concerning freedom of the press is difficult or very difficult. Only projects about human rights or social issues will be accepted from these countries: Bahrein, Brunei, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and United Arab Emirates.
- NEW: Only in 2017, an exception will be made for projects from Syrian directors living in Europe. Applications will be accepted under the following conditions:
- the director has a recent refugee status or is in the process of acquiring one;
- the project is developed and mainly produced and filmed in Syria or neighbouring countries;
- filming of the project is almost completed and funding is mainly required for post-production; and
- the project cannot be funded through other European funding sources.
- If a production company from Europe, North America or Australia is attached to the project, it is also necessary that the project has a producer and production company based in a country on the IBF Country List. In this case, the application to the fund must be filed by the producer from the IBF Country List.
- If a project is selected, the contribution must be spent in a country on the IBF Country List.
- A project can be submitted only once for each category.
- A project can be submitted for Project Development and at a later deadline for Production or Post-Production, whether or not the Project Development submission was successful.
- Application deadlines in 2017 are February 1 and May 15. Incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration. Completed applications must be in our office on the day of the deadline.
- Entry forms must be filled out in English. Only for applications coming from French-speaking African countries and Haiti, the Fund offers the possibility to submit the entry form in French. See: IBF Classic information and regulations in French.
- Production applications will only be accepted when accompanied by a trailer, demo, edited sequence or other audio-visual material of the project with a minimum of 3 minutes.
- Projects that have finished the shooting phase will be considered as Post-Production applications. In this case applications have to be accompanied by an edited sequence, rough cut or first edit with a minimum of 20 minutes.
- Project Development applications can be accompanied by one previous work when relevant to the project or when representative for the style of the filmmaker. If available a trailer or selected research material from the project is recommendable if representative for the style.
- DVD’s and Vimeo or YouTube links must be in our office on the day of the deadline. Make sure that DVD’s are clearly marked with the project title.
- DVD’s and Vimeo or YouTube links must be in English or have English subtitles. Links should remain online for at least two months following the deadline. If possible, please allow for free viewing of the material (no password required) or make sure you send us the password.
Only projects that have been submitted according to the IDFA Bertha Fund regulations will be considered.
In assessing projects the fund will consider
(1) the strength and originality of the treatment,
(2) the originality and urgency of the story,
(3) the vision and ability of the director and
(4) the financial feasibility of the project.
Please note that fund is very competitive and can only select around 5 % of applications received.
All applications that are complete will be considered for selection. After a first selection round the fund will make a pre-selection. The filmmakers of the pre-selected projects will receive a more extensive application form, which must be completed and returned within a week. The pre-selection form includes among others an extensive budget, finance plan and production schedule. These applications will then be sent to the final selection committee, whose findings will be announced two months after the deadline.
In return for the financial contribution the fund requests:
- Recognition of the IDFA Bertha Fund support by placing the logo of the fund on the credits of the final documentary and all publicity material. Specific details will be described in the agreement.
- Worldwide non-exclusive internet rights of the film. The Fund will take into consideration all prior arrangements made by the applicant with various broadcasters.
- The Benelux (the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg) premiere of the final documentary.
- The right to screen the final documentary in any IDFA related (non-commercial) screening in the Benelux.
Besides a financial contribution the fund offers selected projects other means of support. Together with the project team, the fund will determine which form of assistance and coaching would be most suitable to their project. This support is intended to enhance the script, production, editing or the access to the international market of a project.