IDFA DocLab Open Call for Proposals 2019

    We are happy to announce the IDFA DocLab Open Call for Proposals 2019.

    Our goal is to discover new talent and commission interactive and immersive non-fiction works that challenge traditional relations between art, audience, and technology. In total, a commissioning budget of €40,000 is made available through the IDFA DocLab Immersive R&D Program and the Film Fund DocLab Interactive Grant, among other sources. Selected works will receive a budget up to €10,000 to realize a non-fiction artwork to be experienced by our festival audience in Amsterdam in November 2019. The application deadline is Monday, April 22. If you would like to submit a finished project, please refer to our regular Call for Submissions.

    About IDFA DocLab

    As part of the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), IDFA DocLab has been exploring the art of interactive and immersive storytelling since 2007. Besides being one of the world's leading platforms to showcase emerging media and interdisciplinary documentary art, IDFA DocLab also commissions new pieces, initiates collaborations between artists, and offers a wide range of activities to support the emerging interactive and immersive industry community. Works are showcased throughout the twelve-day IDFA festival as part of competition programs, a physical exhibition, experimental live performances, industry events, and a one-day conference.

    Who should apply?

    We welcome submissions by independent artists, collectives, and studios from all over the world working across disciplines. We are looking for interactive and immersive non-fiction experiences that are innovative, feasible, and that challenge traditional relations between art, audiences, and technology. We are open to projects that are already in development, as well as proposals for a radically different presentation form of an existing work (e.g. a video game turned into a theatrical live performance, or a linear film turned into an augmented reality audio walk). Finished works or works-in-progress that have already been presented at other events should not use this Call for Proposals, but instead apply to IDFA DocLab using the regular festival Call for Submissions. And although we love works that challenge definitions of documentary, we won’t be able to consider works that are purely fiction.

    What can we offer?

    We offer four to eight selected creators direct financial support for the realization of a new work to premiere at IDFA 2019 (November 20 – December 1). Per project, we can provide a commissioning budget ranging from €2,500 to €10,000. The exact amount depends on the overall number of selected proposals and the scope of each project.

    For Dutch (co-)productions, specific funding in the form of the Film Fund DocLab Interactive Grant (up to €20,000) is made available by the Netherlands Film Fund. All projects (co-)produced by Dutch artists or filmmakers are eligible for this funding and will automatically be considered for the Grant.

    ​Why this call for proposals?

    In 2018 IDFA DocLab launched a five-year R&D program in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT Open Documentary Lab), among other partners, to expand the festival into a living lab for artistic experimentation, research, and development across disciplines. Our goal is to support emerging media by facilitating the creation of ground-breaking artworks, connecting them to audiences, and sharing insights gained during this process with the field.


    The application deadline is Monday, April 22, but the sooner you let us know what you are working on, the better. All proposals will be evaluated by an internal selection committee. In some cases, further details may be requested. We will notify you of the selection committee's decision by the end of May.

    How to submit a proposal

    Fill out the online entry form and upload your project proposal as a PDF file, written in English, with a maximum of five pages using the structure below:

    Page 1: Cover page containing:

    • the name of the project
    • tagline
    • names of the creators and their full contact information (address, email, and phone number)
    • a cover image or visual that captures the work

    Page 2: A written project description (max. 500 words) that includes the following:

    • a summary of the proposal outlining the essence of the project
    • explanation of the audience experience
    • the type(s) of platform(s) used
    • a description of the current status of the project
    • a clear explanation of the premiere status of the work. If certain parts of the work/proposal are not a premiere, please specify which ones and at which other event(s) the work is shown

    Page 3: Visual presentation of the project:

    • Please illustrate what the work will look like using original images, mockups, or reference visuals

    Page 4: Realization plan & technical specifications, including:

    • a motivation for the type of support needed
    • amount requested/needed
    • overall budget
    • details on any funding or partners already in place
    • type of experience (e.g. interactive installation, live performance, game)
    • intended/expected devices and technologies used
    • duration of the experience
    • amount of people that can do the experience
    • space required
    • running cost of the project/experience
    • other relevant production details to exhibit the work

    Page 5: Presentation of the creators involved and their respective roles, containing:

    • Examples of previous work which demonstrates the candidate's expertise with respect to the challenges of the proposal

    The IDFA DocLab Immersive Network R&D Program is made possible by the Ministry of Economic Affairs of the Netherlands, CLICKNL, the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science, The Netherlands Film Fund, Diversion, and Flanders Audiovisual Fund.

    DocLab research collaborations: MIT Open Doc Lab and The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision.