IDFA DocLab Forum

    A unique opportunity to network with leading international professionals and experts who work in this innovative field

    Since 2007, the Forum has given space to documentary projects in the field of new media. These projects range from web-based docs, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence projects to installations, multimedia journalism, and everything else that tells a documentary story or explores unknown realities. In 2019, IDFA together with IDFA DocLab introduced a new, complete cross-media market called the IDFA DocLab Forum, where the projects presented can find their way to new partnerships, receive in-depth feedback, and explore new ways to move forward.

    The DocLab Forum is open to all kinds of interactive projects in all production stages, ranging from webdocs, virtual reality and artificial intelligence projects to physical installations, multimedia journalism, live performances and everything else that tells a documentary story or explores unknown realities. Linear documentaries with internet support (such as an informative website) are not eligible: the online component has to be a stand-alone project. To find out more about submitting, see our submission guidelines.

    IDFA DocLab Forum setup in 2020

    Current distancing and crowd limitations mean that IDFA DocLab Forum will take place online, ensuring that accredited guests all over the world can participate. Nevertheless, guests who can travel in November will be welcome to watch films in cinemas, experience projects at IDFA DocLab, and participate in industry activities in Amsterdam.

    For the DocLab Forum, that means—as always—a commitment to careful matchmaking between new media artists and decision makers. As in previous editions, selected teams will pitch their projects to a hand-picked group of potential co-financing and co-production partners, with the presentation setup tailored to individual needs. Our existing pitch categories (Round Table Pitches and the (Demo) Project Presentations) will remain intact, albeit in an online format. Curated one-on-one meetings with interested parties will still follow the pitches.

    In addition to the open pitches, the Forum will offer a special category this year to help producers follow up on previous encounters and make new connections during the pandemic. The new category will feature approximately 20 of the top projects that have recently pitched at online markets in Europe and abroad, and will include curated one-on-one meetings between project teams and decision makers.

    Key dates:

    • Entry form available: June 12
    • Submission deadline: August 1
    • IDFA DocLab Forum: November 16-20

    Round Table Pitch

    The project team (consisting of the producer and director) presents the project online to a hand-picked group of decision makers ranging from 10 to 15 people. The pitch is an opportunity to discuss the content and form of the project and discover which relevant steps can take the project further.

    Project teams get 20 minutes total for their presentation: the pitch, including visual material such as a trailer or selected scenes, lasts around 10 minutes; the following 10 minutes are set aside for feedback from the panel. All presentations can be customized to fit the needs of the team and the project. The teams will get feedback from a tailor-made group of potential financiers matched to each project being pitched, to allow room for in-depth conversations about the artistic intentions and goals of the team.

    Alternatively, some projects that are solely looking for co-producers may benefit from a presentation without feedback; this option can be discussed as well.

    All projects are featured online via the Forum (with text and photos), where they can be viewed by decision makers who have a password. If you are a decision maker and want access to the online catalogue, please let the Forum staff know at

    Observers in the Round Table Pitch & (Demo) Project Presentations
    IDFA DocLab Forum values the process of transparent knowledge sharing, which helps the international documentary and new media community to connect, grow and flourish. By creating a platform where both seasoned and less-experienced participants can learn, share, and interrogate documentary trends, IDFA DocLab Forum contributes to an open and diverse documentary network. The Round Table Pitches and (Demo) Project Presentations are open for Forum delegates to observe online.

    (Demo) Project Presentations

    This online presentation section caters to new media projects that are in the final stages of production or in early development. It is a valuable opportunity to present the prototype or an idea to industry professionals in order to receive specific feedback and advice.

    Projects can be in any stage of production but preferably have a prototype available. Project teams will introduce their project in an online elevator pitch (a short pitch lasting a few minutes) to interested peers.

    Each project will have one-on-one meetings online with a mix of professionals interested in the project, arranged by the Forum staff. In all cases, the one-on-one meetings will be tailor-made to best fit the needs and stage of the project.

    All projects are featured online via the Forum (with text, photos and visual material if available), where they can be viewed by decision makers who have a password. If you are a decision maker and want access to the online catalogue, please let the Forum staff know at

    IDFA DocLab is supported by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy of the Netherlands, CLICKNL, Netherlands Film Fund, Mondriaan Fund, ARTE, Flanders Audiovisual Fund. Tolhuistuin and MIAP Foundation.

    Research Collaborations: MIT Open Documentary Lab and The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, POPKRAFT, CreativeXR, Diversion cinema, The Immersive Storytelling Studio (National Theatre) and Het Nieuwe Instituut.