The IDFA Bertha Fund supports documentary filmmakers in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe (see IBF Classic Country List) by offering them financial contributions, assistance and coaching to complete their projects. The Fund is looking for creative documentaries that use strong visual treatments to tell compelling stories and have the potential to reach a global audience.
Projects can be submitted in two categories:
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 deadlines: December 10, 2020 & June 10, 2021. The entry form for the December round will be available from the end of October.
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.
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.
All applications that are complete will be considered for selection. Within 4 to 6 weeks filmmakers will be informed if their project is pre-selected. The applicants 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 other items, an extensive budget, finance plan, and production schedule. These applications will then be sent to the final selection committee, whose findings will be announced within three months after the deadline.
In return for the financial contribution the Fund requests:
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.